Justin Verlander pitched eight strong innings, and Prince Fielder had two hits, including his 28th homer, as the Tigers defeated the visiting Royals 6-2 Monday night to start a four-game series.

Verlander (16-8) won for the 15th time in 17 career decisions against the Royals, throwing 114 pitches -- 89 for strikes. The right-hander struck out eight while allowing nine hits and two runs.