The good news for the Kansas City Royals: They're still in first place. The bad news: Their eight-game winning streak is done for, after the Oakland Athletics pounded out 20 hits Tuesday night and beat the Royals 11-3.
The Royals remain the most interesting team in baseball this week, as they surged past the Tigers for first place in the AL Central and still hold a half-game lead in the division after Tuesday's loss. They haven't made the playoffs since 1985, so the Royals are this year's underdog story.
Warm fuzzies aside, the Royals had a good amount of trouble trying to take two straight from Oakland. The A's had three hits from Sam Fuld and Josh Donaldson (two of his were homers) and a big 4-for-5 day from Brandon Moss, while Jon Lester notched his third win in an Oakland uniform. Lester, traded from the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes on July 31, pitched six innings and allowed three runs while striking out nine.
As hot as Oakland offense was Tuesday night, Lester surrendering three runs was just fine. The A's got the offense they didn't get in Monday night's 3-2 loss to Kansas City.
''It helps when you have contributors up and down the lineup,'' Donaldson said. ''We believe that it's going to happen more times than not. We had some balls that were hit hard for outs, and then we had a lot of balls that fell in for us tonight.''
The two *ahem* first-place teams play twice more Wednesday and Thursday.
MARINERS BEAT BLUE JAYS AGAIN, MOVE INTO WILD CARD TIE
Staying in the AL West, the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays again Tuesday night and in the process tied the Tigers for the second AL wild-card spot. The Mariners, who won the game 6-3, got another good outing from Chris Young, who pitched six innings of two-hit ball. Meanwhile, Seattle got homers from Kyle Seager and Kendrys Morales.
CHRIS SALE DOMINATES GIANTS, THEN HIS BULLPEN BLOWS IT
The Chicago White Sox bullpen ruined a gem by ace Chris Sale, but the White Sox still got the win, beating the San Francisco Giants 3-2 in 10 innings. Sale went eight scoreless innings, striking out 12 and giving up just four hits.
That's the kind of performance a pitcher deserves a win for, but the Giants rallied for two runs in the ninth off reliever Jake Petricka, sending the game to extra innings and Sale to No-Decisionville. Gordon Beckham brought in the go-ahead run for the Sox with an RBI single in the 10th.
If it seems like this sort of thing happens often to Sale a lot, you're not wrong:
THE ROCKIES ARE THE NEW WORST TEAM IN BASEBALL
Congratulations to the Texas Rangers, who beat the Tampa Bay Rays on a walk-off walk in the 14th inning and also walked right out of baseball's deepest, darkest doghouse. The Rangers officially aren't the worst team in baseball anymore. Yay?
With the Rangers' win, that (dis)honor now belongs to the Colorado Rockies, who lost 4-1 to the Padres. The Rockies, who were actually in first place in May, are now 46-73 with a .387 winning percentage, just a tad worse than the 47-72 Rangers.
For the rest of Tuesday's results, check out our scoreboard.
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