SAN DIEGO – Kansas City Royals leadoff man Norichika Aoki kindled a three-run, first-inning rally and his team walloped the San Diego Padres 8-0 on Wednesday.
Aoki, who went 3-for-6 with a stolen base and two runs, smashed the first pitch of the game, a 153-kph fastball into right field. After the next Royals batter reached on an error, Aoki led a double steal, and Eric Hosmer singled them both home.
Things didn’t improve for the Padres.
The hitting was sporadic. The defense was shoddy. The pitching erratic. The baserunning poor.
San Diego lost for the sixth time in eight games, shut down by James Shields and a pair of relievers.
Shields, who struck out four and walked two, won his fourth straight road start of the season. Since 2013, he is 14-4 in 24 road starts with a 2.00 ERA.
Rockies 9, Rangers 2
In Arlington, Texas, Nolan Arenado had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 27 games, matching Colorado’s team record, and the Rockies had their third lopsided victory over the Rangers in as many nights.
White Sox 8, Cubs 3
In Chicago, Gordon Beckham homered for the second straight night and Paul Konerko had a big three-run double, leading the White Sox to a victory over the Cubs.
Red Sox 4, Reds 3
In Boston, Will Middlebrooks hit an RBI single with the bases loaded, capping a two-run rally in the eighth.
Koji Uehara struck out the side in the ninth for his eighth save.
Blue Jays 10, Phillies 0
In Toronto, Mark Buehrle became the first six-game winner in the majors and Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer for the Blue Jays.
Cardinals 7, Braves 1
In Atlanta, Adam Wainwright pitched eight strong innings for St. Louis.
Marlins 1, Mets 0
In Miami, Marcell Ozuna hit a sacrifice fly with one out in the ninth as the Marlins completed a three-game sweep.
Pirates 4, Giants 3
In Pittsburgh, Gerrit Cole won for the first time in nearly a month as the Pirates beat San Francisco.
Nationals 3, Dodgers 2
In Washington, Stephen Strasburg recovered from another rough first inning to pitch into the eighth and Wilson Ramos had a go-ahead sacrifice fly for the hosts.
Diamondbacks 3, Brewers 2
In Milwaukee, slugger Paul Goldschmidt smacked a two-run homer for the second straight game as Arizona defeated the Brewers.
Tigers 3, Astros 2
In Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer and the Tigers won their eighth straight game by beating Houston.
Orioles 4, Rays 3
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Adam Jones hit a pair of solo homers and Jonathan Schoop launched a tiebreaking, two-run shot for Baltimore.
Indians 4, Twins 3
In Cleveland, Mike Aviles’ two-out single in the ninth lifted the Indians over Minnesota.
Mariners 6, A’s 4 (1st) (10) Athletics 2, Mariners 0 (2nd)
In Oakland, fill-in starter Drew Pomeranz pitched five scoreless innings for his second win in his past 20 starts and the Athletics salvaged a split of a doubleheader by beating Seattle.
In the opener, the Mariners triumphed on Justin Smoak’s two-out single in the 10th.
Yankees 9, Angels 2
In Anaheim, Derek Jeter ended a home run drought of 161 at-bats in his final regular-season game against Los Angeles, and New York kept Hector Santiago winless.