Robinson Cano homered and drove in three runs to extend his recent tear, Hiroki Kuroda took a shutout into the eighth inning, and the Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians, 7-1, Monday night in New York.
Nick Swisher and Dewayne Wise also went deep for the homer-happy Yankees, who opened a seven-game homestand against the top two teams in the AL Central with their third consecutive victory and 13th in 16 games.
Cano smacked a two-run double in the first inning and a solo homer in the third to the short porch in right. After a slow start to the season, Cano has hit six of his 17 homers in the last eight games.
Kuroda was rarely in trouble besides the fourth, when he walked the first two batters and still escaped unscathed. He easily handled a lineup loaded with nine lefthanded bats, giving up five hits while walking two and striking out seven.
Royals 8, Rays 0 - Luke Hochevar tossed his second career shutout, Eric Hosmer homered, and Yuniesky Betancourt drove in three runs to lead host Kansas City.
Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon both had three hits for the Royals, who were coming off an embarrassing sweep at the hands of St. Louis in which they were outscored, 30-14.
Hochevar provided some much-needed rest for their weary bullpen. He struck out eight and walked only one in his second straight dominant outing. The same starter who had been allowing a run per inning earlier this season has gone 16 2/3 innings without allowing anybody to cross home plate.
Twins 4, White Sox 1 - Francisco Liriano spoiled Kevin Youkilis’s first game with Chicago, throwing a season-high seven innings to lead host Minnesota.
Making his first start against the rival White Sox since his no-hitter in Chicago nearly 14 months ago, Liriano allowed just three singles, two walks, and a double. The lefthander struck out five, winning for the first time this month while holding the White Sox without a run until Alexei Ramirez’s sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Youkilis singled in the eighth inning for his first hit as Chicago’s new third baseman.
Phillies 8, Pirates 3 - Joe Blanton threw seven effective innings, Jimmy Rollins homered for the fourth time in five games, and host Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh.
Blanton (7-6) allowed three runs - two earned - and seven hits, striking out eight. Despite a 4.87 ERA, Blanton has more wins than Roy Halladay (4) and Cliff Lee (0) combined.
Tigers 8, Rangers 2 - Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, Rick Porcello struck out seven in six innings and visiting Detroit beat Texas.
After their first 12 batters, the Tigers had already roughed up Rangers rookie righthander Justin Grimm for six runs and eight hits.
Josh Hamilton hithit his first homer in his last 12 games for Texas, a two-run shot in the seventh. It was his 23d.
Rockies 4, Nationals 2 - In Denver, Todd Helton hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and Colorado cooled off Stephen Strasburg with a victory over Washington.
Jeff Francis pitched five effective innings as the Rockies won for just the fourth time in 18 games.
Strasburg allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. Nationals rookie Bryce Harper went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
Athletics 1, Mariners 0 - Tommy Milone became the first Oakland rookie to earn eight wins before the All-Star break by beating Seattle.
Milone allowed seven hits, struck out five and didn’t walk anyone in his second straight superb outing.
Cardinals 8, Marlins 7 - Rafael Furcal and pinch-hitting pitcher Joe Kelly drove in runs in the 10th inning and St. Louis, which scored four runs in the top of the ninth, held on to beat host Miami for its fourth straight victory.
Reds 3, Brewers 1 - Mat Latos fanned a personal-best 13 batters in his second career complete game, leading host Cincinnati.
The NL Central leaders won for only the second time in seven games.
Cubs 6, Mets 1 - Joe Mather homered and Travis Wood outpitched Johan Santana, leading Chicago to a victory over visiting New York to snap a four-game skid.
Wood struck out six and scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings to earn his second straight victory.
Padres 8, Astros 7 - Carlos Quentin hit an RBI double in the 10th inning to lift San Diego to a win in Houston.
Giants 8, Dodgers 0 - San Francisco tagged Nate Eovaldi for eight runs on 10 hits as the Giants routed visiting Los Angeles.