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Verlander helps Tigers remain perfect against Royals

DETROIT (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals can't seem to figure out
Justin Verlander.

Verlander allowed two hits over seven innings and Placido
Polanco drove in three runs to help the Detroit Tigers beat Kansas
City 6-0 Saturday night.

"He continues to make progress," Tigers manager Jim Leyland
said of Verlander. "That doesn't mean you're going to pitch good
every time out. He's a young guy that's done a very nice job for
us."

Ivan Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with an RBI for Detroit, which owns
the majors' best record at 62-29. The Tigers moved 4½ games ahead
of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central and improved to 11-0
against Kansas City this season.

Verlander (11-4) walked two and struck out six. He retired 11
consecutive batters from the third to the seventh innings, before
Matt Stairs reached base on catcher's interference with one out in
the seventh.

In his only other start against the Royals this season,
Verlander struck out seven and walked one in a five-hit shutout on
May 22.

"He didn't look any different than he did in May," Royals
manager Buddy Bell said.

Kansas City put two runners on against Verlander in the second
and seventh but he retired Esteban German to get out of both
innings. German grounded into an inning-ending double play in the
second and grounded out in the seventh.

"That was big. It was first and third and it would have given
them a run (in the seventh)and maybe some momentum so it was a big
inning for us," Verlander said. "To be able to get through that
put us into the eighth inning up six. I was pretty excited about
that."

Jamie Walker relieved Verlander and pitched two innings to
complete the three-hitter.

Jimmy Gobble (3-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in five
innings for Kansas City. He struck out six and walked two.

"They're a good-hitting team," Gobble said. "I was just
trying to minimize the damage as much as possible."

Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the second on Brandon Inge's two-out
RBI double. It scored Omar Infante, who had led off with a single
and moved to second on a walk.

Marcus Thames singled in a run in the third and Polanco's
two-run double in the fourth made it 4-0. Polanco's drive into the
left-center field gap scored Chris Shelton, who led off with a
single, and Inge, who walked.

Detroit added two more in the sixth on Polanco's sacrifice fly
and Rodriguez's RBI single.
^Notes:@ Detroit SS Carlos Guillen wasn't in the lineup because he's
"a little banged up," according to Leyland. With the team having
an off day on Monday, Leyland is giving Guillen two-of-three days
off. ... Kansas City SS Tony Graffanino was 1-for-3 to stretch his
hitting streak to nine games (14-for-33). ... The game featured a
Negro League tribute, with Detroit wearing the jerseys of the
Detroit Stars and Kansas City donning those of the Kansas City
Monarchs. ... The game was played before an announced sellout crowd
of 40,210.