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KC's Butler singles out Verlander during ABs

KC's Butler singles out Verlander during ABs

KC's Butler singles out Verlander during ABs play video for KC's Butler singles out Verlander during ABs

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander's season has had plenty of ups and downs. Billy Butler's success off of him, though, is a constant.

The Royals designated hitter lined two more singles off Verlander in a 2-1 win over the Tigers in Friday afternoon's opener of a day-night doubleheader, improving to 27-for-62 (.435) for his career against the Tigers ace. His only out was a well-struck line out to right field. Just two other hitters with at least 50 plate appearances against Verlander are batting at least .300 against him: Joe Mauer (23-for-62, .371), Ichiro Suzuki (20-for-65, .308).

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Verlander seemingly had figured out Butler for a couple years, holding him to 3-for-13 from 2010-11. He's 13-for-23 since, all of the hits singles. The saving grace for Verlander is that Butler has just two career homers off of him.

"I didn't throw him very good pitches [Friday], but obviously he puts good swings on my pitches," Verlander said. "But here's a guy with nobody on, he hits a single and it's probably going to take either a single and a double or three hits to score him. He's not the fleetest afoot. He's not going to steal a base. It's not the end-all be-all, and most of his hits off me have been singles."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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