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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

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
4th
MIA 87
CHA 86
 
4th
MIA 87
CHA 86
 
4th
MEM 103
LAC 80
 
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
 
2nd
OKC 46
GSW 49
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
DEN
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
 
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
 
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
 
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
 
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
 
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
 
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
 
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
 
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
 
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
 
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
2nd
SCAR 54
AKR 55
 
Half
WVU 47
UCONN 32
 
2nd
CALST 38
DEL 28
 
Half
HOW 46
HOOD 17
 
Half
OSU 52
SHU 27
 
2nd
VANDY 38
TENST 20
 
1st
NE 9
MAN 8
 
1st
COLST 5
MERC 3
 
1st
MISS 2
NARZ 0
 
1st
WASH 0
PAC 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
SDCHR
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
ODU
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
UCI
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
2nd
NYR 2
MON 0
 
1st
ANA 0
ARI 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
 
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
8:30pm Tonight
NYG
DAL