>>Cardinals Blast Royals
Matt Carpenter hit a three-run homer in St. Louis' six-run fourth inning, and the Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 11-3 on Monday night for their third consecutive victory.
Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong also connected for the Cardinals, who returned to .500 at 56-56. Carlos Martinez (8-9) pitched eight innings of two-run ball for just his second win in his last nine starts.
St. Louis also got some help from Kansas City during its outburst in the fourth. Ian Kennedy (4-8) walked No. 9 hitter Greg Garcia on five pitches with the bases loaded, and shortstop Alcides Escobar and catcher Drew Butera each committed an error.
Butera made an errant throw while trying to pick off Fowler at third, allowing the speedy center fielder to score.
Five pitches later Carpenter hit a drive to right with Wong and Garcia aboard.
Wong added a two-run shot in the eighth, and DeJong belted his own two-run homer in the ninth.
Kennedy was charged with seven runs, six earned, and six hits in six innings.
Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Brandon Moss homered for Kansas City, which has dropped six of eight.
Michael Wacha is 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA in his past seven starts.
Jason Vargas registered a 7.23 ERA in four July starts after having a 2.22 ERA on June 30.
>>Arrieta, Baez Lead Cubs Past Giants
Javier Baez hit an inside-the-park homer to back Jake Arrieta's 11th win and Chicago beat the Giants 5-3 on Monday night in the champion Cubs' first visit to AT&T Park since rallying to eliminate San Francisco in Game 4 of the NL Division Series last October.
Baez's 16th homer took a tricky bounce off the low wall in right-center and deflected past oncoming right fielder Carlos Moncrief nearly 100 feet back in the direction of the corner in right. Moncrief eventually chased down the ball and Baez used a headfirst slide to beat a pretty one-hop throw home and catcher Buster Posey's tag attempt.
The NL Central leaders moved 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee, which lost 5-4 at Minnesota.
San Francisco rookie Ryder Jones hit his first career home run with a two-run shot in the sixth off Arrieta (11-8).
Arrieta hardly felt his best physically, but still struck out five and didn't walk a batter in 6 1/3 innings. The nine hits he surrendered matched his second-highest total of the year.
Wade Davis got three outs for his 24th save in 24 tries.
Anthony Rizzo and Albert Almora Jr. each hit RBI singles in the fifth as the Cubs added on, but they left the bases loaded in the eighth.
Matt Moore struck out seven in six innings but gave up five runs and lost his fifth straight decision. He is winless in seven starts since beating the Braves on June 20.
Jose Quintana (2-1, 4.13 ERA with Cubs) faced San Francisco only once previously, taking a loss on Aug. 13, 2014, at AT&T Park, while with the White Sox.
Ty Blach (7-7, 4.24 ERA) looks to follow his win against the Cubs on May 22 at Wrigley Field when he tossed seven strong innings.