Tigers conclude set with Royals

Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player Justin Verlander seeks a 15th career win against the Kansas City Royals today when the Detroit Tigers host them in the finale of a weather-impacted two-game set at Comerica Park.

The scheduled opener was postponed Monday by rain and will be made up Sept. 24.

Verlander was a rare dual winner last season after prevailing in 24 games over 34 starts with a stingy 2.40 earned run average in 251 innings.

He scored win No. 1 of 2012 against the Royals on April 16 in Kansas City, going the full nine-inning route while allowing two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and a pair of walks.

The win lifted him to 14-2 in 20 starts against the Royals with a 2.37 ERA in 133 innings.

Verlander followed the triumph with a 3-2 defeat of Texas five days later, then had a no-decision against New York on April 27 in a 7-6 Yankees win.

For Kansas City, lefty Jonathan Sanchez faces Detroit for the second time this season after a no-decision on April 19 at Kauffman Stadium.

He allowed two runs on four hits in five innings in the Royals' 4-3 loss.

Sanchez, who spent 2011 with San Francisco before an offseason trade sent him to the American League, won four times in 11 decisions last season and had 13 victories for the World Series champions a year earlier.

He defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to open the season on April 8 and is 0-1 with a pair of no-decisions since.

In two combined outings against the Tigers, he's given up 10 hits and five runs in 12 innings with six walks and 11 strikeouts.

On Tuesday, Austin Jackson had four hits, including a two-run double, and Rick Porcello snapped a two-start losing streak with eight good innings, leading the Tigers to a 9-3 win.

Porcello (2-2) allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out three without a walk. He had given up 14 runs in 7 2/3 innings over his previous two starts.

Jackson singled and scored in a five-run first inning and highlighted a three- run rally in the third with his double. He also saved a home run in the ninth inning by reaching over to catch Jeff Francoeur's hit, which had bounced off the top of the wall in left-center field.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland picked up his 1,600th career win, passing Tommy Lasorda for 17th place all-time.

"We got some really nice hitting, but to me tonight the key was pitching and defense," he said. "We looked good. Tonight we looked like a good club."

Royals starter Luke Hochevar (2-2) gave up nine runs in just four innings - including five with no outs in the first - to take the loss. He allowed 12 hits and three walks and struck out two.

Detroit recently swept the Royals in three games from April 16-18 in KC.