The Detroit ace took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and won his fourth straight decision, leading the Tigers to a 9-4 win Sunday that completed a three-game sweep and extended their winning streak to a season-high five games.
“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.
“There’s nothing positive,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of this series. “We didn’t play well. They played great. We’ll have to find ways to swing the bats better. Verlander pitched like Verlander. He was changing speeds, had a good fastball when he needed it.”
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.”
“He had good offspeed stuff, and definitely a good fastball, it was moving,” Butler said. “He wasn’t giving in. He was locating. When he got in hitters’ counts, he wasn’t going to give in to the hitter. I think you can see that with the walks. He wasn’t just going to throw a fastball and say, ‘Hit it.’”
Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila homered for the Tigers, who had 16 hits, and Torii Hunter had three hits and three RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.