KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Justin Verlander pitched seven strong innings, Miguel Cabrera hit his 17th home run of the season and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Saturday night.
Verlander (6-4), who is 10-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 16 career starts against the Royals, gave up two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Cabrera, who leads the majors with 52 RBIs, broke up the scoreless duel with a two-out homer to left in the sixth. In his past 13 games, Cabrera has nine home runs and 16 RBIs. He is hitting an AL-leading .390 on the road. In 46 career games against the Royals, he is batting .358 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs.
Carlos Guillen's two-run double with two out in the eighth scored Cabrera and Brennan Boesch. Brandon Inge singled home Guillen for the final run with all the runs off rookie reliever Blake Wood.
Jason Kendall doubled and David DeJesus singled to open the Kansas City two-run eighth and chase Verlander. Joel Zumaya replaced Verlander and threw six pitches, no strikes, before leaving with a finger blister. Phil Coke replaced Zumaya and gave up a RBI single to Jose Guillen and a fielder's choice grounder to Alberto Callaspo that scored DeJesus.
Jose Valverde, who logged his 12th save in 13 opportunities, came in and got Mike Aviles to ground into a double play to end the eighth.
Royals starter Luke Hochevar (5-4) struck out a season-high 10 and allowed one run on six hits in seven innings, but took the loss.
Hochevar worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth when he walked two and Guillen singled, but he struck out Roman Santiago and retired Austin Jackson on a grounder to end the inning.
NOTES: Tigers reliever Ryan Perry, who yielded three hit and two runs in 2-3 of an inning Friday, shaved his Mohawk. Perry is 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA in his past five outings. ... LHP John Parrish (rotator cuff inflammation) and OF Rick Ankiel (pulled right quad) will begin minor league rehab assignments Tuesday with Triple-A Omaha. Both are on the Royals' disabled list. ... Tigers RF Magglio Ordonez was not in the lineup. Manager Jim Leyland said Ordonez needed a day off.