Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - James Shields struck out 10 over six innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians, 7-1, in the opener of a three-game series.
Shields (12-9) allowed one run on six hits for the Royals, who moved within 2 1/2 games of the Rangers for the final wild card spot in the AL. The right- hander improved to 6-1 over his last eight outings, giving up three runs or fewer in all but one of those.
Shields, Wade Davis, Luke Hochevar and Tim Collins combined for 17 strikeouts, a franchise record for a nine-inning game.
Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, David Lough, Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez and Billy Butler each drove in a run for Kansas City, which had 14 hits.
Lonnie Chisenhall hit a solo homer for the Indians, who were coming off a four-game sweep of the White Sox.
Scott Kazmir (8-9) gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out six over five-plus innings for Cleveland, which is a half-game behind Texas for the second wild card spot.