Surging Royals too much for Rockies
Aspen, CO Colorado
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ” Brian Bannister picked up his third straight victory, Mark Teahen hit a three-run homer and the Kansas City Royals beat the Colorado Rockies 8-4 on Monday night for their eighth win in nine games.
The Royals’ hot streak has all come against National League clubs, and their 10-3 record is the best in interleague play. Bannister (7-6), who hasn’t lost since May 22, did not allow a hit until Jeff Baker’s two-out single in the fifth. He matched a career high with six walks before the hit, but still worked through seven innings for the fourth time in his past five starts. Bannister gave up three hits and three runs, all unearned, while striking out five.
Teahen has eight home runs, one more than last season, and his two-out shot with Mike Aviles and Alex Gordon aboard highlighted a four-run first for the Royals. David DeJesus, who led off the inning with a triple, had already scored on Aviles’ double.
Rockies left- hander Jeff Francis (3-7) lasted just 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season, and gave up seven runs on seven hits and three walks. Francis continues to have trouble in the first inning, having allowed 19 earned runs in his 16 starts.
Jose Guillen homered, doubled and drove in two runs for the Royals. He leads the majors with 28 doubles and ranks second in the American League with 60 RBIs and 41 extra-base hits.
Miguel Olivo snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a run-scoring double in the fifth to chase Francis. Ross Gload homered in eighth for the final Kansas City run, his first homer since Sept. 3, 2007, at Texas, a span of 225 at-bats.
The Rockies got three runs after leftfielder Esteban German dropped Clint Barmes’ fly in the fifth. Baker’s single drove in Barmes, and Matt Holliday followed with a home run.
Bannister, who had walked just 20 in 91 2- 3 innings in his 16 prior starts, walked the bases loaded with one out in the second, but Barmes’ comebacker started an inning-ending double play.
BOSTON ” Dan Haren allowed two hits over seven shutout innings and outpitched Josh Beckett in Arizona’s 2-1 victory over Boston on Monday night.
The Diamondbacks, swept by Minnesota over the weekend, have won just seven of their past 21 road games. Boston dropped to 1-3 on its current six-game homestand after winning 19 of its previous 22 games in Fenway Park.
Haren (8-4) walked one and struck out five in winning his fifth consecutive start. Tony Pena allowed J. D. Drew’s eighthinning, bases- loaded sacrifice fly, but Manny Ramirez lined to third with two runners on to end the inning.
Brandon Lyon worked the ninth for his 16th save.
Beckett (7-5) gave up two runs and five hits in eight innings, striking out eight. He allowed two runs or fewer for the fifth time in six starts.
NEW YORK ” Seattle’s Felix Hernandez hit the first grand slam by an American League pitcher in 37 years, then left because of a sprained ankle before he could qualify for a win.
Hernandez connected off Johan Santana with two outs in the second inning to give Seattle a 4-0 lead.
The opposite-field shot to right-center was the first home run by a pitcher in Mariners history, and the first slam by an AL hurler since Cleveland’s Steve Dunning on May 11, 1971, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Three innings later, Hernandez sprained his left ankle while covering home plate on a run-scoring wild pitch. He allowed one run and two hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-1) struck out three in two perfect innings, and Arthur Rhodes earned his first save since 2006 with Philadelphia.
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