Around the Bases: Royals gain ground; Rangers lose again

Ed Zurga

The Rangers have been all kinds of bad in September. That didn't change Monday, and their advantage in the AL Wild Card race continues to shrivel as a result.

Royals 7, Indians 1: Cleveland failed to capitalize on an opportunity to take over sole possession of the American League's second Wild Card spot, striking out 17 times in a loss at Kansas City.

James Shields was responsible for 10 of those K's for the Royals, who are now two games behind the Indians and 2½ back of the Rangers in the playoff race. Salvador Perez finished with three hits while Emilio Bonifacio, Billy Butler, David Lough and Alcides Escobar added two apiece.

Scott Kazmir allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings for the Indians.

Rays 6, Rangers 2: Wil Myers homered and drove in three runs while Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist had three hits apiece behind Alex Cobb, who notched 10 strikeouts in eight innings of work.

Texas lost it seventh straight game and, in the process, made waves in the area of futility not seen by the franchise in years:

Tampa Bay leads the Rangers, who are 2-12 in September, by a full game in the AL Wild Card standings.

Padres 2, Pirates 0: Andrew Cashner retired all 27 batters he faced in a one-hit shutout in Pittsburgh. Cashner is the ninth Padres pitcher to accomplish the "Maddux."

Jose Tabata broke up Cashner's bid for a perfect game in the seventh inning. He was doubled up two batters later when Cashner induced a ground ball off the bat of Andrew McCutchen.

Rockies 6, Cardinals 2: Charlie Blackmon had three hits, two of which gave the Rockies a late lead, and Todd Helton had a hit in four at-bats in his first home game since officially announcing his intention to retire at the end of the season.

The Cardinals and Pirates remain tied atop the National League Central.

Reds 6, Astros 1: Johnny Cueto tossed five scoreless innings in his first start since June 28 and Zack Cozart hit a two-run homer as part of his two-hit, four-RBI performance to help the Reds pull to within 2½ games of the Pirates and Cardinals in the NL Central.

Cincinnati also gained a half-game on the Nationals, whose game against the Braves was postponed. The Reds hold a five-game lead in the NL Wild Card standings.

Tigers 4, Mariners 2: Omar Infante doubled and drove in a run and Torii Hunter added two hits and an RBI for Detroit, which got 10 strikeouts in six innings from Rick Porcello. The Tigers increased their lead over the Indians in the AL Central to six games.

Angels 12, Athletics 1: The Angels got home runs from Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo while Kole Calhoun chipped in three hits and three RBI. Despite the loss, the A's still lead the Rangers by 6½ games in the AL West.

Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 1: Matt Kemp struck out with runners on second and third and two outs in the ninth inning in his first plate appearance since July 21. Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the first inning to account for all of Arizona's scoring.

Los Angeles' magic number to clinch the NL West remains at four.

White Sox 12, Twins 1: White Sox rookie Erik Johnson struck out eight batters in six scoreless innings to earn his first big-league victory. He was helped by four home runs, including back-to-back shots from Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo in the fourth.

Phillies 12, Marlins 2: Cliff Lee dominated the game from every angle, finishing with 14 strikeouts in eight innings on the mound and adding three hits, including a triple, and four RBI at the plate.

Brewers 6, Cubs 1: Caleb Gindl finished a double short of the cycle, adding three RBI and three runs scored.

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