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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Justin Verlander had one of the worst outings of his career in one unlikely spot.
Mike Moustakas had three hits and three RBI for Kansas City, which finished with 15 hits overall. Alex Gordon and Billy Butler had two RBI apiece.
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Verlander, the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, was charged with eight earned runs, matching his career high, in 5 2/3 innings. It was the third time in Verlander's career he had surrendered eight earned runs and first since April 6, 2009, at Toronto.
After striking out his first two hitters, Verlander allowed seven runs on 10 hits to the next 13 batters, throwing 56 pitches in the first two innings. The Royals batted around in a four-run second.
"Clearly, I wasn't good enough," Verlander said. "I need to pitch better. I didn't pitch as badly as the numbers show, but definitely need to throw the ball better, especially when our guys jumped out and gave me three [runs] early.
"Obviously, I'm not just shrugging this game off. It's disappointing. That's probably the one word I'd use to describe today. Now, it's over. We gave ourselves a chance to win, we battled hard and showed resiliency but couldn't quite squeak it out."
Manager Jim Leyland had the bullpen warming up in the second, a sight seldom seen in a Verlander start.
"I was watching him," Leyland said. "He's got to pitch in a big game Sunday [against the White Sox]. Today just wasn't his day. That happens."
Jhonny Peralta hit a tying solo home run for Detroit in the eighth, but the Royals responded in the bottom half.
Butler singled with one out for his third hit of the game and was replaced by Lorenzo Cain, who swiped second. Salvador Perez then fouled out against Brayan Villarreal (3-4) and Phil Coke came in to face Moustakas, who doubled down the right-field line to give the Royals a 9-8 lead.
Aaron Crow (3-1) got the win despite allowing Peralta's 10th home run and Greg Holland worked out of a jam to earn his eighth save in 10 opportunities.
Austin Jackson led off the Detroit ninth with a walk and advanced to third on a groundout and wild pitch. After Miguel Cabrera struck out and Prince Fielder was walked intentionally, Delmon Young hit Holland's next pitch just outside the right-field pole. Leyland wanted it reviewed and after looking at replays, it was ruled a foul ball. Young lined out to left on the next pitch.
Jackson went 3 for 3 and scored three times for the Tigers, who stayed two games back of the AL Central-leading White Sox. Fielder and Young each had two RBI.
Gordon doubled and scored in the first, then doubled home two runs in the second. It was his fifth consecutive multihit game and gave him a major league-leading 44 doubles.
Perez's second double in the sixth scored Jarrod Dyson and chased Verlander after he yielded 12 hits, one shy of his career high set Aug. 11, 2006, against the Chicago White Sox in his rookie season.
The Royals' 2-through-6 hitters -- Alcides Escobar, Gordon, Butler, Perez and Moustakas -- combined for 12 hits and nine RBI. Moustakas began the day mired in a 1-for-23 skid.
Verlander entered with a 9-2 record and a 1.83 ERA in 13 career starts at Kauffman Stadium and a 14-2 overall record against the Royals.
Detroit scored three times in the first. Andy Dirks doubled in Jackson and scored on Young's two-out home run off Luis Mendoza.
"It's always nice to have a cushion like that in the first," Verlander said. "Then before you can blink, it's a tie game. That's what happens at this level. Things can happen in a hurry."
The Royals responded with three runs in the bottom half, capped by Moustakas' two-run single.
Mendoza gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings.
Royals LHP Bruce Chen will start Wednesday against the Tigers. Chen received treatment after rolling his right ankle when he stepped on a ball in the outfield Monday at Boston in pregame drills. ... Royals minor-league 1B Mark Donato, a 26th-round pick in June, received a 50-game suspension from the commissioner's office after testing positive for an amphetamine. Donato was hitting .253 with three home runs in 38 games for Surprise in the rookie Arizona League.
|Players of the Game|
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|Austin Jackson, CF||3||3||3||0||2||0||0||.307|
|Andy Dirks, RF||5||1||1||1||0||1||3||.333|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||5||1||2||1||0||1||2||.325|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||3||1||1||2||2||0||1||.311|
|Delmon Young, DH||5||1||1||2||0||2||5||.271|
|Alex Avila, C||4||0||1||1||0||3||0||.252|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.256|
|Omar Infante, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.283|
|Quintin Berry, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.268|
|2B - Andy Dirks (15, Mendoza), Prince Fielder (26, Mendoza)|
|HR - Delmon Young (15, Mendoza), Jhonny Peralta (10, Crow)|
|RBI - Andy Dirks (26), Miguel Cabrera (107), Prince Fielder 2 (93), Delmon Young 2 (54), Alex Avila (38), Jhonny Peralta (52)|
|2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera (39), Delmon Young 2 (25), Alex Avila (17)|
|SB - Austin Jackson (11, 2nd base off Herrera/Perez)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Brayan Villarreal (L,3-4)||1.2||2||1||1||1||2||0||2.28|
|IBB - Butler by Justin Verlander, Francoeur by Phil Coke|
|Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 120-80, Darin Downs 2-2, Brayan Villarreal 25-18, Phil Coke 12-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 7-4|
|Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 32, Darin Downs 1, Brayan Villarreal 8, Phil Coke 3|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Jarrod Dyson, CF||3||2||1||0||2||1||1||.270|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||5||1||2||1||0||1||2||.302|
|Alex Gordon, LF||5||2||2||2||0||2||3||.297|
|Billy Butler, DH||4||1||3||2||1||1||0||.308|
|Lorenzo Cain, PR-DH||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.244|
|Salvador Perez, C||5||1||2||1||0||0||2||.297|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||5||0||3||3||0||0||2||.250|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||0||0||0||1||2||3||.232|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||4||0||0||0||1||2||2||.239|
|Johnny Giavotella, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.233|
|2B - Alex Gordon 2 (44, Verlander, Verlander), Salvador Perez 2 (13, Verlander, Verlander), Mike Moustakas (26, Coke)|
|RBI - Alcides Escobar (42), Alex Gordon 2 (57), Billy Butler 2 (83), Salvador Perez (24), Mike Moustakas 3 (63)|
|2-OUT RBI - Billy Butler (30), Salvador Perez (10), Mike Moustakas 3 (31)|
|SB - Lorenzo Cain (6, 2nd base off Villarreal/Avila), Johnny Giavotella (1, 2nd base off Villarreal/Avila)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Kelvin Herrera (H,16)||1.2||2||1||1||0||2||0||2.66|
|Aaron Crow (BS,6; W,3-1)||1.1||1||1||1||0||3||1||3.52|
|Greg Holland (S,8)||1||0||0||0||2||1||0||2.89|
|IBB - Fielder by Greg Holland|
|WP - Kelvin Herrera (3), Greg Holland (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Luis Mendoza 82-50, Kelvin Herrera 26-17, Tim Collins 6-2, Aaron Crow 20-13, Greg Holland 24-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luis Mendoza 5-6, Kelvin Herrera 3-0, Aaron Crow 1-0, Greg Holland 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Luis Mendoza 23, Kelvin Herrera 7, Tim Collins 1, Aaron Crow 5, Greg Holland 5|
|Attendance - 13601|
|Game Time - 3:30|
|Temperature - 94|
|Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Manny Gonzalez, Third Base - Greg Gibson|