Against the high-powered Tigers offense, Danny Duffy held his own, but Justin Verlander frustrated the Royals offense all night and a late rally fell just short as the Tigers took the series-opener 3-2 on Monday night.
Duffy gave up three runs over 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven batters, but Justin Verlander was more masterful. The reigning AL MVP gave up one run on five hits through eight innings and the Tigers let him go out for the ninth with a 3-1 lead. The Royals scored a run on a Humberto Quintero single to cut the deficit to one and Kansas City loaded the bases with two outs. But Alex Gordon struck out looking, ending the game.
Billy Butler went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Mitch Maier went 2-for-3 with a walk. Aaron Crow and Greg Holland didn't give up a hit in 2 1/3 combined innings out of the bullpen for Kansas City, which moved to 0-4 at home this season.