Kansas City’s Alex Gordon hit a three-run homer to help the Royals beat Minnesota 7-2 on Wednesday, completing the first sweep of the Twins at their own ballpark this season and widening the gap between the teams atop the American League Central division.
The Royals moved two games clear of the Twins both for the division and overall AL lead, while another AL contender, the New York Yankees, had their seven-game winning streak ended in an 11-inning loss to Washington.
The Nationals’ victory saw them move back to the top of the National League East ahead of the New York Mets, who lost to San Francisco, while majors-leading St Louis avoided a sweep at Colorado.
Minnesota were swept for the first time since their opening series of the season, and managed to score only 11 runs across six straight home games, winning just once.
Their frustration was evident in the eighth, when Torii Hunter was ejected for arguing a called third strike. Hunter had to be restrained briefly, before yanking off his elbow pad, shin guard and batting gloves and throwing them toward the batter’s box.
For good measure, Hunter ripped off his jersey and threw that over the first-base line, before retreating to the dugout.
Twins manager Paul Molitor was given his first career ejection during the incident.
St Louis’ Carlos Martinez pitched efficiently into the seventh inning for a fifth straight start, guiding the Cardinals to a 4-2 win at Colorado.
Martinez (7-2) held the Rockies scoreless over the first six frames, while also having a day to remember with the bat, hitting two singles and also scoring a run.
Randal Grichuk hit a homer for the Cardinals to put a positive end on a tough series in which they were outscored 15-6 over the first two games and lost slugger Matt Holliday to a thigh strain.
San Francisco hit three homers off struggling Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, and won 8-5 at New York.
Buster Posey had three RBIs, including a two-run double off Harvey that tied the score in the sixth. Brandon Belt followed with a two-run shot, and Justin Maxwell added a long homer later in the inning that gave San Francisco a 7-4 lead.
The three homers allowed were a career worst for Harvey, who is 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA over his past four starts.
The Mets’ loss handed the NL East lead back to Washington, who won 5-4 at the Yankees when Denard Span drove in the winning run with an infield hit with two outs in the 11th inning.
Tyler Moore led off the 11th with a single off Chris Capuano (0-4) and advanced on a sacrifice and a tapper back to the pitchers’ mound. Span then hit a high chopper up the middle. Second baseman Stephen Drew managed to field the ball, but Span beat the one-hop throw for his third hit of the game.
After the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said closer Andrew Miller will go on the disabled list because of a strained forearm; an injury that pushes setup man Dellin Betances into the ninth-inning role.
Los Angeles’ Howie Kendrick singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Dodgers a 7-6 victory over Arizona.
After consecutive one-out walks to Puig and Adrian Gonzalez, Kendrick’s bloop single to right field gave the Dodgers a three-game sweep and their ninth successive home win over the Diamondbacks.
Yasiel Puig hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the second inning and tied a career high with four hits.
Chicago’s Geovany Soto hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning to lead the White Sox to a 4-1 win against Houston, sending the Astros to their seventh straight defeat.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana (3-6) earned his first win in four weeks, allowing one run in seven innings.
The Astros were swept despite the best efforts of George Springer, who went five-for-five for Houston.
The White Sox crosstown rivals, the Cubs, had an even more convincing victory, winning 12-3 at Detroit as Chris Coghlan and Miguel Montero each hit three-run homers.
Chicago starter Jake Arrieta (6-4) produced eight strikeouts against one walk in a game where his batters gave him a comfortable buffer, going up 6-0 before rattling on another six runs in the seventh inning.
Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria hit an overdue homer as the Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-2.
Longoria, who started at third base after being out of the lineup the past three games due to a sore left wrist, put the Rays up 3-2 with a solo homer in the third. It was just his second home run in his past 28 games.
Tampa Bay starter Erasmo Ramirez (5-2) gave up two runs over five innings in winning for the fifth time in six starts.
The Angels have lost six of seven.
Atlanta rookie pitcher Williams Perez allowed only one unearned run in seven innings to steer the Braves to a 4-1 win against San Diego.
Oakland’s Sam Fuld scored the winning run on a slide into home plate to just beat the throw in the ninth inning, giving the Athletics a 5-4 win against Texas and ending a four-game skid.
Toronto made it eight straight wins by defeating Miami 7-2, with Justin Smoak hitting one of four Blue Jays homers.
Baltimore’s Adam Jones drove in a run and played exceptional defense to help the Orioles beat Boston 5-2.
Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton pitched 7-1/3 scoreless innings to remain unbeaten in his return from hip surgery as the Pirates downed Milwaukee 2-0.
Seattle’s Kyle Seager, batting fourth in the order in place of an ailing Nelson Cruz, hit a grand slam and drove in five runs to lead the Mariners past Cleveland 9-3.
Cincinnati beat Philadelphia 5-2 to complete a sweep after losing shortstop Zack Cozart to a knee injury.
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