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Royals beat Indians 2-0, gain on Tigers

September 23, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) — Danny Duffy pushed the Royals a little closer to the top in the AL Central and nearer their first playoff appearance in 29 years with a 2-0 win over the Indians on Monday night.

Duffy pitched six shutout innings for his first win in more than a month as Kansas City moved within one game of first-place Detroit and kept some distance over Cleveland in the wild-card race.

Duffy (9-11) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first and held the Indians to six hits. The left-hander had been sidelined since Sept. 6 with a sore shoulder.

“I wasn’t feeling any pressure,” Duffy said. “I tried to simplify things and not think about the race we’re in.”

Greg Holland worked the ninth for his 44th save as the Royals, seeking their first postseason appearance since 1985, earned an unusual split and moved within one game of the Tigers, who lost 2-0 at home to the White Sox. The loss assured Detroit would start a division series on the road, even if it wins the AL Central.

Earlier, the Royals lost 4-3 in 10 innings in a game suspended Aug. 31 in Kansas City.

“It was a good day for us,” manager Ned Yost said. “We wanted to get that suspended game behind us. We knew that was looming over our heads. It’s like we’ve been saying, nobody knows what’s going to happen.”

Carlos Carrasco (8-6) couldn’t keep the momentum going for the Indians, who remain 3 1-2 games out in the wild card and are quickly running out of time.

The Athletics kept hold of their top AL wild-card spot by beating the West champion Angels 8-4 at Oakland. The A’s moved one game ahead of Kansas City for the first wild card.

At New York, Derek Jeter began his final series at Yankee Stadium by breaking open the game with a two-run double, and he had three RBIs to lead the Yankees to a 5-0 win over Orioles.

Michael Pineda retired his first 13 batters before J.J. Hardy singled sharply to left field, pitching 7 1-3 innings and combining with three relievers on a one-hitter. Jose Pirela, the Yankees’ team-record 57th player this season, became New York’s first player in 34 years to triple in his first big league at-bat. He went 2 for 3 with the go-ahead RBI.

Despite the loss, AL East champion Baltimore clinched home-field advantage in an AL division series starting Oct. 2 when Detroit lost to the White Sox.

The Cardinals had an 8-0 win over the Cubs, with Adam Wainwright joining Clayton Kershaw as the majors’ only 20-game winners, pitching three-hit ball over seven innings.

Wainwright hit the 20-win mark for the second time while matching his career-high for victories, and the Cardinals moved a step closer toward their second straight division title.

They remained 2 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh in the NL Central with five to play.

The Pirates edged the Braves 1-0 at Atlanta, with Andrew McCutchen hitting a homer and Francisco Liriano winning his fourth straight start, to move closer to a postseason berth.

The Pirates, winners in 10 of their last 12, have a five-game lead over Milwaukee with six games remaining for both teams. Any combination of two Pittsburgh wins or Brewers losses will guarantee the Pirates at least a spot in the NL wild-card game for the second straight year.

San Francisco beat the first-place Dodgers 5-2 with pinch-hitter Andrew Susac singling home the go-ahead run in the 13th inning, helping the Giants to climb within 3 1/2 games of the NL West lead.

Susac singled to left field off Kevin Correia (2-4), scoring Brandon Belt. San Francisco tacked on two more runs to take a 5-2 lead on Gregor Blanco’s double.

Blanco homered and scored twice for the Giants, who snapped a three-game skid and remained tied with Pittsburgh for the two NL wild-card slots. San Francisco can clinch a playoff berth Tuesday night with a win and a Milwaukee loss.

At Toronto, Jose Bautista homered and reached base four times as the Blue Jayes thumped the Mariners 14-4, dealing a blow to Seattle’s wild card hopes.

The Rangers opened their final homestand with a 4-3 win over the Astros. Rougned Odor had a three-run triple for Texas, which won for the ninth time in its last 10 games.

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