MLB news: Tony Gwynn honored prior to Mariners-Padres, Royals crush Justin Verlander, Cole Hamels shuts down Braves

Otto Greule Jr

The Mariners honored the late Tony Gwynn as they hosted the Padres at Safeco Field, and other teams across baseball paid tribute to the Hall of Famer.

Prior to Monday's game against the Padres at Safeco Field, the Mariners honored the late Tony Gwynn, who passed away at the age of 54 earlier that morning.

The Mariners played a two-minute video tribute to Gwynn before the stadium observed a moment of silence. The Hall of Famer's No. 19 was also etched into the dirt between shortstop and third base.

Gwynn played his entire 20-year career for the Padres, but his impact on baseball went well beyond one team. He made the NL All-Star team 15 times and finished his career with a .338 batting average.


Gwynn's death was mourned throughout the league Monday, with the Tigers also honoring Gwynn with a special marking on the infield dirt at Comerica Park.

Streaking Royals crush Tigers, Verlander

The Tigers are still atop the AL Central standings, but their lead is shrinking by the day. The Royals won yet again Monday, beating Detroit, 11-8. Kansas City now sits just a half-game behind the Tigers for the division lead.

The Royals roughed up Tigers starter Justin Verlander, knocking in 12 hits and seven runs against the right-hander. Detroit actually held a 2-0 lead before a four-run fifth inning gave Kansas City the advantage. The Royals tallied three more runs in the sixth on a home run by Omar Infante, who also added an RBI single. Four more runs in the seventh put the game away for good, though the Tigers scored six runs of their own in the ninth.

The victory was Kansas City's eighth straight, and the club has now won 12 of 15 in June. On June 1, the Royals sat in last place in the division, 6.5 games behind the Tigers, but that gap has shrunk considerably.

It must be encouraging for the Royals how their offense has started to come alive after a tough start to the season. Kansas City is averaging an AL-leading 5.1 runs per game in the month of June.

For Verlander, Monday's rough start continued a bumpy stretch for the six-time All-Star. He now has a 4.98 ERA and 4.09 FIP in 2014. Over his last 10 starts, Verlander has allowed at least three earned runs in eight outings.

Hamels extends scoreless streak against Braves

Cole Hamels is beginning to round into form after biceps tendinitis delayed his start to the season.

The left-hander dominated the Braves on Monday night, allowing just seven baserunners -- five hits and two walks -- over seven innings. Hamels struck out six Atlanta batters and lowered his ERA to 2.78 and FIP to 2.79.

Even more impressive, Hamels has not allowed a run in 24⅓ innings pitched dating back to his start against the Mets on June 1. Since then, Hamels has held the Reds, the Padres, and now the Braves scoreless over three straight starts.

Despite Hamels' outing, the Phillies couldn't hold onto a one-run lead in the ninth inning. They did end up beating the Braves, 6-1, in 13 innings.

Philadelphia remains near the bottom of the MLB standings, and one has to wonder if either Hamels or Cliff Lee will be made available at the trade deadline if the Phillies continue to struggle.

Monday's scores

Cardinals 6, Mets 2
Rays 5, Orioles 4
Cubs 5, Marlins 4
Phillies 6, Braves 1
Red Sox 1, Twins 0
Royals 11, Tigers 8
Indians 4, Angels 3
Brewers 9, Diamondbacks 3
Mariners 5, Padres 1
Dodgers 6, Rockies 1
Rangers 14, A's 8

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