KANSAS CITY — The Detroit Tigers failed to make up ground on the pacesetting Chicago White Sox in the hotly contested American League Central division when they lost 2-1 to the Kansas City Royals Thursday.
The White Sox were beaten 5-3 by the Baltimore Orioles earlier in the day but the Tigers did not take advantage as the Royals rode strong pitching by Jeremy Guthrie to complete a three-game series sweep.
Right-hander Guthrie (3-3) allowed just one run on 10 hits, nine of them singles, while Alex Gordon struck his 10th homer leading off the sixth to bolster the Kansas City offense.
Orioles 5, White Sox 3: Zach Britton struck out a career-high 10 in eight innings, Taylor Teagarden and Adam Jones homered and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 Thursday for their eighth win in 11 games.
Baltimore took three of four from the AL Central-leading White Sox to complete a 5-1 homestand that started with a two-game sweep of Toronto.
The victory moved the Orioles (72-58) within three games of the idle AL East-leading New York Yankees, who host Baltimore in a three-game series that begins Friday night.
Britton (4-1) gave up one run, seven hits and did not issue a walk. He fanned Dewayne Wise three times and eclipsed his previous single-game career high of seven strikeouts by the fifth inning.
Athletics 12, Indians 7: Jarrod Parker pitched into the sixth inning and Oakland hit four home runs, leading the Athletics to their sixth straight win, a victory over the free-falling Indians and a sweep of the four-game series.
Oakland, which has won eight of nine, maintained its one-game lead over Baltimore for the top spot in the AL wild card race. George Kottaras’ three-run double broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth while Coco Crisp, Cliff Pennington, Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson homered.
While the Athletics are flying high, the Indians continue to fade. Cleveland has lost five straight, 14 of 15 and is 5-27 since July 27.
Blue Jays 2, Rays 0: Carlos Villanueva pitched six sharp innings and Toronto beat slumping Tampa Bay, snapping a five-game losing streak against the Rays.
Tampa Bay lost for the fifth time in six games and dropped 1½ games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild-card berth. The Rays have been shut out twice in the past three games.
Kelly Johnson hit a two-run double in the first inning and the Blue Jays won consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 12-13, improving to 3-9 against the Rays this season.
Villanueva (7-4) allowed five hits, all singles, to win for the first time since July 27 against Detroit. The right-hander had gone 0-4 in five starts since, despite never allowing more than four earned runs. He walked one and struck out seven, including six straight during one stretch to tie a club record.
Casey Janssen finished for his 18th save in 21 chances.
Rays rookie Matt Moore (10-8) allowed two runs over six innings in his first loss since July 22.
In other games it was: Mariners 5, Twins 4; LA Angels 5, Boston 2. — Agencies