The Kansas City Royals — baseball’s hottest team by far — are suddenly back in the thick of the things in the hunt for the American League Central crown.
James Shields looked ace-like in Saturday’s 5-0 blanking of the Giants, allowing just four hits (and no runs) over nine innings while striking out five for his first shutout since September 2012. And outfielder Alex Gordon, the second-best player in the game this season according to FanGraphs’ WAR, went 2-for-4 with a homer, a single, and two runs scored.
The Royals are 9-1 since July 30 and a mere 1 1/2 games back of Detroit in the AL Central standings.
If the 2014 season ended today, it would be Anaheim hosting Kansas City in the AL Wild Card Game.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
Indians 3, Yankees 0
Tigers 2, Blue Jays 3 (10 innings)
Cardinals 3, Orioles 10
Rays 4, Cubs 0
Padres 2, Pirates 1
Giants 0, Royals 5
Dodgers 1, Brewers 4
Marlins 4, Reds 3
Rangers 3, Astros 8
Mets 2, Phillies 1 (11 innings)
Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 14
Twins 4, Athletics 9
White Sox 2, Mariners 1 (10 innings)
Nationals 4, Braves 1 (11 innings)
Red Sox 4, Angels 5 (19 innings)
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”