James Shields pitched eight sharp innings for his first win in nearly a month, and the Royals beat the Athletics 4-2 on Sunday, taking two out of three. Shields retired his first 15 batters before giving up a leadoff homer to Josh Reddick in the sixth. Shields (10-6) allowed two runs and four hits. He walked none for the fifth time this season. Reddick homered twice, getting to Shields again in the eighth.
Shields got his first win since he beat his former team, Tampa Bay, on July 7. Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his AL-leading 31st save.
Nori Aoki’s RBI single in the fifth gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead. Omar Infante followed with a two-run double and later scored on a single by Salvador Perez.
The Royals remain five games behind Detroit in the AL Central and are just 1.5 games behind Toronto for the second and final wild card. Danny Duffy (5-10) pitches the series opener in Arizona on Tuesday. Duffy’s 2.42 ERA is the fourth-lowest in the AL among pitchers with at least 100 innings.