The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - INSIDE PITCH

OAKLAND, Calif. -- There's something about the O.co Coliseum that brings out the best in Kansas City Royals right-hander James Shields.

Shields pitched complete games in his previous two starts at Oakland, throwing a shutout and taking a tough 2-1 loss, before facing the A's there again Sunday.

This time Shields pitched five perfect innings and allowed just two runs on four hits over eight innings in a 4-2, series-clinching victory against the A's. Shields (10-6) earned his first win since July 7 and extended his streak to eight seasons with double-digit victories.

"I definitely like this field," Shields said. "The atmosphere is great here. "The fans have come out and supported this team. I like pitching in games like that."

The Royals won their fourth straight series, taking two of three from Oakland, which owns the major league's best record. In the series opener, Jeremy Guthrie outdueled Oakland's Sonny Gray in a 1-0 Royals win. This time Shields outpitched A's left-hander Scott Kazmir (12-4).

"As far as I'm concerned, we can match up with anyone, any team, any starting rotation," said Shields. "I don't care who it is. I believe in our guys. We have some good young talent in our starting rotation as well as some veterans. We're going to compete with anybody. As long as we go toe to toe with those guys, we're going to be in every game."

Shields lost his bid for a perfect game, no-hitter and complete game when Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick led off the sixth inning with a home run. Reddick hit another solo homer off Shields in the eighth with two outs.

"He put two pretty good swings on the ball," Shields said. "I made two bad pitches. I wanted to go curve ball down in the zone and I kind of left it up a little bit on that first homer, and then the fastball we wanted down and away and I yanked it all the way across the dish and went middle up and in. When you make mistakes like that, good hitters are going to hit it and he definitely got it."

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MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 57-53

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Royals (LHP Danny Duffy, 5-10, 2.42 ERA) at Diamondbacks (LHP Wade Miley, 7-7, 4.14 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP James Shields (10-6) allowed two runs on four hits over eight innings Sunday in a 4-2 victory Sunday against Oakland. He had a perfect game until A's RF Josh Reddick hit a solo home run leading off the sixth inning. Reddick hit another solo home run off Shields with two outs in the eighth. Shields won his first decision since July 7 and extended his streak to eight seasons with double-digit wins. "Just tried to stay consistent throughout my career," Shields said. "Having another double-digit season is nice. Hopefully these next nine games or so I can get a (few) more."

--2B Omar Infante went 3-for-5 and hit a two-run double during a four-run rally in the fifth inning Sunday of Kansas City 4-2 victory against Oakland. Infante, who tied his season-high for hits, raised his batting average to .265 and now has 51 RBIs, matching his total from 2013 with Detroit. He had a career-high 55 RBIs for the Tigers in 2004.

--1B Billy Butler had a season-high tying three hits in four at-bats Sunday during the Royals' 4-2 victory against Oakland. He entered the game on an 0-for-8 skid and raised his average to .269.