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Royals seek seventh straight win versus Giants
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals have been surging the past few weeks and will try to pull off a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants when the two clubs close out their set Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals have won six in a row and 14 of their last 17 games, and pulled within 1 1/2 games of Detroit for the AL Central lead. The Tigers lost to the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday night.
Kansas City stayed on track with Saturday's 5-0 win over the Giants, as James Shields tossed a four-hit shutout with five strikeouts and one walk.
"He had everything going on tonight," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was commanding every pitch extremely well."
Alex Gordon went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, while Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar had an RBI apiece for the Royals, who have won four straight and eight of nine at home. Kansas City is also 13-4 against the National League this season.
Kansas City has won six straight series and will host the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics next for four games.
Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy got off the schneid in his last start and looks for back-to-back wins Sunday. Duffy was 0-3 in his previous five trips to the hill and defeated Arizona on the road Tuesday with five innings of one- run ball, seven strikeouts and one walk.
Duffy, a left-hander, is 6-10 with a 2.39 ERA and has never faced the Giants. He hasn't pitched well at home this season, sporting just a 1-4 mark and a 2.66 ERA in 10 appearances (8 starts).
Kansas City has won Duffy's last three starts after losing the previous three.
The Giants will try to salvage this set with Kansas City, but at least the Los Angeles Dodgers have lost two in a row to remain 3 1/2 games ahead in the NL West. The Dodgers are playing the Brewers in Milwaukee.
San Francisco has dropped three in a row and 11 of the past 16 games, and starting pitcher Tim Hudson continued to struggle on the mound. Hudson, who was 7-2 at one point this season, fell to 8-9 after giving up three runs and six hits in six innings of work.
Angel Pagan and Pablo Sandoval each had a hit in the Giants' four-hit night against Shields.
"He was tough," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Shields. "He had four pitches going, hitting his spots. We just couldn't get anything going against him."
Bochy's club has lost seven of the previous eight matchups with the American League and is winless in the past three road games. The Giants are 4-5 on a 10-game road trip and will return to the bay area to face the Chicago White Sox twice and the Philadelphia Phillies three times.
Tim Lincecum gets the nod for the Giants Sunday and is 0-2 in his last four starts. Lincecum did not factor in the outcome of a 4-3 loss at Milwaukee on Tuesday and surrendered three runs in six innings, striking out eight and walking only one batter.
Lincecum has allowed 14 runs in his last three starts and is 9-7 with a 4.22 earned run average this season. The right-hander and two-time Cy Young Award winner faced the Royals once in his career back on June 22, 2008 in an 11-10 loss. He was reached for five runs in five innings of work.
He has made 10 road appearances, nine of which have been starts, and is 3-4 with a 5.33 ERA.
This series marks the first meeting between San Francisco and Kansas City since 2008, when the Royals took two of three games in KC.
08/10 09:00:58 ET
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