Santana And The Sun Help Royals Top Mets Again

By: AP, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: AP, posted by Kinch O'Kelley

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ervin Santana scattered five hits and allowed one run in six innings, and the surging Kansas City Royals took advantage of a sun-splashed Sunday to beat the New York Mets 6-2 and win the three-game interleague series.

The Royals won for the 11th time in 12 games, helped by a pair of flyballs that right fielder Marlon Byrd lost in the glare. Both came during a three-run fifth, with one falling for a double and the other glancing off his glove for an error.

Mike Moustakas hit a solo homer for the Royals, who won their second straight from the Mets. Kansas City completed an 8-1 road trip.

Santana (8-6) has three wins and a no-decision in his past four starts, giving up a total of four earned runs in that span.

Zack Wheeler (4-2) lost for the first time in six starts. He gave up four runs - three earned - and issued five walks, three to George Kottaras, in five innings. The light-hitting catcher was the only Royals player who batted not to have a hit. He also was struck by a pitch in going 0 for 1.

Wheeler wasn't nearly as sharp as in his previous start Tuesday at Miami when he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but the rookie right-hander was hurt by the defense behind him and behind the plate by catcher John Buck.

Wheeler fell behind 1-0 in the fourth inning on Moustakas' 10th homer, and the Royals took advantage of the sun to bat around in the fifth.

The trouble started right away when David Lough lofted a fly ball that Byrd got under but couldn't catch as he battled the sun. Lough didn't run hard out of the box, yet still made it to second base with a double.

Miguel Tejada bunted him to third, but Lough was forced to leave the game because of right quadriceps tightness. With Eric Hosmer batting, pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson scored on the first of Wheeler's two wild pitches in the inning to make it 2-0.

Hosmer walked, and Alex Gordon lofted a fly to deep right field that Byrd tracked to the fence. He again struggled with the sun, and the ball hit his mitt and fell to the ground, sending Gordon to second on the error.

Lorenzo Cain then lined a shot to right that Byrd pulled up on and bobbled. Hosmer, who had held up, nearly got lapped by the speedy Gordon as both runners scored almost side by side to give the Royals a 4-0 lead.

Wheeler threw another wild pitch, and Buck was charged with a passed ball as Kansas City reloaded the bases. Wheeler struck out Santana looking to end the inning.

The Mets got one run back in the bottom half on Eric Young Jr.'s RBI single. However, Byrd's tough day continued when he struck out with the bases loaded.

Kansas City continued to tack on runs in the sixth after Gonzalez Germen relieved Wheeler. Hosmer's RBI single drove in Dyson, who had led off with a double. Gordon singled to make it 6-1.

Santana was left in to take his at-bat in the seventh inning in a sacrifice situation. Santana's bunt found a hole between the mound and first base, giving him his fourth major league hit in 25 career at-bats. He hadn't had a hit since 2011.

Buck, awaiting the imminent birth of his son, had an RBI single in the eighth to make it 6-2.

NOTES: Mets closer Bobby Parnell was unavailable for the third straight day because of a sore neck. ... New York 2B Daniel Murphy moved back into his usual No. 2 spot after hitting No. 5 the previous two days. He also lost a ball in the sun. ... The Royals placed All-Star C Salvador Perez on the seven-day concussion disabled list. He was struck in the mask by a foul ball Saturday. Brett Hayes was recalled from Triple-A Omaha. RHP Wade Davis was placed on the family emergency list. LHP Will Smith was brought up from Omaha. ... Saturday marked the first time ever the Mets didn't walk a batter in a game that lasted as many as 12 innings. It was the 10th game this season they didn't issue a walk.


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