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RANGERS-ROYALS

Royals stop slide with 4-3 victory over Rangers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Salvador Perez homered and drove in three runs, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Perez, who had three hits, went deep in the third with Alex Gordon aboard. His two-out double in the first scored Gordon, who had singled and swiped second.

Yordano Ventura allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in 6 1-3 innings for Kansas City. The right-hander, who was skipped on his previous turn in the rotation due to a sore back, struck out seven and walked four.

Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his 41st save in 43 chances.

PIRATES-CARDINALS

Holliday, Wong lead Cardinals past Pirates, 5-4

(AP) - Matt Holliday had the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning after Kolten Wong's pinch-hit homer tied the score, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.

St. Louis took sole possession of first place in the NL Central for the first time this season with its third straight win. The Cardinals moved one game ahead of Milwaukee, which lost to the Chicago Cubs.

St. Louis scored three in the seventh. Wong homered off Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole to tie the score at 4-all. Jon Jay followed with a triple and scored on Holliday's single to left.

Holliday, who also had a two-run double in the third, is 7 for 11 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in the last three games.

Seth Maness picked up win in relief. Trevor Rosenthal got the last three outs for his 41st save.

ROYALS MOVES

Royals activate Hosmer amid series of moves

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - First baseman Eric Hosmer was activated from the disabled list and first-round draft pick Brandon Finnegan was promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas in a flurry of roster moves by the Royals on Monday.

Hosmer, who had been out with a fractured right hand, was 3 for 10 in two rehab games for Triple-A Omaha. Designated hitter Billy Butler had started in his place.

Finnegan had a 1.33 ERA in three minor league appearances.

The Royals also purchased the contract of outfielder Carlos Peguero from Omaha and recalled left-hander Casey Coleman, infielder Johnny Giavotella, outfielder Lane Adams and catcher Francisco Pena from minor league affiliates.

In corresponding moves, left-hander Chris Dwyer and right-hander Blake Wood were designated for assignment.

The Royals open a series against Texas on Monday night.

RAMS-NO SAM

Rams announce practice squad minus Sam

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Rams have signed 10 players to their practice squad. As expected, Michael Sam was not among them.

The Rams added two each at linebacker, offensive line, wide receiver and safety Monday, fortifying needy positions. Sam starred at defensive line for Missouri, but coach Jeff Fisher said the defensive line was the strongest group on the team.

Rookie quarterback Garrett Gilbert and seven others were among the cuts that got the roster to 53 players.

The group includes linebackers Denicos Allen and Kevin Riddick, wide receivers Emory Blake and Justin Veltung, safeties Christian Bryant and Matt Daniels, plus tackle Sean Hooey and guard Brandon Washington. Defensive tackle Matt Conrath also was added.

Allen was cut by the Panthers and Reddick had been with the Saints.

CHIEFS-SMITH

Armed with new deal, Chiefs' Smith looks forward

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Alex Smith didn't have much choice when he was traded from San Francisco to Kansas City last year.

He had the final say when it came to staying with the Chiefs, though.

One day after signing a four-year extension that should solidify his future through the 2018 season, Smith expressed relief at being able to focus solely on football - rather than negotiations that had been going on for months, and that were threatening to bleed into the regular season.

Smith said he made it clear to his agent, Tom Condon, he wanted an agreement done before the start of the season. Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said that was also his goal.

The Chiefs open the regular season against Tennessee on Sunday.

T25-MISSOURI-HANSBROUGH

Mizzou RB Russell Hansbrough takes starting role

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Russell Hansbrough can't remember the previous time he rushed 20 times in a game, guessing it might have occurred in peewee football.

Hansbrough, a junior from Arlington, Texas, ran a career-high 126 yards in the Tigers' 38-18 season-opening win Saturday against South Dakota State. It was his first career start after backing up Henry Josey alongside Marcus Murphy in his first two seasons.

But with Josey now in the NFL and Murphy seeing increased playing time at receiver, the spotlight will grow brighter on Hansbrough - something he's admitted in the past to not altogether being comfortable with.

Coach Gary Pinkel expects Hansbrough to continue receiving about 20 carries per game, saying he's a bit stockier than Murphy yet still retains his explosiveness.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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