Royals win 3-1 at Twins to claim share of AL Central lead
Kansas City’s Jason Vargas pitched six scoreless innings to steer the Royals to a 3-1 win at Minnesota on Monday, moving them level with the Twins atop the American League Central division.
Elsewhere, the Chicago White Sox beat Houston thanks to another overpowering performance by pitcher Chris Sale, while Troy Tulowitzki set up Colorado’s big win against normally miserly St. Louis, and the Los Angeles Dodgers regained top spot in the National League West by beating Arizona.
Kansas City’s Vargas (5-2) led the Royals to a win that put them percentage points ahead of the Twins, though effectively even as Minnesota has one more win and one more loss.
Kendrys Morales hit a long two- run home run against his former team to lay the platform for the Royals, and Eric Hosmer drove in another run in the eighth.
The White Sox won 3-1 on a rainy night at home against Houston, with Sale striking out 14 batters.
Sale (6-2) became the first White Sox pitcher to fan at least 10 in four straight games, the team said, citing Elias Sports Bureau. He’s struck out at at least 12 in his past three starts, and gave up only one run.
Chicago’s Carlos Correa, the top pick in the 2012 draft, was promoted from the minors and became the youngest player in the majors at 20. Batting sixth and playing shortstop, he went 1 for 4 and drove in a run.
Colorado cruised to an 11-3 win against St. Louis, with Tulowitzki hitting a three-run homer in the first.
Rockies starter David Hale
(2-0) was recalled from the minors and threw seven effective innings. He retired the opening nine batters before surrendering a solo homer, and struck out seven.
The Cardinals lost slugger Matt Holliday to a thigh strain suffered when he fell awkwardly trying to chase down a mistimed hit in the second inning.
Los Angeles’ Andre Ethier and Jimmy Rollins hit three-run homers to power the Dodgers to a 9-3 win against Arizona.
Howie Kendrick had three hits in his return to the starting lineup for the Dodgers, who moved a game ahead of idle San Francisco in the NL West. San Diego’s Matt Kemp drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the 11th inning and helped the Padres edge Atlanta 5-3.
Justin Upton, facing his old team for the first time, led off the 11th with a walk, stole second and easily scored when Kemp doubled off the left-field wall.
Another former Braves player, closer Craig Kimbrel, made the final three outs to record his 200th career save. He reached the milestone in his 318th game — faster than any pitcher in major league history.
Toronto’s Chris Colabello extended his hitting streak to 18 games with an RBI single during a six-run first inning that set up an 11-3 win against Miami and a sixth straight victory for the Blue Jays.
Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson pitched six scoreless innings to guide the Brewers to a 2-0 win against Pittsburgh in a game delayed more than two hours by rain.
Cincinnati’s Ivan De Jesus Jr. hit the first homer of his big league career as the Reds beat Philadelphia 6-4.