DETROIT (AP) — James Shields allowed two hits over seven innings in another terrific performance, and the Kansas City Royals edged Detroit 3-0 on Wednesday night to take a one-game lead over the Tigers atop the AL Central.
Shields (14-7) gave up a single to Ian Kinsler leading off the first. Then he picked off Kinsler — and retired every other batter he faced until another Detroit single in the seventh. The Tigers put two on that inning, but Shields worked out of the jam.
Kelvin Herrera pitched the eighth and Wade Davis finished for his third save.
Rick Porcello (15-11) pitched well for the Tigers, but Kansas City pushed across two runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain.
Alcides Escobar added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
BRAVES 6, NATIONALS 2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Aaron Harang outdueled Stephen Strasburg, Justin Upton drove in three runs and the Atlanta Braves avoided a series sweep in Washington with a win over the Nationals.
The Braves snapped a three-game losing streak as Harang (11-10) held the NL East leaders to one unearned run over seven innings. Upton’s RBI single in the sixth broke a 1-all tie, and he added a two-run double off reliever Ryan Mattheus during a three-run seventh.
Strasburg (11-11) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. Bryce Harper homered for Washington, which had won three straight.
B.J. Upton homered for the wild card-contending Braves. Washington leads Atlanta by eight games in the division.
PIRATES 6, PHILLIES 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Andrew McCutchen hit the first inside-the-park home run of his career and the Pittsburgh Pirates protected their lead in the NL wild-card race, beating Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh has won six of seven.
Pittsburgh trailed 3-2 in the fifth inning when McCutchen hit a ball off the wall in straightaway center field. The ball ricocheted toward the alley in right-center, and McCutchen scored standing up. Russell Martin homered into the center-field seats later in the inning.
Vance Worley (7-4), traded by the Phillies after the 2012 season, won in his return to Philadelphia. Four relievers combined for four hitless innings, and Mark Melancon got his 28th save.
Jerome Williams (3-1) contributed a two-run single.
YANKEES 8, RAYS 5
NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Teixeira made up for a botched foul pop in the Rays’ four-run first inning with a go-ahead triple in the fifth, Brian McCann homered and drove in three runs, and the Yankees used their biggest comeback of the season to beat Tampa Bay.
The Yankees entered 5 1/2 games out of a playoff spot with 20 remaining, and they did not get off to a good start.
Teixeira overran leadoff batter Ben Zobrist’s foul ball behind first base for no play. Zobrist then singled for his 1,000th career hit. Five of the next six Rays reached before Chris Capuano was lifted in the shortest start of his career. By the end of the 30-minute top of the first, New York trailed 4-0.
McCann homered in the bottom half to end Jake Odorizzi’s scoreless streak at 14 1-3 innings.
REDS 4, CARDINALS 2
CINCINNATI (AP) — Alfredo Simon shook off a rough start but lasted seven innings and drove in the go-ahead run with the second of his two doubles as the Reds rallied for a win over the Cardinals.
Ryan Ludwick hit a solo home run to help the Reds win back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 27-28 against the Chicago Cubs. The Central Division-leading Cardinals hadn’t sustained consecutive defeats since a four-game losing streak from Aug. 26-30.
Simon (14-10) allowed five hits and two runs with three walks and five strikeouts for his second win in eight decisions over 11 starts since the All-Star break.
Sam LeCure and Ryan Dennick pitched the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman worked a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.
Terry Lyons (0-4) took the loss after Cardinals starter John Lackey was ejected in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes.
METS 2, ROCKIES 0
NEW YORK (AP) — Rafael Montero earned his first major league win, Eric Young Jr. went 3 for 3 with an RBI triple and the suddenly surging Mets beat the Rockies for their fourth consecutive victory.
Montero (1-3) returned from the minors and allowed three hits over 5 1-3 innings in his seventh big league start. Juan Lagares had a sacrifice fly for the Mets, who have won seven of eight.
New York finished a three-game sweep of last-place Colorado, winning the final two by identical scores behind Montero and fellow rookie Jacob deGrom.
Montero did not give up a hit until a fifth-inning double by Rockies starter Tyler Matzek. The right-hander struck out seven and walked two, throwing 106 pitches in his first major league start since Aug. 17.
Mets rookie Dilson Herrera worked a two-out walk against Matzek (5-10) in the second. Young followed with a drive to right-center that just glanced off the glove of center fielder Drew Stubbs, scoring Herrera.
BLUE JAYS 11, CUBS 1
TORONTO (AP) — Drew Hutchison matched his career-high with 10 strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings, Dioner Navarro had two hits and two RBIs, and the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep with a win over the Cubs.
Hutchison (10-11) allowed one run and four hits in his second career 10-strikeout game — both this season. He also did it against Milwaukee on July 1.
Jorge Soler’s seventh-inning homer provided the only run for the Cubs, who matched a season-worst with their sixth straight loss. At 64-82, they are ensured of a fifth straight losing season. It is the first time they have had five consecutive seasons below .500 since six straight from 1978-83.
Chicago has been outscored 48-10 during its losing streak.
Jose Bautista went 0 for 2 with two walks, snapping his hitting streak at 13 games, but the Blue Jays improved to 7-2 in September.
ORIOLES 10, RED SOX 6
BOSTON (AP) — Wei-Yin Chen pitched perfect ball into the sixth inning, Adam Jones helped provide an early cushion and the Orioles beat the Red Sox for a three-game sweep.
The Orioles took an 8-0 lead in the fifth and maintained their double-digit lead atop the AL East.
Caleb Joseph homered and drove in three runs and Ryan Flaherty got a career-high four hits as Baltimore won for the 11th time in 14 games.
Chen (15-4) retired the first 16 batters before Dan Butler doubled off the Green Monster for his first major league hit. Chen gave up one run and three hits in seven innings, striking out four without a walk.
Boston scored five runs in the ninth. Darren O’Day got the last out with two runners on for his third save.
Brandon Workman (1-9) lost his ninth straight decision since winning at Baltimore on June 10.
ANGELS 8, RANGERS 1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Albert Pujols opened the scoring with his first triple in more than four years, rookie Matt Shoemaker had another strong start, and the Angels beat the Rangers.
Pujols almost made it two straight triples, only to change his mind as he rounded second. He was then tagged out trying to get back to the base and finished a home run shy of the cycle.
The AL West-leading Angels (90-55), who are nine games up on Oakland after the A’s lost at the Chicago White Sox, were the first team in the majors to 90 wins with their season-high seventh straight victory.
Shoemaker (15-4) set a franchise rookie record for victories by winning his sixth straight decision.
Texas right-hander Nick Tepesch (4-10) has just one win in 12 starts.
WHITE SOX 2, ATHLETICS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Avisail Garcia drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning, and the White Sox beat the struggling Athletics.
The Athletics were in line for the win after Jeff Samardzija threw seven scoreless innings, and Adam Dunn singled in a run against his former team.
Instead, they lost for the 10th time in 13 games because the bullpen failed again to protect a lead.
Luke Gregerson (4-4) came on in the eighth, and things quickly fell apart.
It was the third time in four games that the Athletics’ bullpen blew a lead.
BREWERS 4, MARLINS 1
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rookie Matt Clark hit his first career home run, Wily Peralta pitched into the seventh inning, and the Brewers beat the Marlins.
Peralta (16-10) gave up one earned run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings to help Milwaukee snap a four-game losing streak and win for just the second time in its last 15 games. The right-hander also had an RBI for the Brewers, who remained 1 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh for the second wild-card spot.
Francisco Rodriguez got the last three outs to reach 40 saves for the fifth time in his career.
Miami’s Jarred Cosart (4-2) allowed an earned run and four hits in six innings, striking out seven. He had won his last four decisions.
Marcell Ozuna hit his 22nd home run of the season to lead off the seventh for Miami.
ASTROS 5, MARINERS 2
SEATTLE (AP) — Jose Altuve had two hits and an RBI and the Astros damaged the Mariners post-season hopes.
Altuve had a RBI double in the fifth and a single in the seventh for his league-leading 200th hit. He is the second Astros player to accomplish the feat, joining Craig Biggio — who set the franchise record of 210 in 1998. Altuve leads the American League in hitting at .337, hits and steals with 52.
The Mariners, who lost two of three in the series, remained a half-game behind Detroit for the American League’s second wild-card spot.
Nick Tropeano (1-0), making his major league debut, held the Mariners in check for his five innings. Tony Sipp finished the ninth for his fourth save in five opportunities.
DODGERS 4, PADRES 0
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dan Haren tossed seven sharp innings to give the Dodgers four pitchers with 13 wins for the first time in 19 years, and Los Angeles beat the Padres.
Haren (13-10) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked one.
He joined Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke as the first quartet with at least that many wins since Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela, Jerry Reuss and Bob Welch in 1985.
Carl Crawford had a season-high four hits, including three doubles, and Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe added RBI singles as the Dodgers finished 12-7 against San Diego this season.
GIANTS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Four pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout and Gregor Blanco had an RBI double as part of a four-run seventh inning that sent the Giants to a win over the Diamondbacks.
Hunter Pence drew a leadoff walk from Arizona reliever Oliver Perez (3-4) to jump-start the Giants offense. Blanco fell behind 1-2 and fouled off two consecutive pitches before lining a double past diving first baseman Mark Trumbo. Diamondbacks right fielder Alfredo Marte fumbled the ball as it ricocheted off the wall near Arizona’s bullpen, allowing Pence to score without a throw.
Pinch-hitter Matt Duffy then doubled off Evan Marshall to drive in Blanco.
Jean Machi (7-1) retired the only batter he faced for the win.
The Giants remained 2 1-2 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West.