KC moves past Detroit into first
IT HAS BEEN more than a decade since the Kansas City Royals were in first place this late in the season, and try as he might, manager Ned Yost couldn't totally downplay the achievement.
He just wants it kept in perspective.
"It's nice. We've got a lot of games to play. We don't get all geeked up," Yost said. "It's better than the alternative, trust me."
Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas homered as part of a seven-run second inning, and the visiting Royals displaced Detroit atop the AL Central last night with an 11-4 victory over the Tigers, their ninth in a row.
Kansas City is in first place this late in the season for the first time since 2003, according to STATS. The Royals were leading the division in late August that year, only to finish third at 83-79. They have not made the postseason since winning the World Series in 1985.
"A lot of games left, so it really doesn't matter, but to say you're in first place, it feels pretty good," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "Being in first place any time is good - even if it's after the first game."
Gordon and Moustakas hit two-run shots off Max Scherzer (8-3), and Kansas City has won the first two games of this four-game series emphatically. The Royals, who trailed the Tigers by seven games after a May 20 loss, now lead Detroit by a half-game.
Scherzer yielded a career high-tying 10 runs in four-plus innings. He and Justin Verlander combined to allow 17 runs in the first two games of this series. That's the most ever by two teammates with Cy Young Awards in back-to-back team games, according to STATS.
In other AL games
* At New York, Masahiro Tanaka (11-1) gave up a home run to Jose Reyes on the first pitch of the game, then earned his major league-high 11th victory as the Yankees beat Toronto, 3-1, for their 14th straight home win over the Blue Jays.
* At Cleveland, Mike Trout homered twice and drove in four runs, rookie Matt Shoemaker (4-1) remained unbeaten as a starter, and the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Indians, 9-3.
Cleveland leftfielder Michael Brantley was scratched from last night's lineup and is undergoing tests on the head and neck injuries he sustained Monday.
* At Boston, Brock Holt scored both Red Sox runs, Jon Lester weathered a 33-pitch first inning and ended up going six-plus strong innings as the Red Sox held off the Minnesota Twins, 2-1.
* At St. Petersburg, Fla., Chris Davis hit a replay-delayed grand slam off the leftfield foul pole and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 7-5. The Orioles also got a two-run homer from Steve Pearce. The Rays are 5-16 in their last 21 games.
In interleague games
* At Washington, Anthony Rendon (three RBI) and Ryan Zimmerman (two RBI) both hit two doubles and the Nationals withstood Houston's four-run eighth inning to beat the Astros, 6-5. With the win, Washington moved past Atlanta into first place in the NL East.
* At Seattle, Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer and Jesus Montero got his first big-league homer in more than a year to help Seattle beat San Diego, 6-1, and sweep a two-game set.
* At Chicago, two-run homers by Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo lifted the White Sox to an 8-2 win over San Francisco.
In NL games
* At Miami, Garrett Jones hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Marlins rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs, 6-5. Hard-luck Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs, two earned, in six innings but was again denied a victory. The Cubs are 4-11 when he starts even though his ERA is 2.78.
* At St. Louis, Michael Wacha escaped a pair of jams with strikeouts, and the Cardinals beat the New York Mets, 5-2. The Cardinals have won eight of nine and will go for a three-game sweep today. The Mets have lost 11 of 14 and fallen into the NL East cellar behind the Phillies.
* At Pittsburgh, Todd Frazier led off the ninth inning with a tiebreaking homer, lifting Cincinnati to a 6-5 victory over the Pirates night after the Reds' bullpen blew a three-run lead.
* Oakland lefthander Drew Pomeranz was placed on the 15-day disabled list after breaking his right hand punching a chair in frustration. Pomeranz was injured when he whacked the back of a chair Monday night following his shortest outing of the season. Righthander Evan Scribner was recalled from Triple A. Also, the A's also acquired minor league lefty Brad Mills from Milwaukee for cash. Pomeranz is 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 17 games, including eight starts, with the A's.
* Boston designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment. The three-time All-Star with Cleveland was attempting a comeback from injuries that had signed him since 2011. In 52 games, he hit .216 with two homers and 15 RBI.
* Rockies pitcher Nick Masset was suspended three games and fined for throwing a pitch at Braves catcher Evan Gattis. Braves reliever David Carpenter was also fined for throwing at Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson in the same game.
* Baltimore activated righthander Miguel Gonzalez (strained right oblique) from the 15-day disabled list and designated reliever John Stinson for assignment. Also, catcher Matt Wieters had season-ending right elbow ligament replacement surgery.
* Texas recalled lefthander Aaron Poreda from Triple A Round Rock and optioned lefthander Robbie Rosslso.