Aug 23, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (11) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Playoff Race: Jeremy Guthrie helps Royals continue to Roll

Jeremy Guthrie held the Texas Rangers to 1 run in 8 innings as the Kansas City Royals took their 2nd straight game from the Rangers Saturday night in Arlington. Kansas City gained a .5 game on the Tigers, who split a double header with the Twins to take a 3 game lead in the Central.

Guthrie evened his record to 10-10 with the win.

Omar Infante‘s 2 RBI single with the bases loaded capped a 3-run 5th inning that gave Kansas City a 4-1 lead. Jarrod also had 3 RBI’s in the game, including a bases-loaded walk in the 5th and a 2 RBI single in the 7th. Alex Gordon continues his hot hitting by smacking a solo home run in the 1st (15).

The only downside from the day was the continued inability of Kansas City’s 2nd tier relievers to hold down opponents. Aaron Crow pitched the 9th inning and gave up a 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk. He did, however, manage to finish out the game without Ned Yost having to call on Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, or Greg Holland.

Rest is a good thing.

The Royals are a ridiculous 17-4 in August.

Unreal.

A.L. CENTRAL

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 KCR 71 56 .559 W 1 33-28 38-28 17-21 51-38 20-18 38-35 33-21 7-3 23-7
2 DET 68 58 .540 2.5 L 2 33-29 35-29 19-18 43-39 25-19 36-33 32-25 5-5 13-17
3 CLE 64 63 .504 7.0 L 2 37-25 27-38 18-17 48-43 16-20 31-38 33-25 6-4 14-16
4 CHW 59 69 .461 12.5 L 4 31-32 28-37 21-20 42-52 17-17 36-42 23-27 3-7 12-18
5 MIN 57 70 .449 14.0 W 2 28-35 29-35 17-19 38-46 19-24 35-46 22-24 4-6 13-17

Detroit split a double header with the Twins, losing 12-4 in the opener when someone named Buck Farmer started for the Tigers and promptly got bombed. The Tigers won the second game behind a wobbly Justin Verlander who allowed 4 runs in 5.2 innings. Though he evened his record at 11-11, Verlander is not the same guy that has dominated hitters over the last 5 years.

Which is good news for Kansas City fans.

With Anibal Sanchez on the shelf, Verlander pitching like a bottom of the rotation filler, and the Tigers trading off Doug Fisster, the Royals now have the division’s best pitching staff. That would have been hard to believe as recently as the July 31 trading deadline, when the Tigers added David Price to create a staff boasting the last 3 A.L. Cy Young winners (Price, Scherzer, Verlander) and last season’s ERA leader (Sanchez).

Cleveland defeated Houston 3-2 to remain 7 games behind Kansas City.

A.L. WILD CARD

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 LAA 76 51 .598 L 1 41-23 35-28 23-18 55-35 21-16 32-38 44-13 8-2 17-13
2  OAK 75 52 .591 W 1 42-22 33-30 17-17 54-37 21-15 42-33 33-19 3-7 15-15
3 BAL 73 53 .579 L 1 34-26 39-27 25-18 52-38 21-15 42-35 31-18 6-4 20-10
4 KCR 71 56 .559 W 1 33-28 38-28 17-21 51-38 20-18 38-35 33-21 7-3 23-7
5  SEA 69 58 .543 W 1 34-32 35-26 14-23 42-41 27-17 39-28 30-30 7-3 17-13
6  DET 68 58 .540 0.5 L 2 33-29 35-29 19-18 43-39 25-19 36-33 32-25 5-5 13-17
7  NYY 65 61 .516 3.5 W 2 31-31 34-30 21-16 47-43 18-18 31-33 34-28 4-6 16-14
8  TOR 65 63 .508 4.5 L 1 33-27 32-36 11-12 48-46 17-17 33-38 32-25 3-7 15-15
9  CLE 64 63 .504 5.0 L 2 37-25 27-38 18-17 48-43 16-20 31-38 33-25 6-4 14-16
10  TBR 63 65 .492 6.5 W 2 29-36 34-29 18-16 47-48 16-17 37-49 26-16 5-5 18-12

The Angels and A’s are locked into a 1st place showdown in the A.L. West. The A’s took the 2nd straight game to pull even with the Angels for the division lead. CJ Wilson and the A’s Jon Lester locked up in a tight pitchers duel, that the A’s won 2-1 when reliever Joe Smith uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the winning run to score from 3rd in the 8th inning.

Seattle beat up beleaguered Boston starter Brandon Workman for 7 runs and Dustin Ackley slammed his 9th home run to drive in 3 in the Mariners’  7-3 win.

Now, both the A’s and Angels are 4 games ahead of the Royals for the top wild card spot, with Seattle still in position for the 2nd wild card, 2 games behind the Royals.

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Tags: Alex Gordon Jarrod Dyson Jeremy Guthrie Kansas City Royals Omar Infante

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