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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, August 12 (All times Eastern)

Oakland Athletics (72-46) at Kansas City Royals (64-53), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Jon Lester (12-7, 2.44) Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (8-9, 4.35)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oakland Athletics got a glimpse of just how dominant Jon Lester can be his last time out. Now he'll try to win his third straight game in an A's uniform and attempt to slow down the red-hot Kansas City Royals in the second test of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Lester was terrific in beating the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, as he fired a three-hit shutout to improve to 12-7 on the year to go along with a 2.44 ERA. He has now won both of his starts since being acquired from Boston and has allowed just three runs in 15 2/3 innings.

"Every once in a while you kind of look over and you're like, 'Holy cow, Jon Lester's pitching,'" said Stephen Vogt. "To have a guy like that with his experience and his ability, it's pretty special to have that every five days. And the other four aren't so bad."

In his last 10 outings, the lefty is 6-0 with a 1.21 ERA.

That run could continue on Tuesday, as he owns an 8-3 lifetime mark versus the Royals with a 1.65 ERA in 12 starts.

Kansas City moved into first place in the AL Central with its eighth straight win on Monday, as Alcides Escobar singled in Nori Aoki with the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning to carry the Royals to a 3-2 victory.

Coupled with Detroit's loss in Pittsburgh, the Royals find themselves in first place this late in a season for the first time since Aug. 29, 2003. They moved a half-game ahead of the Tigers, who not only lost to the Pirates, but may have lost ace Justin Verlander to a shoulder injury.

KC was eight games out of first place on July 21, but is now 11 games over .500 for the first time since July 27, 2003. That season, the Royals finished 83-79 and in third place in their division.

Yordano Ventura gave up two hits and as many runs over the first six innings for the Royals. Kelvin Herrera (3-2) struck out a pair of batters in the seventh and Greg Holland escaped a shaky ninth by getting a huge double-play ball off the bat of Derek Norris. Holland retired Vogt on a fly ball to center to secure his AL-leading 35th save.

"We're capitalizing on just about every opportunity we get right now," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's fun to watch."

Brandon Moss had a two-run single to center with the bases full in the third inning, but the AL West leaders lost their second straight to open this four- game series.

Sonny Gray (12-6) gave up six hits and three runs -- two earned -- over seven innings to suffer his third consecutive loss.

On Tuesday Kansas City will hand the ball to righty Jeremy Guthrie, who has won his last three starts and is also coming off a complete game win his last time out. Guthrie went the distance to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, holding them to a pair of runs and seven hits to run his record to 8-9 with a 4.35 ERA.

"It's nice," Guthrie said. "I think it's the pitcher's goal every time to get as deep as they can. I haven't done that very well, especially the last couple of months."

Guthrie pitched six scoreless innings to beat the A's two starts ago and is 4-4 in 11 games (10 starts) against them with a 4.29 ERA.

Kansas City took two of three from the A's earlier this month.

08/12 10:35:14 ET

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia at Syracuse

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • NHL Hurricanes at Chicago

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCCU
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
FIU
 
1:05pm Today
DET
FLASO
 
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
Final
BOS 101
GSW 106
Final
IND 94
PHI 74
Final
SAC 99
POR 110
Final
LAL 101
OKC 108
Final
DEN 92
NOP 99
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LAC
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NOP
 
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
Final
WAKE 69
PITT 66
Final
STAN 70
OREG 73
Final
OSU 65
PURD 61
Final
COL 87
ARST 81
Final
UCLA 72
WASU 67
7:00pm Tonight
TEX
BAY
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
UVA
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCAT
COOK
 
7:30pm Tonight
SHSU
CARK
 
7:30pm Tonight
DELST
HAMP
 
7:30pm Tonight
HOW
NORST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NWST
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
STEPH
INCWORD
 
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
LAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
NO
NICST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKPB
JST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAST
PVU
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAAM
TXSOU
 
9:00pm Tonight
VT
BC
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU
GRAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
OKLA
 
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
Final
WAS 4
TOR 0
Final
DAL 1
ANA 3
Final
VAN 6
STL 5
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NAS
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
MON