Royals Moving Up 9/11/13
UNDATED - Alex Gordon homered on the game's first pitch to spark Kansas City to a 6-2 win over Cleveland.
Kansas City took two of three in the series between clubs that are in contention for the second wild-card spot in the AL. The Royals moved to within 2 1-2 games of Tampa Bay for the second wild-card spot in the American League. Cleveland is two back.
Gordon connected off of Indians starter Scott Kazmir, who gave up a home run, a triple and a single on the game's first seven pitches.
Devin Mesoraco hit his first home run in more than a month and Jack Hannahan added his first career pinch-hit homer as Cincinnati blanked the Cubs 6-0 to avoid a three-game sweep. Mesoraco entered the game without a hit in his previous 13 at-bats, but had three to help the Reds win for the seventh time in their 10-game home stand.
Cincinnati entered the game in third place in the Central, three games behind the division-leading Cardinals and two behind Pittsburgh.
Tampa Bay continues its showdown with AL East-leading Boston tonight, hoping to break out of a prolonged slide that has tightened up the wild-card race. The Rays have lost 12 of 16 and only scored 41 runs in that stretch.
NL Central-leading St. Louis takes a four-game winning streak into their home game against Milwaukee tonight. The Cardinals are hoping some of that streak rubs off on scheduled starter Lance Lynn, who had lost four in a row.
Cincinnati entered the week winning six of seven from division leaders St. Louis and Los Angeles. Since then, the Reds have lost two straight to NL Central cellar-dwelling Cubs. That's dropped Cincinnati three back of St. Louis heading into this afternoon's series finale with Chicago.
Baltimore is also just a game and a-half back of Tampa Bay heading into tonight's home game with the Yankees.