A red-eye flight awaited the Royals after a 6-2 victory Thursday over Arizona. They departed the desert in an ideal position, one that appeared so unlikely a few weeks ago. The Royals return to Kansas City in sole possession of the American League’s second wild card, and control their own destiny as they hunt for their first playoff berth since 1985.

Inside the visiting manager’s office at Chase Field, manager Ned Yost insisted his sights were set higher than a one-game playoff.

“We’re not even looking at the second wild card right now,” Yost said. “Our focus is on winning the division.”

The club inched closer to that goal, pulling within 2 1/2 games of Detroit. In completing a sweep of the Diamondbacks, Jeremy Guthrie authored a clinic on efficiency in a complete-game victory. After giving up seven hits in the first three innings, he kept his opponents off the bases for the next five innings. He retired the last 19 batters he faced.