Verlander (16-8) won for the fourth time in five starts, limiting the Royals to a pair of runs on nine hits. The Tigers ace didn't issue a walk and struck out eight.
Prince Fielder went 2-for-4 with a long solo homer and Andy Dirks knocked in a pair of runs for the second-place Tigers, who came into the contest trailing the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox by one game.
Austin Jackson went 3-for-4 with an RBI as Detroit took the opener of a four-game series, bouncing back from a doubleheader defeat at the hands of Minnesota Sunday.
Royals starter Luke Hochevar (8-15) was rocked for six runs (five earned) on 12 hits over 7 1/3 innings.