Royals beat Tigers, reclaim American League Central lead

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James Shields struck out eight batters and yielded just two hits over seven scoreless innings and the Kansas City bullpen kept the shutout intact as the Royals beat the Tigers 3-0 on Wednesday night at Detroit’s Comerica Park to reclaim a one-game lead in the American League Central standings.

Shields did what he’s being paid to do in his walk year, shutting down a dangerous Tigers lineup in a crucial mid-September game. Kelvin Herrera then hurled a perfect eighth inning and fill-in closer Wade Davis struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect ninth. Greg Holland remains day-to-day with triceps tightness.

The Royals got big hits from catcher Salvador Perez, who drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning, and from outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who drove in the game’s second run soon after. Shortstop Alcides Escobar plated the Royals’ third run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.

Kansas City is trying to reach the playoffs for the first time 1985. We’ll know that fate in just 18 games.