>>Cardinals Blast Royals
Yadier Molina, Jedd Gyorko and Randal Grichuk each went deep, and the Cardinals pounded out 14 hits in a 10-3 victory - the fourth straight for the suddenly serious NL Central contenders.
Michael Wacha (9-4) allowed a three-run double to Cheslor Cuthbert but otherwise kept the Royals in check, surrendering six hits over six innings to win for the sixth time in seven decisions.
Grichuk and Gyorko connected off Vargas (13-6) to highlight the six-run fifth , when the scoreboard at Kauffman Stadium suddenly went dark. It remained that way until the seventh, when about half of it blinked back online and the Cardinals were tacking on runs.
Grichuk homered to begin the fifth for St. Louis, and Vargas hit Matt Carpenter before allowing a single to Tommy Pham. Vargas also threw two wild pitches to put runners on second and third, then he walked Jose Martinez before giving up Molina's go-ahead single.
Dexter Fowler doubled to right to chase Vargas from the game, but reliever Mike Minor was unable to stop the cascade of runs. Gyorko pounded his 2-2 pitch an estimated 420 feet over the left-field bullpen to give the Cardinals a 7-3 lead and close the book on Vargas's latest miserable outing.
The Cardinals send RHP Mike Leake to the mound and the Royals counter with RHP Trevor Cahill when the series shifts to St. Louis on Wednesday night. Cahill has struggled in his first two starts for the Royals since arriving in a trade with the San Diego Padres last month.
>>White Sox Power Past Astros
Kevan Smith had a home run and drove in four runs and Adam Engel provided a highlight-reel catch as the White Sox ended a six-game losing streak by topping Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros 8-5 on Tuesday.
Derek Holland (6-11) earned his first win since June 13, despite issuing seven walks in 5 2/3 innings. He had been 0-5 in eight starts and one relief appearance since beating Baltimore.
Chicago (42-68) won for the fourth time in 23 games after a rebuilding sale continued to strip the team of much of its veteran core.
Keuchel (9-2) allowed a season-high eight runs and 10 hits in four innings for Houston (71-41). He had a 1.67 ERA when he went on the disabled list for the second time with a neck injury, on June 8. The All-Star left-hander has a 10.50 ERA in three starts since his return.
Avisail Garcia and Yoan Moncada had RBI singles in the first inning as the White Sox took a 3-0 lead.
Alex Bregman hit a bases-loaded triple in the second, but Chicago opened up a 6-3 lead in the third on Smith's two-run double and Adam Engel's single. Smith added a two-run homer in the fourth.
Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel had solo home runs in the seventh off Jake Petricka.
Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth in his first save chance since the White Sox acquired him from the New York Yankees on July 18. He gave up two hits and struck out two.
Engel made the play of the night in center field, robbing Brian McCann of a home run in the fourth inning by jumping foot-first into the fence, which he used as support as he extended his glove above the wall.
The teams will be back at it Wednesday as RHP Miguel Gonzalez (5-10, 5.15) of the White Sox will take on RHP Collin McHugh (0-0, 3.24), who is making his fourth start of the season.
>>Giants Double Up Cubs
Buster Posey's first-inning three-run home run provided a nice early cushion to Ty Blach, who won his second straight start as the Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 on Tuesday night.
Replay showed Posey's drive to left-center had just enough to clear the wall and left fielder Jon Jay's outstretched glove before being caught by a fan.
Blach (8-7) hit an RBI single to help his cause and the Giants snapped a four-game losing streak to the Cubs with just their third win in the last 10 against Chicago, which rallied to win Game 4 of the NL Division Series and eliminate the Giants last October on the way to a World Series title.
Blach also beat the Cubs again after a May 22 win at Wrigley Field, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings Tuesday with three strikeouts and a walk.
Brandon Crawford added an RBI single in the eighth after Joe Panik drove in a run on a seventh-inning groundout, then Sam Dyson closed it out for his seventh save.
Ian Happ had an RBI double and sacrifice fly as Chicago lost for only the second time in its last 14 road games dating to July 2.
Cubs starter Jose Quintana (2-2) allowed four runs - three earned - and six hits in six innings, striking out three and walking one.
Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.81 ERA) is coming off a season-high tying seven innings last Friday against the Nationals. He also tossed seven innings in beating San Francisco on May 24 but has never won at AT&T Park.
Madison Bumgarner (1-5, 2.88), who makes his sixth start since coming back from nearly three months off recovering from an April 20 dirt bike accident, is 8-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 career starts against the Cubs and 5-0 with a 1.74 over his last six vs. Chicago.