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Verlander (not Scherzer) gets Opening Day start

The SportsXchange

Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander will get the start when the team opens the season March 31 against the visiting Kansas City Royals.

It will be Verlander's seventh straight Opening Day start.

The announcement is a bit surprising considering teammate Max Scherzer won the American League Cy Young Award last year and Verlander is coming off core muscle surgery.

The last time a reigning Cy Young Award winner did not start Opening Day was when Brad Radke started over Johan Santana for the Minnesota Twins in 2005.

"I'm always grateful to pitch on Opening Day," Verlander said, according to the Detroit News. "I know what the day means to Tigers fans. It is like a holiday and I never take it for granted."

Verlander, 31, went 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 217 strikeouts in 218 1/3 innings in 2013. While it was not his best season, he was named to the AL All-Star team for the sixth time in his career.

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