Lynn wins 10th, Cardinals top Pirates 5-2
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Lance Lynn reached double figures in wins before the All-Star break for the third straight year and Kolten Wong homered for the second game in a row, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates for the third straight time, 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Matt Adams had three hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals, who will go for a four-game sweep over the NL Central rival they beat in the division series last fall on Thursday, although they might have to do it without All-Star catcher Yadier Molina.
Molina was removed for a pinch-hitter in the third inning with a sprained right thumb from sliding into third base and will be re-evaluated before the finale. He caught another half-inning before leaving the game.
Neil Walker homered and doubled for Pittsburgh, which had won 12 of 15 entering the series and dropped the first two on game-winning, ninth-inning homers by Adams and Wong.
Perez hits 3-run HR in 9th, Royals beat Rays 5-4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Kirby Yates, the fifth Tampa Bay reliever, entered with runners on first and third with one out and gave up Perez's towering shot into the left-field corner.
It's been a big week for Perez, chosen Sunday to start at catcher for the American League in next week's All-Star game.
Aaron Crow pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Greg Holland got three outs for his 24th save.
The second-place Royals return home Thursday night to begin a four-game series against AL Central-leading Detroit, which has a 4 1/2-game lead.
Cardinals C Molina leaves game with sprained thumb
ST. LOUIS (AP) - All-Star catcher Yadier Molina has been removed from the St. Louis Cardinals' game against Pittsburgh in the third inning with a sprained right thumb.
The team said the injury will be re-evaluated Thursday.
A trainer attended to Molina on the field Wednesday night after he slid feet first into third base in the second inning. Molina remained in the game and caught the top of the third before he was lifted for pinch-hitter Tony Cruz in the bottom half.
Cruz then replaced Molina behind the plate.
Molina was voted to his sixth straight NL All-Star team Sunday and is a starter for the fourth time. He doubled in the second inning and was hitting .287 with seven homers and 30 RBIs.
Kelly set to return to Cardinals rotation
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly is set to return to the rotation Friday from a hamstring injury that's sidelined him nearly three months.
Kelly was injured running to first on April 17. He's 1-1 with an 0.59 ERA in three starts heading into the start in Milwaukee and was 10-5 last year with a 2.69 ERA.
The right-hander is one of three starters on the 15-day disabled list. Michael Wacha is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his pitching shoulder sustained in mid-June and lefty Jaime Garcia will undergo season-ending thoracic outlet surgery on Friday in St. Louis to relieve nerve issues that caused numbness and tingling in his shoulder, arm and hand resulting in a loss of feel for his pitches.
Lefty Kevin Siegrist was set to begin a minor rehab stint from a forearm strain that landed him on the DL on May 24.
Vargas scheduled for appendectomy
ST. PETERBURG, Fla. (AP) - Kansas City Royals left-hander Jason Vargas has been taken to the hospital and will have an appendectomy.
Royals manager Ned Yost announced the news before Wednesday game against Tampa Bay and said surgery was planned for Wednesday night.
Yost says Vargas "started really having severe discomfort" around 4 a.m. Wednesday
There was no timetable given for how long Vargas will be out. Bruce Chen could replace Vargas in Sunday's game against Detroit.
Royals All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon was scratched from Wednesday's lineup due to a sprained right wrist. He will have an MRI exam and see a hand specialist Thursday when the team returns to Kansas City.
Yost said the injury could "very well" impact Gordon's status for next week's All-Star game.
Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas was also out of Wednesday's lineup with the flu.
MISSOURI VALLEY TOURNAMENT
St. Louis keeps "Arch Madness" through 2018
(AP) - The Missouri Valley conference men's basketball tournament will remain in St. Louis through at least 2018.
St. Louis will host what's become known as "Arch Madness" for the 25th straight year in March. The Valley announced Wednesday that St. Louis has also been awarded the 2016-18 tournaments and that it has an option to extend its deal with the city through 2020.
League Commissioner Doug Elgin says the Valley targeted St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Indianapolis and Las Vegas as prospective host cities before choosing to keep the tournament in St. Louis.
The Valley's stay in St. Louis is the second longest for a neutral site tournament, trailing only the Big East's tenure in New York City
Sporting KC goalie Kronberg fractures left hand
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg fractured a bone in his left hand during practice Wednesday and will miss about eight weeks for the defending MLS Cup champions.
The club recalled goalkeeper Jon Kempin from his loan to USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy FC to provide depth during Kronberg's absence. Andy Gruenebaum is expected to become the team's primary goalkeeper after starting both of Sporting KC's matches in the U.S. Open Cup.
Kronberg had started 17 matches for Sporting KC this season, and was leading Major League Soccer with seven shutouts and a 0.88 goals-against average. The reigning MLS player of the month also ranked third at his position in All-Star fan voting.
Sporting KC plays at Montreal on Saturday.
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