Detroit at Kansas City

Kansas City
W: R. Tejeda (2-1) L: J. Verlander (16-8)
S: J. Soria (24)
HR: DET - None   KC - None

Royals 5, Tigers 1 wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Barrel-chested Billy Butler always had powerful wrists and quick reflexes. Only now his mental ability is catching up with his physical talent.

Picking on three different pitchers Wednesday night, Butler doubled three times for a club-record fourth time this season to help the Kansas City Royals beat Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers 5-1 for their first three-game winning streak since July.

According to STATS LLC, the 23-year-old first baseman is the first player since at least 1954 to have four games with three or more doubles in a season.

"I don't think there's any doubt how talented he is," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "I think everyone knows that. But mentally, he's come a long ways just with his approach. I think the sky's the limit for him as long as he continues to learn at the rate that he's learned between last year and this year."

Butler had two RBI in his fifth straight multihit game, backing another strong start by Robinson Tejeda (2-1). David DeJesus and Mitch Maier also drove in a run.

Tejeda matched his career high with eight strikeouts and allowed just three hits. The right-hander, who was in the bullpen all year until making an emergency start last week, has struck out 25 during a 19-inning scoreless streak that probably will earn him a tryout for next year's rotation.

"I think I still have a long time in my career," he said. "If I can just finish as a starter, I'm going to be very happy and proud. I'm going to try to work the most I can in the offseason, the same I'm doing right now, and try to be ready for spring training and try to win a spot."

Verlander (16-8) struck out eight in six innings, allowing one run and six hits. He set the Royals down in order only twice and dropped to 9-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 14 career starts against Kansas City.

"He was throwing very hard and had tremendous stuff," Butler said. "He was almost throwing through his stuff."

Verlander scuffled most of the game and missed a chance to become the AL's first 17-game winner.

"I did all I could with what I had," he said. "I wasn't very good at any aspects of the game. The fastball control wasn't there. My breaking ball was horrible. My changeup was decent and that's about it. Tejeda threw the ball very well and the rest of the bullpen did the rest."

Butler hit his 43rd double with two out in the third and scored on Mike Jacobs' single. He added RBI doubles in the seventh and eighth.

"Before this week, I felt like whenever I was squaring balls up I was hitting them at people," said Butler, who raised his average to .304. "I was swinging at pitches out of the zone. But you go through that in a 162-game season. I'm not doing anything different. I'm just focused and locked in more, looking for my pitch and being selective."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland was impressed with the slugger.

"He's a tremendous young hitter," he said. "He's one of the best young hitters in the American League."

Detroit loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on a walk and two singles off Jamey Wright, but Joakim Soria finished for his 24th save in 27 chances. Alex Avila hit a sacrifice fly before another pinch hitter, Marcus Thames, flied out to end the game.

The Royals loaded the bases with two out in the second on a single and two walks, but Verlander struck out Yuniesky Betancourt swinging on a 100-mph fastball.


The AL Central-leading Tigers hit town with a six-game winning streak but have lost two straight to spot starters. ... The Royals are 19 for 102 with the bases loaded this year. ... Verlander's other loss to the Royals was a 2-0 setback.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
Kansas City

B. Butler
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
Kansas City

R. Tejeda
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 8

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Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000021 .253
Placido Polanco, 2B4000003 .277
Carlos Guillen, LF3010102 .246
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3100112 .336
Aubrey Huff, DH4010011 .244
Clete Thomas, RF4010033 .244
Brandon Inge, 3B4010021 .231
Gerald Laird, C2000120 .216
   a- Alex Avila, PH0001000 .295
Ramon Santiago, SS3010001 .259
   b- Marcus Thames, PH1000002 .249
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Laird in the 9th
b-flied out for Santiago in the 9th
2B - Carlos Guillen (7, Tejeda), Clete Thomas (11, Tejeda)
SF - Alex Avila (1)
RBI - Alex Avila (12)
SB - Gerald Laird (4, 2nd base off Tejeda/Buck)
Team LOB - 8
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (L,16-8) 6611380 3.24
Bobby Seay 1111110 3.72
Fernando Rodney 0.2233100 3.82
Casey Fien 0.1100000 8.31
IBB - Callaspo by Bobby Seay
HBP - Maier (by Bobby Seay)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 112-73, Bobby Seay 24-14, Fernando Rodney 17-8, Casey Fien 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 5-5, Bobby Seay 2-0, Fernando Rodney 1-1, Casey Fien 1-0
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 27, Bobby Seay 6, Fernando Rodney 5, Casey Fien 2
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, LF5111012 .275
Mitch Maier, CF-RF3111020 .248
Billy Butler, 1B5132010 .304
Mike Jacobs, DH3011011 .237
   a- Brayan Pena, PH-DH2000002 .274
Alberto Callaspo, 2B2010201 .298
Mark Teahen, RF3000114 .274
    Josh Anderson, CF0000000 .247
John Buck, C4010011 .209
Alex Gordon, 3B3110111 .202
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3110113 .237
a-grounded out for Jacobs in the 7th
2B - Billy Butler 3 (45, Verlander, Seay, Fien), Alex Gordon (3, Rodney)
SH - Mitch Maier (6)
RBI - David DeJesus (67), Mitch Maier (24), Billy Butler 2 (76), Mike Jacobs (52)
2-OUT RBI - Billy Butler (27), Mike Jacobs (21)
Team LOB - 11
Kansas City Royals
Robinson Tejeda (W,2-1) 6300280 3.21
Kyle Farnsworth (H,5) 2000020 5.12
Jamey Wright 0.1211110 4.87
Joakim Soria (S,24) 0.2000000 2.60
Pitches-Strikes - Robinson Tejeda 98-64, Kyle Farnsworth 25-17, Jamey Wright 17-9, Joakim Soria 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Robinson Tejeda 3-8, Kyle Farnsworth 4-0
Batters Faced - Robinson Tejeda 24, Kyle Farnsworth 6, Jamey Wright 4, Joakim Soria 2
Game Information
Attendance - 10584
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Wally Bell