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The Royals trailed the Tigers by eight games on July 21, but their 16th win in 19 games wiped away the deficit and gave them the lead at the latest point in a season since 2003.
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"It's pretty embarrassing," Reddick said, "especially since it cost us a run. And we end up losing by one run, so it doesn't make your feel any better."
After Escobar made it 2 0 in th second, Oakland answered with some help from Ventura, who worked to overcome command problems most of the night. John Jaso led off with a single, Coco Crisp worked a walk and Donaldson earned another free pass to load the bases with two outs.
Kansas City put pressure on right from the start, when Dyson and Omar Infante opened the game with back to back singles. Gray might have escaped the jam, though, if right fielder Josh Reddick hadn't flubbed a routine throw to the infield after Infante's hit. It allowed Dyson to reach third base easily, and he scored on Salvador Perez's double play groundout.
Yordano Ventura outpitched Sonny Gray in a matchup of talented young starters Monday night, and Escobar drove in the go ahead run as Kansas City beat the Oakland Athletics 3 2 to take over the AL Central lead from Detroit with its eighth consecutive victory.
Holland's 35th gives Royals division lead
McDowell alum Greg Holland is the closer for the Kansas City Royals.(Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)KANSAS CITY, Mo. Alcides Escobar pumped his fist. Jarrod Dyson did a backflip. And for the first time in more than a decade, the Kansas City Royals were in first place in mid August.
"We're playing great," said Escobar, who drove in a run in the second inning before his two out single off Gray (12 6) in the seventh gave Kansas City the lead for good.
Moss hit a full count pitch up the middle to score both runners and knot the game.
"He has the ability to focus pitch to pitch, which good closers can do," Yost said. "You get first and second with his stuff, you just have a feeling he's going to get out of it."
end are as good as you get," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They don't worry about righty lefty. They feel when they get to the seventh inning with a lead, they feel pretty New Balance Ladies Shoes good about New Balance Numeric Arto
Yost said. "Now our goal is to stay in first place."
Yost pulled Ventura after a double play got the rookie right hander through the sixth. And when Gray faltered in the seventh and Kansas City took the lead, one of the stingiest bullpens in baseball made sure the smallest of margins was enough.
Ventura lasted through sixth innings before giving way to Kelvin Herrera (3 2), who tossed a spotless seventh. Wade Davis breezed through the eighth and Greg Holland worked the ninth for his 35th save, though it didn't come without a little drama.
Josh Donaldson led off the ninth with a single, the first hit by the Athletics since the second inning, and Brandon Moss drew a walk. But after a brief conference on the mound, Holland got Derek Norris to bounce into a double play and Stephen Vogt to fly out to end the game.
"You want to be in first place. Our goal was to get back to first place," Royals manager Ned New Balance 360 Shoes
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