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Verlander leads Tigers over Royals 9-4

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm •  Published: May 4, 2014
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — It was little surprise that Billy Butler broke up Justin Verlander's no-hit bid Sunday.

The Detroit ace was cruising until Butler's two-out single in the sixth inning of Tigers' 9-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

Butler singled cleanly to right on a 1-2 pitch, leaving him with a .432 career average in 74 at-bats against Verlander.

"I didn't make a good pitch," Verlander said. "It was a fastball. I didn't throw a good one."

Kansas City's only runners before the single were Nori Aoki, who walked three times, and Alex Gordon, who walked once.

"You're never not aware of a no-hitter," Butler said.

Verlander won his fourth straight decision and the Tigers extended their winning streak to a season-high five games. He pitched no-hitters against Milwaukee in June 2007 and versus Toronto in May 2011.

"It always enters early on," he said. "But at the same time, there's a long way to go. It's going to be on your mind a little bit, but you can't let it be there too much. Because we've seen it a 100 times where a guy gives up a base hit in a tight ball game and they've got a no-hitter going and give it from there."

Verlander (4-1) allowed three runs, four hits and four walks in seven innings with seven strikeouts. Jarrod Dyson hit a two-run triple in the seventh and scored on a sacrifice fly by Aoki.

"There are ups and downs. Hopefully we'll get over it soon," Dyson said. "They swung the bats, and we didn't. We've just got to bring our 'A' game. It wasn't there all series."

Backed with a 7-0 lead, Verlander improved to 17-5 against the Royals, the best winning percentage (.773) among active pitchers with 10 decisions or more.

"We caught a team on fire," Butler said.

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