Fri, Jun 12, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Royals complete sweep to extend lead

ROYAL FLUSH:The win put Kansas City two games ahead of Minnesota for the division and overall AL lead, while the Nationals beat the Yankees to move atop the NL East


The Kansas City Royals’ Alex Gordon hits a three-run home run against the Minnesota Twins during their game on Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Photo: AP

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.

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