The Kansas City Royals were put up against a tough task to extend their win streak on Friday night, but they used their surprising power to earn yet another victory. Mike Moustakas hit his 30th home run of the season in a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox, which was their ninth straight victory. Salvador Perez added his 21st home run in the second inning, with Moustakas's blast coming in the fourth. The third baseman reached 30 big flies in his 92nd game, becoming the quickest to reach the mark in franchise history. Both home runs came against Rick Porcello, who allowed four runs over seven innings in his 14th loss. He was scheduled to pitch Saturday, but stepped in for David Price, who was placed on the disabled list with an elbow injury. The Red Sox have struggled overall as they have dropped five of six and nine of 14. They now sit out of first place in the AL East for the first time since June 29th. Jason Vargas earned his 13th win for the Royals after allowing a run on five hits over six innings. Kelvin Herrera recorded his 22nd save in 25 chances after allowing just one hit in the ninth. The Royals continue their series in Boston on Saturday night.
Indians Top White Sox for Eighth Straight Win
Despite the Royals' win streak, they have been unable to surpass the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. That is because the defending AL Champs are just as hot, and they kept the torrid streak alive on Friday night. Jose Ramirez led the offense with four hits in a 9-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox, their eighth in a row. Ramirez, Carlos Santana, and Michael Brantley all went deep in the win, as the Indians have now hit home runs in all eight games since the All-Star break. Ramirez added a two-run single later on, while Yan Gomes drove in two for Cleveland, who finished the night with 16 hits. Meanwhile, Danny Salazar impressed on the mound by holding Chicago to two runs over six-plus innings on just three hits. He has now won back-to-back starts since being activated off the disabled list. The Indians still hang on to a two-game lead on Kansas City in the Central, and will look to remain hot on Saturday night.
Yankees Take Over First in AL East
The New York Yankees have taken advantage of the Red Sox' struggles, along with their recent hot streak, to take over first place in the AL East on Friday night. Masahiro Tanaka was perfect in to the sixth inning in a 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, which moves them a half game ahead of Boston in the division. Tanaka struck out a career-high 14 batters, including the first five he faced, in what was the Yankees' fifth straight victory. Brett Gardner set a career-high of his own with his 19th home run of the season to lead off the first inning, while Aaron Judge lined his 33rd home run of the year in the win. The rookie extended his home hitting streak to 17 games, breaking the franchise record set by Hideki Matsui in 2003. Clint Frazier added a three-run shot on the night, as all three starting outfielder went deep in the win. The first 17 Rays were sent down in the Bronx, but Adeiny Hechavarria's two-out single in the sixth stopped any thoughts of a perfect game or no-hitter. David Robertson ended the game with a perfect ninth inning. Lucas Duda made his Rays' debut a day after being acquire in a trade with the New York Mets, and homered in his first game with Tampa Bay. These two teams finish their series with two matinee matchups this weekend.