KANSAS CITY: Jose Ramirez hit his fifth career grand slam and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Kansas City Royals 14-1 on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), moving into first place in the AL Central despite a losing record.
Ramírez lined a first-pitch cutter from Austin Cox into the left-field bullpen after Cox opened the third by allowing a single and two walks. It was the slugger's 13th homer this season. Ramírez added an RBI double in the seventh and is hitting.411 (30-for-73) with 14 extra-base hits over his last 18 games.
Josh Bell's two-run blast, a 464-foot shot into the right-field fountains, gave Cleveland a 6-0 lead in the fifth. Bell added a two-run double in the sixth as the Guardians batted around against James McArthur, who made his major league debut.
Cleveland (39-40) played its second straight game without manager Terry Francona, who was hospitalized overnight and told by doctors to rest after he felt lightheaded before Tuesday's game.
Bo Naylor connected for his first major league home run, a two-run line drive to left-center during the seven-run sixth. He had a career-high three hits.
Nick Sandlin (4-3), the first of four Guardians relievers, got four outs for the win. Starter Logan Allen worked out of several jams, allowing six baserunners over 3 2/3 innings.
Making his first major league start, Cox (0-1) allowed his first runs after 12 1/3 scoreless relief innings to begin his career. He surrendered four runs on four hits, walking four and striking out two in 3 2/3 innings.
The Guardians have won seven of nine to surpass Minnesota (40-42) in the division standings.
First baseman Matt Duffy pitched a scoreless ninth for the Royals, who have lost 10 of their last 12 series, with two splits.
Astros 10, Cardinals 7
In St. Louis, Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer in Houston's five-run eighth inning and the Astros rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jose Abreu added a two-run homer for Houston, which had lost three of its previous four games.
The Astros overcame a 7-5 deficit in the eighth.
After missing the previous two games because of a heel injury, Altuve reached base five times. His drive off reliever Giovanny Gallegos put the Astros in front to stay at 8-7.
Abreu unloaded two batters later, also off Gallegos.
Seth Martinez (2-3) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief. Ryan Pressly finished for his 15th save.
Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Brendan Donovan homered for St. Louis, which has lost three of five.
Reds 11, Orioles 7 (10 innings)
In Baltimore, Will Benson hit a go-ahead triple and TJ Friedl followed with a two-run homer in a four-run 10th inning to give the Cincinnati Reds the victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
The first-place Reds won two of three games at Camden Yards, where they had not played since 2014.
Orioles rookie Jordan Westburg went 2 for 5 with an RBI double in the eighth and has five hits in his first three major league games. Adam Frazier followed with a two-run homer with two outs off Buck Farmer that tied it 7-all.
Baltimore closer Félix Bautista allowed runners to reach first and third in the ninth but then struck out the next two batters and induced a grounder to get out of the jam.
After Benson tripled and Friedl homered, Keegan Akin (2-2) threw a wild pitch that allowed another Cincinnati run to score in the 10th.
Alexis Díaz (3-1) pitched a scoreless ninth and Fernando Cruz closed it out.
The Orioles were trying to win their fourth straight home series, but fell short.
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