Sep 1, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland (56) is congratulated by catcher Salvador Perez (13) after the game against the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Playoff Race: Salvador Perez Steps Up

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The Kansas City Royals have been mired in what will likely end up being a 4-game losing streak (pending completing the 10th inning of Sunday’s game against Cleveland with KC trailing 4-2). C Salvador Perez stepped up to knock in 3 runs with a double and a home run to fuel Kansas City’s 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers Monday night.

Starter Yordano Ventura shut out the Rangers through 5 innings, but then surrendered 3 runs over the next 1.1 innings to leave the game holding a slim 4-3 lead. The Royals bullpen triumvirate of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland worked their magic to bring home the win.

The Royals really needed that.

The game also marked the return of 1B Eric Hosmer to the Royals lineup after missing almost a month with a stress fracture in his hand. I don’t think its any accident that he reappeared the day after Billy Butler‘s costly error in the 10th inning put the Royals behind 4-2 vs. Cleveland the night before.

A.L. CENTRAL

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 KCR 75 61 .551 W 1 36-33 39-29 19-22 55-42 20-20 38-39 37-23 4-6 20-10
2 DET 75 62 .547 0.5 W 1 35-30 40-32 20-18 50-41 25-21 39-34 36-28 7-3 15-15
3 CLE 70 65 .518 4.5 L 1 39-26 32-39 21-18 50-44 21-21 34-39 37-26 7-3 19-11
4 CHW 62 75 .453 13.5 W 1 34-36 28-39 22-21 45-55 17-20 39-48 23-27 3-7 10-20
5 MIN 60 77 .438 15.5 W 1 29-37 31-40 17-21 41-51 19-26 38-53 22-24 3-7 12-18

The Tigers kept pace with Kansas City by stomping the Indians 12-1 in Cleveland.

The Tigers beat up Cleveland ace Corey Kluber for 5 runs in 2.2 innings, including mashing 3 home runs. The rout didn’t stop there as Detroit continued to clobber Cleveland’s pen. Miguel Cabrera launched 2 of Detroit’s 5 home runs on the day.

While I’m sure most Royals fans are disappointed to hold only technical lead of 1/2 game in the Central, at least the Tigers stopped Cleveland’s charge after last weekend in KC.

A.L. WILD CARD

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
3  OAK 79 58 .577 W 1 44-23 35-35 19-18 57-41 22-17 41-38 38-20 4-6 13-17
4 KCR 75 61 .551 W 1 36-33 39-29 19-22 55-42 20-20 38-39 37-23 4-6 20-10
5  DET 75 62 .547 W 1 35-30 40-32 20-18 50-41 25-21 39-34 36-28 7-3 15-15
6  SEA 73 63 .537 1.5 L 1 36-36 37-27 14-23 46-46 27-17 40-28 33-35 5-5 18-12
7  NYY 70 65 .518 4.0 L 2 33-31 37-34 21-18 49-45 21-20 34-37 36-28 6-4 16-14
8  CLE 70 65 .518 4.0 L 1 39-26 32-39 21-18 50-44 21-21 34-39 37-26 7-3 19-11
9  TOR 69 67 .507 5.5 W 2 37-31 32-36 13-14 52-49 17-18 35-39 34-28 5-5 13-17
10  TBR 67 71 .485 8.5 W 1 31-38 36-33 20-18 51-52 16-19 39-49 28-22 4-6 14-16

The A’s and Tigers hold the A.L.’s 1st and 2nd wild card slots. The A’s broke out of a 4-game slide with a 6-1 victory over Seattle, which allowed the A’s to pull within 4.5 games of Los Angeles in the A.L. West.

New acquisition Adam Dunn hit a home run in his first Oakland at bat, his 21st of the season.

The A’s still remain 4 games ahead of the Royals in the wild card standings.

The Tigers are in a virtual tie with Kansas City for both the A.L. Central lead (and the 2nd wild card), but KC is technically ahead because they have yet to complete their suspended game vs. Cleveland.

Seattle fell to 1.5 games off the pace for the 2nd wild card with their loss to the A’s.

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Tags: Eric Hosmer Kansas City Royals Salvador Perez Yordano Ventura

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