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James Shields dominant in Royals 4-2 victory

The Royals outpitched the Athletics this weekend, just like we all expected.

Jason O. Watson

The Kansas City Royals took advantage of a dominant pitching performance from James Shields, defeating the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Sunday.

Shields worked eight strong innings against the top-scoring offense in baseball, only allowing two runs on four hits. Josh Reddick provided both runs for Oakland, blasting a pair of solo homers. Shields kept the rest of the Athletics offense off-balance; he only struck out two, but issued zero walks and induced a lot of weak contact. It was an impressive showing, especially considering the opponent.

Kansas City out-hit Oakland 14-4, including ten hits against Scott Kazmir. The Royals had at least one runner reach base against Kazmir during each of the first four innings, but failed to drive any of them home. The southpaw induced two doubles plays in the first two innings, which helped him keep KC off the scoreboard.

The Royals broke through for all four runs in the fifth inning with a nice rally. Christian Colon led off the inning with a double, then Alcides Escobar worked a one-out walk. Norichika Aoki followed with a double down the left field line, driving in Colon. Omar Infante then roped a double to left, plating Escobar and Aoki, and Salvador Perez drove in the Royals final run of the game with a single.

It would have been nice to see the Royals score more than four runs, especially since they collected 14 hits, but it's hard to complain about a win. Billy Butler and Infante each had three-hit games, while Lorenzo Cain and Escobar added a pair of hits apiece.

Greg Holland tossed a perfect ninth, earning his 31st save of the season. He is the best.

The Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Houston Astros, putting the Royals 1 1/2 games behind our Canadian foes in the AL Wild Card. Kansas City has Monday off, then will travel to Chase Field to face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Danny Duffy will start, squaring off against Wade Miley.