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Royals get rare win vs. Tigers' Verlander

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ned Yost went back to the history books on Saturday night.

The Kansas City Royals' manager knew all about Justin Verlander's nearly impeccable record against the Royals and Aaron Crow's success against the heart of the Detroit lineup.

Mike Moustakas had three hits, including a fifth-inning home run to break a tie, as the Royals rallied to beat the Tigers 6-5.

Verlander, who has a 15-3 record against the Royals, took the loss, allowing six runs, eight hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.

"We're fully aware we were 15-2 against Verlander," Yost said after the Royals beat Verlander for the first time since 2009.

Jeremy Guthrie claimed the victory, giving up five runs, 10 hits and two walks while striking out six in six innings. He threw 69 pitches in the first three innings.

"He was laboring the first two innings, just struggling with his command," Yost said.

Greg Holland pitched around Victor Martinez's one-out double off the wall in the ninth to log his 24th save.

"When you see a guy standing in the box so long, I thought it was out," Holland said. "Victor hit some top spin with it, and that's the only reason it didn't get out."

Crow wiggled out of a jam in the eighth, stranding runners at second and third, by retiring Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera on ground balls to Moustakas at third.

"We knew Cabrera was 0-for-6 off Crow and so was Hunter," Yost said. Make that 0-for-7.

Moustakas' homer, his seventh of the season, with two out in the fifth broke a 5-5 deadlock.

"That's Justin Verlander out there," Moustakas said. "When he's on, he's tough to hit."

Verlander was anything but on this evening.

"He just wasn't sharp," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It looks to me like he's pitching a little like he's not throwing with confidence in his stuff. He just wasn't real sharp with anything. He was pitching behind the hitters, putting himself in a position where he just didn't want to give in and it ended up hurting him. He just didn't have a Justin Verlander-type game. These things happen.

"He had the first hitter of the game down 1-2 and walked him. I think he's pitching a little too careful. He made a couple of mistakes and paid for it. He walked some guys and it ends up costing him. After an errant throw they take advantage. He didn't throw a very good game. It's simple. That happens."

Austin Jackson and Cabrera walked and scored in the first inning on singles by Prince Fielder and Martinez.

The Royals got a run back in the bottom of the inning. Alex Gordon led off with a walk and scored on Salvador Perez's sacrifice fly to right.

The Tigers added a run in the second when Hunter's sacrifice fly scored Alex Avila, who led off the inning with a double.

Perez snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a two-run, two-out double in the third, scoring Eric Hosmer and Butler to tie the score at 3.

The Royals forged ahead 5-3 in the fourth. Lorenzo Cain, Moustakas and David Lough opened the inning with singles to load the bases. After Alcides Escobar lined out to second, Chris Getz's grounder brought home Cain. Getz stole second and then Verlander walked Gordon and Hosmer to force in a run. Verlander threw 32 pitches in the inning.

Getz left in the fifth after he suffered a mild left knee sprain while attempting to field Fielder's hard-hit ground ball. Yost said Getz is day-to-day, not a candidate for the disabled list, although he will be examined further on Sunday.

Detroit scored two in the fifth on Avila's two-out infield single off the glove of Elliot Johnson, who had replaced Getz, to tie it at 5.

Moustakas homered in the bottom of the fifth on a 2-0 Verlander pitch to put the Royals back on top 6-5.

"It was not good at all," Verlander said of his performance. "I walked guys and they scored runs. I wasn't able to execute. I was just all over. I wasn't in sync. I've got to find it.

"It definitely felt like there was a little rust. I wasn't where I wanted to be. There's no excuse."

NOTES: Perez, the Royals' catcher, has thrown out 31 percent of runners attempting to steal. ... Royals RHP Felipe Paulino threw a 45-pitch bullpen session on Friday and is scheduled to throw a two-inning simulated game on Monday. He had Tommy John surgery last year and has been set back by a tender shoulder. ... Tigers RHP Doug Fister, who starts Sunday, owns a 15-25 career record with a 3.63 ERA in the first half and is 22-21 with a 3.50 ERA in the second half. ... Chiefs backup quarterback Chase Daniel, who set several Missouri passing records, was in attendance.
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