KANSAS C -

Justin Verlander makes his first start of the second half of the season Saturday, when he leads the Detroit Tigers into the second contest of their three-game series against the host Kansas City Royals. Verlander won 10 games before the All-Star break but was not always his dominant self, posting an ERA nearly a run higher than his 2012 mark.

The former American League MVP yielded just one hit in seven scoreless innings against the Texas Rangers in his last start before the break. Kansas City's Ervin Santana put forth a similar line Friday, tossing 7 1/3 sensational frames to lead the Royals to a 1-0 win in the series opener. It was Kansas City's fourth victory in its last five meetings with Detroit and pulled the club within seven games of the first-place Tigers in the AL Central.

By SportsDirect Inc.