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Verlander whiffs seven over 8 1/3 frames

If history is a guide, you would have to say Justin Verlander has a decent chance to bounce back from his first loss since last July when he takes the mound against the Royals on Monday at Kauffman Stadium.

Verlander wasn't exactly roughed up in his last start Wednesday against Tampa Bay, giving up just four hits and four runs -- all in the ninth inning -- in 8 1/3 innings and taking the loss as the Rays rallied for a 4-2 victory.

He will be trying to get back on track against a Royals team he has dominated in his Major League career. Verlander is 13-2 lifetime against the Royals and hasn't lost to them since 2009.

He is 8-2 with a 1.82 ERA in 12 games at Kauffman Stadium. Verlander hasn't lost back-to-back starts since April 11 and 16 of last year, and he hasn't had back-to-back outings without a quality start since June 22 and 27, 2010.

Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said the Royals lineup Verlander will be facing is younger, but talented.

"I think they're a real good lineup, very good, a lot of good young players," Leyland said. "They have good players that are still young that have been there a while."

Of the present Royals, designated hitter Billy Butler has had the most success against Verlander.

Butler is hitting .359 (14-for-39) against the Tigers right-hander with four doubles, two homers and five RBIs.

On the other hand, Alex Gordon is hitting just .133 (4-for-30) with one homer and 11 strikeouts against Verlander.

Tigers: Leyland climbing wins leaderboard
Leyland is in his seventh season as the manager of the Tigers, compiling a 525-457 record (.535).

Sunday's 5-2 victory over the White Sox gave Leyland 1,594 wins during his managerial career, 18th-most all-time.

He is five wins shy of matching Tommy Lasorda's 1,599 wins. Leyland is tops among all active big league managers.

Royals: Duffy draws tough assignment
Left-hander Danny Duffy, Verlander's mound opponent Monday, faced Detroit three times last season as a rookie and was 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA. Both losses were at Kauffman Stadium, on July 7 and Aug. 6.

Worth noting
After a slow start, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is starting to heat up. Moustakas was hitting .091 through the first five games, but in the last five, he is hitting .350 (7-for-20) with six RBIs.

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