KANSAS CITY, Mo. – James Shields threw a four-hitter and Alex Gordon homered as the Kansas City Royals won their sixth straight, beating the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on Saturday night.
The Royals have won nine of 10 to move with 1 1-2 games of AL Central-leading Detroit. The Royals, who have not made the playoffs since beating St. Louis in the 1985 World Series, are in second place in the AL wild card standings.
Shields (11-6) gave up three singles in the first four innings. He allowed only two Giants to reach second base. He walked Joe Panik in the fifth and he moved to second on a wild pitch with two outs, but was stranded. Panik doubled in the eighth.
It was Shields' ninth career shutout, his first since Sept. 9, 2012.
Tim Hudson (8-9) gave up a home run to Gordon to lead off the fifth inning on Nebraska Night at Kauffman Stadium. Gordon is a Lincoln, Nebraska native and was the college player of the year in 2005 as a junior with the Cornhuskers.
Hudson yielded three straight hits to start the four-run seventh and was replaced by Jeremy Affeldt. The inning included Mike Moustakas' run-producing double while Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson had RBI-singles.
Hudson was charged with three runs and six hits in six-plus innings. Affeldt, who had held the opposition scoreless in his previous 13 outings, faced four batters and gave up two runs and three hits.
Giants: Catcher Hector Sanchez, who went on the concussion list July 26, suffered a setback Friday when he left a rehab game with Triple-A Fresno after taking a hard shot off the mask. "He'll have to get some tests," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "There's some concern there." Bochy said it might be necessary for Sanchez to change masks, abandoning the hockey mask.
Royals: First baseman Eric Hosmer remains sidelined with a broken right hand and likely won't return before September.
Giants: Tim Lincecum has faced the Royals only once in his career: in 2008 when he allowed five runs in five innings in a no-decision that the Giants lost 11-10. He is 3-4 with a 5.51 ERA in 10 road starts this season.
Royals: Danny Duffy is holding left-handed hitters to a .146 average this season and opponents to a .189 average at Kauffman Stadium. He is 2-1 with a 1.06 ERA against NL clubs this season.