Royals win again
Kansas City second baseman Whit Merrifield homered on the game’s first pitch, and the Royals never looked back en route to their seventh straight victory. Danny Duffy lasted more than six innings for the Royals, who are looking to contend for the division crown.
DETROIT — Whit Merrifield homered on the first pitch of the game and the Kansas City Royals led the rest of the way, beating the Detroit Tigers 3-1 on Tuesday night for their seventh consecutive victory.
Danny Duffy (7-6) pitched into the seventh inning for the Royals, who added two runs in the fourth to keep the pressure on in the AL Central race. Kansas City came into the night 1½ games behind first-place Cleveland.
Merrifield homered to left-center off Michael Fulmer (10-8) to open the scoring. Fulmer struck out the next four hitters he faced, and the All-Star right-hander ended up allowing three runs and eight hits in eight sharp innings. He struck out six without a walk.
Duffy allowed a run and six hits in 61/ innings. Three relievers finished, 3 with Kelvin Herrera pitching a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 24 chances.
The Royals scored eight runs — five earned — off Fulmer in his previous start last week. He was much better this time around, but Kansas City put together a crucial rally in the fourth. Eric Hosmer made it 2-0 with an RBI single, and Mike Moustakas added a sacrifice fly.
Detroit's Mikie Mahtook hit a triple in the bottom of the fourth and scored on James McCann's single. The Tigers loaded the bases in the seventh, but Nicholas Castellanos — mired in a 0-for-18 slump — grounded into a forceout against reliever Peter Moylan, ending the threat.
Joakim Soria allowed singles to the first two Detroit hitters in the eighth, but the Tigers blundered their way out of that inning. With men on first and third and one out, Victor Martinez's line drive to deep right was caught, and Mahtook was doubled off first.
CARDINALS 3, ROCKIES 2 Harrison Bader doubled leading off the ninth inning for his first major league hit and slid across the plate to score the winning run of his debut on Jedd Gyorko’s short sacrifice fly, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals over the Colorado Rockies. The 23-year-old, taken on the third round of the 2015 amateur draft, was brought up before the game when Dexter Fowler was placed on the disabled list with a strained left wrist.
ASTROS 5, PHILLIES 0 Derek Fisher drove in two runs just hours after arriving in Philadelphia and Charlie Morton (8-4) gave up three hits in seven innings and struck out nine. Jose Altuve extended his hitting streak to 17 straight games with a sixth-inning double to help the AL West-leading Astros improve to an American League-best 6733. Houston is 9-0 in interleague play.
RANGERS 10, MARLINS 4 Joey Gallo homered twice, Mike Napoli and Rougned Odor also went deep, and the Texas Rangers slugged past the Miami Marlins. When Gallo led off the third inning with a towering blast into the second deck of seats, Marlins right fielder and MLB home run co-leader Giancarlo Stanton never even moved. That broke a 1-all tie and put the Rangers ahead to stay.