Shortstop Alcides Escobar drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Kansas City Royals moved into first place in the American League Central with a 3-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

The Royals have won eight straight and 16-of-19 to move a half-game in front of the Detroit Tigers.

Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura allowed two runs in six innings, and the Royals bullpen protected the late lead with Greg Holland picking up his 35th save.

A's right-hander Sonny Gray (12-6) absorbed the loss, yielding three runs in seven innings.

Elsewhere, Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop all homered, and Adam Jones drove in two runs as the Baltimore Orioles scored an 11-3 victory over the New York Yankees.

The first-place Orioles improved to 68-50 while the Yankees fell to 61-57.

Other results:

Pirates 11, Tigers 6

Brewers 3, Cubs 1

Dodgers 6, Braves 2

Marlins 6, Cardinals 5

Rays 7, Rangers 0

Mets 5, Phillies 3

Mariners 11, Blue Jays 1

Twins 4, Astros 2

Padres 4, Rockies 3

Source: Reuters