KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Max Scherzer wrote his name into the Detroit Tigers history books.
Scherzer pitched seven sharp innings to become the first Tigers starter to begin the season 9-0 since Vern Kennedy in 1938.
"It's nice," Scherzer said. "Don't get me wrong -- I love being 9-0, but it's more important that we won. For me, it's all about going out there and pitching deep into the game and effective.
"If we score in the ninth, I don't get the win. It's kind of fluky sometimes that stat can relate to pitching. The way I look at success is how well I pitch."
Don Kelly, who had two hits and drove in a run, praised Scherzer's accomplishment.
"He deserves it," Kelly said. "He's been throwing the ball really well. It started last year. He really turned it on and carried it over to this year. He's throwing all of his pitches for strikes, getting ahead of guys. He's tough to hit."
He limited the Royals to three hits and two runs, while striking out six and walking two.
Aaron Crow (2-2), a college teammate of Scherzer's at Missouri, took the loss after pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.
"We're buds," Scherzer said. "We played at Missouri together. I'm a junior and he's a freshman. So I always have a leg up on him."
Crow hit Miguel Cabrera with a pitch to start the eighth. Cabrera advanced to third on Prince Fielder's single to right on a full count and scored on Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly to left. That was the first run allowed by the Royals' bullpen in 21 innings.
Jose Valverde struggled in the ninth inning for his ninth save in 11 opportunities.
Valverde struck out Billy Butler looking on a full-count pitch. Butler was ejected by plate umpire Jordan Baker for arguing the call. Valverde then retired Lorenzo Cain on an infield popup and David Lough on a grounder.
"I didn't think it was close when it happened and I came back and looked at it again and it was even more [inside] than I thought it was," Butler said. "He told me it was on the plate. Especially in that situation, we'd have first and second with no outs, I lost my cool."
Crow was summoned to face Torii Hunter and struck him out on four pitches to end the inning.
Don Kelly's single in the second scored Martinez with the first Detroit run. Infante scored on Andy Dirks' fielder's choice ground out in the fifth.
"The first at-bat I saw three pitches and struck out; they were all fastballs," Lough said. "In the second at-bat he gave me a changeup up and I hit it out. It felt pretty good but we didn't get the win. Whether it was out or off the wall I was thinking 'three' right off the bat."
- OF Austin Jackson went 1 for 3 with a strikeout and an RBI and played five innings in center field in his second rehab game with Triple-A Toledo. Jackson is on the disabled list with a pulled left hamstring, but could be activated Friday. "We have to make sure he's ready to hit up here," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We'll have to see where his timing is. Hopefully he'll have no issues physically."
- The Royals signed LHP Cody Reed, their second-round pick, for $1.19 million. Reed was 8-3 with a 2.39 ERA with Northwest Mississippi.
- Royals RHP James Shields, who starts Wednesday, is winless in seven starts since an April 30 victory against Tampa Bay.
- Royals RHP Felipe Paulino, who had reconstructive elbow surgery last year, threw five scoreless innings and allowed two hits Tuesday in his first minor-league rehab start. He was 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in seven starts last season with Kansas City before the injury.
Copyright 2013 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.