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MLB: Royals win again

Kansas City Royals made it eight wins in a row as they took an outright lead in the American League Central by beating Oakland Athletics 3-2 at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals, who trailed Detroit Tigers by eight games on July 21, put the Athletics under pressure almost immediately as they hunted a 17th win in 19 matches to take a 0.5 games lead in the division.

Jarrod Dyson and Omar Infante opened the match with back-to-back singles, with Dyson then putting the Royals in front courtesy of Salvador Perez's double-play groundout.

The Royals raced into a 2-0 lead after two innings, with Alex Gordon scoring off Alcides Escobar, before AL West leaders Athletics hit back with a double RBI from Brandon Moss in the third inning to level the scores.

A second RBI of the match from Escobar in the seventh inning was enough to seal the victory for the Royals, who took full advantage of the Tigers' 11-6 defeat to Pittsburgh Pirates.

Travis Snider was instrumental for the Pirates, hitting a pair of home runs and driving in four, as they moved 2.5 games behind Milwaukee Brewers, who beat Chicago Cubs 3-1 at Wrigley Field, in National League East.

Baltimore Orioles strengthened their position at the top of AL East by beating New York Yankees 11-3.

Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Schoop and Chris Davis all homered for the Orioles, but their joy over the win was tempered by a knee injury to third baseman Manny Machado.

Toronto Blue Jays are now six games behind the Orioles after they were hammered 11-1 by Seattle Mariners.

Felix Hernandez allowed just one run in seven strong innings and Robinson Cano homered for the Mariners at Safeco Field.

Pitcher Kevin Correia won for the first time since being traded to boyhood team Los Angeles Dodgers from Minnesota Twins at the weekend as the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2.

Meanwhile, Correia's former team overcame Houston Astros 4-2 at Minute Maid Park, Tampa Bay Rays eased to a 7-0 win over Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins beat St Louis Cardinals 6-5.

Anthony Recker's three-run homer was key for New York Mets as they managed to beat Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 at Citizens Bank Park, while San Diego Padres edged Colorado Rockies 4-3 at Petco Park.