Valverde earned his 24th straight save. He saved all three of the victories against KC.
It was 95 degrees with a heat index of 105 when the game started and 97, 112 by the sixth inning.
Francis retired the first nine Tigers but Casper Wells doubled leading off the fourth and made it 1-0 on an RBI single by Brennan Boesch. In the sixth, Wells walked, went to second with his first career steal and came home on Magglio Ordonez's RBI single.
Verlander, as usual against KC, was dominant most of the hot, sticky afternoon.
After Butler singled leading off the second, struggling rookie Mike Moustakas broke an 0 for 21 streak with a two-out single into right. But Verlander ended the threat by striking out Brayan Pena. Jeff Francoeur singled to start the Royals fifth, went to second on a wild pitch and to third on Moustakas' roller to first. But Verlander kept him there by striking out Pena and retiring Escobar on an easy infield grounder.
"It was a really well-pitched game. We just matched up against a really good pitcher," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "We did what we wanted to do, we wanted to keep it close and have a chance to win it late, we just couldn't push the run across."
NOTES: Verlander's pitch hit Escobar on the inside of his right arm in the third inning but home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi refused to let him take first, apparently ruling the ball had glanced off the bat. Replays clearly showed the ball hitting Escobar. The batter and manager Ned Yost argued in vain.... Morris was 18-11 after winning 12 games in '87 before the break. ... Melky Cabrera's sixth-inning single stretched his hitting streak to nine games.
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