Escobar gets Royals started right

• KANSAS CITY 6, DETROIT 2: Alcides Escobar homered on the first pitch of the game and made a sparkling catch on Miguel Cabrera's line drive two innings later, leading the Royals to a victory over the host Tigers on Saturday. Jeremy Guthrie gave up two runs in 7⅓ innings for the Royals, who moved back into first place by a half-game over Detroit in the AL Central. Anibal Sanchez gave up six runs and nine hits in six innings.

• TAMPA BAY 7, TEXAS 2: Reliever Andrew Bellatti, who served jail time as a teen after a fatal car crash, was the winning pitcher in his major league debut as the host Rays beat the Rangers. Bellatti, 23, gave up one hit and one walk in 3⅓ scoreless innings. He struck out two. Bellatti was sentenced as a 19-year-old in 2010 to eight months in jail and five years' probation as the driver in an accident that killed another driver.

• BALTIMORE 6, NEW YORK 2: The Orioles hit three home runs and ended a four-game slide by beating the host Yankees.

• TORONTO 7, BOSTON 1: Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer and the host Blue Jays defeated the slumping Red Sox.


Pirates finally get best of Cardinals

• PITTSBURGH 7, ST. LOUIS 5: Jordy Mercer broke out of a deep slump with a go-ahead two-run double and the host Pirates rallied to beat the Cardinals for the first time in eight meetings. Mercer came into the game batting .186 but sent a fastball off the wall in center field with one out in the sixth to give the Pirates the lead. Mercer finished with three RBI, nearly doubling his season total.

• MILWAUKEE 12, CHICAGO 4: Jason Rogers hit his first career home run, Gerardo Parra also homered and drove in four runs to lead the host Brewers past the Cubs.

• NEW YORK 3, PHILADELPHIA 2: Juan Lagares homered and Jonathon Niese pitched seven innings to lead the visiting Mets.

• LOS ANGELES AT COLORADO, PPD.: The game in Denver was postponed by rain, with no makeup date announced.


White Sox, Reds split pair

• CINCINNATI 10-2, CHICAGO WHITE SOX 4-8: Carlos Rodon gave up two runs in six innings in his first big-league start, Avisail Garcia and Gordon Beckham homered in the sixth inning and the host White Sox earned a doubleheader split by beating the Reds 8-2. In the first game Johnny Cueto pitched into the ninth inning in his longest start of the year as Cincinnati won 10-4.


• Boston hired Carl Willis as its new pitching coach, reuniting him with manager John Farrell. The 54-year-old Willis, a reliever on the 1991 Twins championship team, was working as the pitching coach for Cleveland's Class AAA Columbus team and previously was a pitching coach for the Indians and Mariners.

• Tigers catcher Alex Avila was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a left knee issue, and the team said star lefthander David Price has a mild strain of his right hamstring.