After two years of trying to overcome terrible starts, the Kansas City Royals are almost done playing catch-up.
The Royals, who lost nine of their first 11 games this season, pulled within one game of first place in the American League West with a 6-4 victory over the White Sox on Thursday at Chicago. Chicago dropped into a tie for first with the Angels.
Mike Macfarlane spoiled Jason Bere's major league pitching debut with a three-run homer, and Chris Haney pitched six shutout innings as the Royals swept the White Sox for the first time since August of 1991.
Macfarlane's sixth homer of the season, after two walks in the first inning, helped the Royals win for the 12th time in 15 games.
"Now, guys are pulling for each other and moving runners along," Macfarlane said. "It's still early and if our pitching staff holds up, we'll be right in it. Now, we don't have to play catch-up anymore."
The Royals' Wally Joyner was three for three with a walk and homered in the sixth, his fifth of the year.
Bere (0-1), called up Tuesday from Nashville, gave up five hits and five runs in six innings, walking four and striking out four.
"I paid for it in the first inning by walking two batters," Bere said. "I tried to get a fastball in on Macfarlane. It was down, and he hit it out of the ballpark."
Milwaukee 9, Toronto 3--Robin Yount homered, had three singles and scored three runs as the Brewers won at Toronto.
Yount went four for four after going three for three with an intentional walk Wednesday night against Toronto.
"That's hitting. Sometimes you just see the ball better than at other times," said Yount, who returned from the disabled list on May 14, 17 days after surgery on his right knee.
"I've felt good since coming back on the whole, but nothing different the past couple days."
Overall, the Brewers had a season-high 15 hits, with B.J. Surhoff getting three of them, including a two-run double in the ninth inning.
Ricky Bones (2-2) went seven innings for his first victory since April 26. He gave up three runs and five hits, walking three and striking out two. Graeme Lloyd finished with two scoreless innings.
Baltimore 4, New York 3--Mike Devereaux, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, singled home the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning as the Orioles won at New York.
Devereaux's hit to left field scored Brady Anderson, who had opened the 10th with an infield single and moved to second on Mark McLemore's sacrifice.