Game of the day: Florida at Arizona, 8:10 p.m. The Diamondbacks have won six straight games to take over first place in the National League West, making this game a surprisingly appealing matchup. Arizona has won 14 of its last 16, rising from fourth place and a 5-1/2 game deficit as recently as May 13. Left-hander Joe Saunders (1-5) dropped his first five decisions of the season, but the former West Springfield and Virginia Tech pitcher is coming off his best start of the year when he allowed two runs in eight innings Tuesday against Colorado. Florida is just two games behind Philadelphia in the National League East, and it will send right-hander Chris Volstad (2-3) to the mound Monday. Volstad last earned a win on April 26.
Other game to watch:
Texas at Tampa Bay, 6:40 p.m. The Rangers are back on top of a very tight American League West, and they will travel east Monday to face the inconsistent Rays. Tampa Bay started the year 1-8, then went 23-9 to vault into first place, and now has fallen back into third after hitting a 4-7 skid. Left-hander Derek Holland (3-1) will start for Texas, looking for his first win since April 22. Right-hander Wade Davis (4-4) is the scheduled starter for Tampa Bay. In Davis’s only career regular season appearance against Texas, he allowed eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings last June 4.
Games you should have seen:
Texas 7, Kansas City 6. Elvis Andrus hit a walk-off single to right that barely scored Mike Napoli with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Napoli slid under Royals catcher Brayan Pena’s high tag to score after Eric Hosmer’s relay throw easily beat Napoli to the plate. Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar broke a 5-5 tie with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth. Nelson Cruz led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo homer to tie the game at 6 before Andrus’s winning hit. Napoli went 3 for 4 with a home run and a double.
Boston 4, Detroit 3. In the first game of a day-night doubleheader, David Ortiz hit a pinch-hit home run to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth. Mike Cameron and Dustin Pedroia homered for Boston earlier in the game, while Andy Dirks and Brennan Boesch each hit home runs for Detroit. The win was Boston’s 13th in its last 15 games before the Sox dropped the nightcap.
Stat you should know: 16. Saves this season for Arizona closer J.J. Putz, after he earned another one Sunday in the Diamondbacks’ 4-2 win over the Astros. After dealing with injuries, ineffectiveness and demotions, Putz already has more saves this season than in any year since 2007.
Star of the day: Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw pitched a two-hit shutout in an 8-0 win over Florida. Kershaw struck out 10 and walked one, improving to 6-3 this season and lowering his ERA to 2.62.
Chatter: “I thought I had home plate blocked, but I guess not.” – Royals catcher Brayan Pena, who was not even close to blocking the plate when he allowed Angels catcher Mike Napoli to slide underneath him with the winning run.