Seth Lugo claims AL-leading 7th win as the Royals beat A’s 5-3 and move 9 games over .500

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Seth Lugo struck out 10 and earned his American League-leading seventh victory as the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 5-3 Saturday night.

The Royals improved to 28-19, nine games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2015 season, when they went on to win the World Series. Kansas City also claimed its eighth series win of the season, a mark the Royals didn’t reach until mid-September in 2023.

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Oakland lost its seventh straight game, the A’s longest skid of the season.

Lugo (7-1) allowed two runs on six hits with a walk in 5 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old right-hander had his second straight double-digit strikeout game and became the eighth Royals pitcher to accomplish that feat.

James McArthur picked up his 11th save.

Ross Stripling (1-8) picked up his league-leading eighth loss. The 34-year-old righty allowed four runs on nine hits with no walks and two strikeouts in five-plus innings.

The Royals got to Stripling for a pair of runs in the first. Maikel Garcia and Bobby Witt Jr. opened with singles. After the runners advanced to second and third on a groundout, Salvador Perez drove in both with a single to left field.

The Athletics answered in the second. Zack Gelof legged out a double before Seth Brown hit his fourth homer of the season, a 445-foot shot to center field to tie the score.

The Royals regained the lead in the fifth when Vinnie Pasquantino snapped an 0-for-14 slump with a two-out line drive single that scored Garcia. The Royals added to the lead in the sixth on an RBI single by Nelson Velazquez that scored Michael Massey, who led off with a single.

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The Athletics closed within a run on an RBI single by Brent Rooker in the seventh. But the Royals got that run back on a leadoff home run by Kyle Isbel, his fourth, in the bottom of the seventh.

The Royals will look to close the series with a sweep tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. The Athletics will send LHP JP Sears (3-2, 3.96 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Brady Singer (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

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