Jason Vargas. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Playoff Race: Jason Vargas lets Indians and Tigers Close In

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Kansas Ctty Royals starter Jason Vargas struggled through 6 innings, giving up 10 hits and 4 earned runs while getting no run support from Royals hitters in KC’s 6-1 loss to Cleveland Friday night. The Royals have now lost two games in a row.

The Royals attempted a belated comeback in the 9th inning, that only produced 1 run on Alcides Escobar‘s RBI single.

Recently recalled pitchers Scott Downs and Louis Coleman pitched scoreless innings, before Francisley Bueno surrendered a damaging 2-run shot to Carlos Santana in the top of the 9th that made the score an unreachable 6-0 deficit.

The Royals need to get things turned around very quickly, or their spectacular work during August will go to waste.

A.L. CENTRAL

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 KCR 74 60 .552 L 2 35-31 39-29 18-21 54-41 20-19 38-37 36-23 5-5 21-9
2 DET 73 60 .549 0.5 W 2 35-30 38-30 20-18 48-41 25-19 38-34 35-26 6-4 16-14
3 CLE 69 64 .519 4.5 W 2 39-25 30-39 20-18 49-44 20-20 32-38 37-26 7-3 18-12
4 CHW 60 74 .448 14.0 L 2 32-35 28-39 22-21 43-55 17-19 37-47 23-27 1-9 10-20
5 MIN 59 75 .440 15.0 L 1 29-37 30-38 17-20 40-50 19-25 37-51 22-24 4-6 12-18

The Tigers mashed the White Sox 7-1 in Chicago behind a vintage performance from Justin Verlander, who went 7.0 innings allowing only 1 run and piling up 8 strikeouts. The last thing the Royals need is for Verlander’s brief hiatus from the rotation to have restored his tired shoulder to his former standard.

The win pulled the Tigers within a 1/2 game of Kansas city for the A.L Central lead.

tThe Indians, of course, defeated the Royals powered by Carlos Santana‘s 7th home run in his last 7 games vs. Kansas City. Cleveland is now within 4.5 games of the A.L Central lead, which is easily within striking distance with 28 games left in the season.

 A.L. WILD CARD

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
2  OAK 78 56 .582 L 2 43-23 35-33 19-18 56-39 22-17 40-36 38-20 5-5 13-17
4 KCR 74 60 .552 L 2 35-31 39-29 18-21 54-41 20-19 38-37 36-23 5-5 21-9
5  DET 73 60 .549 W 2 35-30 38-30 20-18 48-41 25-19 38-34 35-26 6-4 16-14
6  SEA 72 61 .541 1.0 L 2 35-35 37-26 14-23 45-44 27-17 39-26 33-35 5-5 19-11
7  NYY 70 63 .526 3.0 W 1 33-31 37-32 21-17 49-44 21-19 34-35 36-28 7-3 16-14
8  CLE 69 64 .519 4.0 W 2 39-25 30-39 20-18 49-44 20-20 32-38 37-26 7-3 18-12
9  TOR 67 67 .500 6.5 L 1 35-31 32-36 12-14 50-49 17-18 33-39 34-28 3-7 13-17
10  TBR 65 70 .481 9.0 L 2 29-37 36-33 19-18 49-51 16-19 39-49 26-21 4-6 14-16

Both Oakland and Seattle lost on Friday, keeping them in place with Kansas City.

Oakland dropped their 2nd straight game to the Angels, dropping them 2 games behind Los Angeles in the A.L. West. The Angels knocked off the A’s behind 7 shutout innings from Jared Weaver who outdueled deadline deal acquisition Jon Lester.

The A’s remain 4 games ahead of KC in the A.L’s top wild card slot.

Seattle lost 8-3 to the red-hot Nationals at Safeco Field behind a barrage of home runs from Washington that included shots by Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon.

The Mariners’ loss combined with Detroit’s win gives the Tigers the 2nd wild card slot with a 1/2 game lead over the Mariners.

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Tags: Alcides Escobar Carlos Santana Jason Vargas Kansas City Royals

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