DETROIT (AP) -- James Shields allowed two hits over seven innings in another terrific performance as the Kansas City Royals edged Detroit 3-0 on Wednesday to take a one-game lead over the Tigers atop the American League Central.
Shields (14-7) gave up a single to Ian Kinsler leading off the first. Then he picked off Kinsler -- and retired every other batter he faced until another Detroit single in the seventh. The Tigers put two on that inning, but Shields worked out of the jam.
Kelvin Herrera pitched the eighth and Wade Davis finished for his third save.
Rick Porcello (15-11) pitched well for the Tigers, but Kansas City pushed across two runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain.
Alcides Escobar added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
BRAVES 6, NATIONALS 2
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Aaron Harang outdueled Stephen Strasburg and Justin Upton drove in three runs as the Atlanta Braves avoided a series sweep in Washington with a win over the Nationals.
The Braves snapped a three-game losing streak as Harang (11-10) held the NL East leaders to one unearned run over seven innings. Upton's RBI single in the sixth broke a 1-all tie, and he added a two-run double off reliever Ryan Mattheus during a three-run seventh.
Strasburg (11-11) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. Bryce Harper homered for Washington, which had won three straight.
B.J. Upton homered for the wild card-contending Braves. Washington leads Atlanta by eight games in the division.
PIRATES 6, PHILLIES 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Andrew McCutchen hit the first inside-the-park home run of his career as the Pittsburgh Pirates protected their lead in the NL wild-card race, beating Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh has won six of seven.
Pittsburgh trailed 3-2 in the fifth inning when McCutchen hit a ball off the wall in straightaway center field. The ball ricocheted toward the alley in right-center, and McCutchen scored standing up. Russell Martin homered into the center-field seats later in the inning.
Vance Worley (7-4), traded by the Phillies after the 2012 season, won in his return to Philadelphia. Four relievers combined for four hitless innings, and Mark Melancon got his 28th save.
Jerome Williams (3-1) contributed a two-run single.
YANKEES 8, RAYS 5
NEW YORK (AP) -- Mark Teixeira made up for a botched foul pop in the Rays' four-run first inning with a go-ahead triple in the fifth, and Brian McCann homered and drove in three runs as the Yankees used their biggest comeback of the season to beat Tampa Bay.
The Yankees entered 5 1/2 games out of a playoff spot with 20 remaining, and they did not get off to a good start.
Teixeira overran leadoff batter Ben Zobrist's foul ball behind first base for no play. Zobrist then singled for his 1,000th career hit. Five of the next six Rays reached before Chris Capuano was lifted in the shortest start of his career. By the end of the 30-minute top of the first, New York trailed 4-0.
McCann homered in the bottom half to end Jake Odorizzi's scoreless streak at 14 1-3 innings.
REDS 4, CARDINALS 2
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Alfredo Simon shook off a rough start but lasted seven innings and drove in the go-ahead run with the second of his two doubles as the Reds rallied for a win over the Cardinals.
Ryan Ludwick hit a solo home run to help the Reds win back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 27-28 against the Chicago Cubs. The Central Division-leading Cardinals hadn't sustained consecutive defeats since a four-game losing streak from Aug. 26-30.
Simon (14-10) allowed five hits and two runs with three walks and five strikeouts for his second win in eight decisions over 11 starts since the All-Star break.
Sam LeCure and Ryan Dennick pitched the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman worked a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.
Terry Lyons (0-4) took the loss after Cardinals starter John Lackey was ejected in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes.
METS 2, ROCKIES 0
NEW YORK (AP) -- Rafael Montero earned his first major league win and Eric Young Jr. went 3 for 3 with an RBI triple as the suddenly surging Mets beat the Rockies for their fourth consecutive victory.
Montero (1-3) returned from the minors and allowed three hits over 5 1-3 innings in his seventh big league start. Juan Lagares had a sacrifice fly for the Mets, who have won seven of eight.
New York finished a three-game sweep of last-place Colorado, winning the final two by identical scores behind Montero and fellow rookie Jacob deGrom.
Montero did not give up a hit until a fifth-inning double by Rockies starter Tyler Matzek. The right-hander struck out seven and walked two, throwing 106 pitches in his first major league start since Aug. 17.
Mets rookie Dilson Herrera worked a two-out walk against Matzek (5-10) in the second. Young followed with a drive to right-center that just glanced off the glove of center fielder Drew Stubbs, scoring Herrera.
BLUE JAYS 11, CUBS 1
TORONTO (AP) -- Drew Hutchison matched his career-high with 10 strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings, and Dioner Navarro had two hits and two RBIs as the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep with a win over the Cubs.
Hutchison (10-11) allowed one run and four hits in his second career 10-strikeout game -- both this season. He also did it against Milwaukee on July 1.
Jorge Soler's seventh-inning homer provided the only run for the Cubs, who matched a season-worst with their sixth straight loss. At 64-82, they are ensured of a fifth straight losing season. It is the first time they have had five consecutive seasons below .500 since six straight from 1978-83.
Chicago has been outscored 48-10 during its losing streak.
Jose Bautista went 0 for 2 with two walks, snapping his hitting streak at 13 games, but the Blue Jays improved to 7-2 in September.