Aug 12, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) is tagged out by Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) while trying to score in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Playoff Race: Idle Kansas City Royals Gain Ground

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The Kansas City Royals added 1/2 game to their A.L. Central lead, despite enjoying an off day Thursday, thanks to Detroit’s 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay. The Royals now hold a 1.5 game lead on the Tigers.

There were only 4 active games in the American League on Thursday: Detroit vs. Tampa Bay, Cleveland vs. Minnesota, Los Angeles vs. Boston and the Yankees vs. Houston.

The Kansas City Royals announced that C Salvador Perez had a “pre-cautionary” MRI on his sore knee, which can’t help but make fans nervous after Eric Hosmer‘s hand injury turned out being more serious than originally thought.

While the Royals have done an admirable job of adjusting to Hosmer’s absence, losing Salvy for any significant length of time would be a serious blow to KC’s playoff drive.

The Royals dodged a bullet when Perez’s MRI came back clean.

Whew.

A.L. CENTRAL

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 KCR 70 56 .556 L 1 33-28 37-28 17-21 50-38 20-18 38-35 32-21 7-3 22-8
2 DET 68 57 .544 1.5 L 1 33-29 35-28 19-18 43-39 25-18 36-33 32-24 5-5 14-16
3 CLE 64 62 .508 6.0 L 1 37-24 27-38 18-17 48-42 16-20 31-38 33-24 7-3 15-15
4 CHW 59 68 .465 11.5 L 3 31-32 28-36 21-19 42-51 17-17 36-41 23-27 4-6 13-17
5 MIN 56 70 .444 14.0 W 1 27-35 29-35 17-19 38-46 18-24 34-46 22-24 4-6 12-18

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Tigers behind a 2-hit shutout from Alex Cobb (who has recovered nicely from getting hit in the head by an Eric Hosmer line drive last season). LF Bradon Guyer drove in the game’s only run with a 1st inning triple following an error that put Ben Zobrist on first.

Thank you Tigers’ defense.

Cobb’s performance made a hard-luck loser out of former Ray David Price, who only surrendered 1 unearned run in 8.0 innings while striking out 9.

Cleveland also lost ground when they lost 4-1 to Minnesota. Twins starter Phil Hughes continued his strong year to notch his 14th win against 8 losses this season.

A.L. WILD CARD

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 LAA 76 50 .603 41-23 35-27 23-18 55-34 21-16 32-37 44-13 8-2 18-12
2  OAK 74 52 .587 41-22 33-30 17-17 54-37 20-15 41-33 33-19 2-8 14-16
3 BAL 73 52 .584 34-26 39-26 25-18 52-37 21-15 42-35 31-17 7-3 21-9
4 KCR 70 56 .556 33-28 37-28 17-21 50-38 20-18 38-35 32-21 7-3 22-8
5  DET 68 57 .544 33-29 35-28 19-18 43-39 25-18 36-33 32-24 5-5 14-16
6  SEA 68 58 .540 0.5 34-32 34-26 14-23 41-41 27-17 39-28 29-30 7-3 17-13
7  NYY 64 61 .512 4.0 30-31 34-30 20-16 47-43 17-18 31-33 33-28 3-7 16-14
8  TOR 65 62 .512 4.0 33-26 32-36 11-12 48-46 17-16 33-38 32-24 4-6 16-14
9  CLE 64 62 .508 4.5 37-24 27-38 18-17 48-42 16-20 31-38 33-24 7-3 15-15
10  TBR 62 65 .488 7.0 29-36 33-29 18-16 46-48 16-17 36-49 26-16 5-5 18-12

The hard-charging Los Angeles Angels, who have taken over the A.L. West lead, suffered a severe blow Thursday when they lost ace Garrett Richards (13-4, 2.61 ERA) for 6-9 months when an MRI revealed a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. The Angels called up starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc from AAA, but are likely to seek veteran help through a waiver-wire deal for a pitcher.

Seattle, like Kansas City, was idle on Thursday—which means that the Royals remain 2 games ahead of them for the 2nd wild card position.

The Yankees, Toronto, and Cleveland remain bunched at 5.5-6.0 games behind Kansas City, with Tampa Bay hanging on the the fringe of the race at 8.5 games back. The Rays will have to get hot soon if they are going to make some noise.

The Yankees beat the Astros 3-0 behind a complete-game shutout from journeyman Brandon McCarthy (8-12). Deadline acquisition Chase Headley‘s 2-run double was the big blow in New York’s 3-run 2nd.

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Tags: Eric Hosmer Kansas City Royals Salvador Perez

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