KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jason Vargas earned his major league-leading 11th victory, pitching seven efficient innings to lead the surging Kansas City Royals over the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Saturday.
The Royals won for the 11th time in 13 games and moved over .500 for the first time this season at 37-36.
Vargas (11-3) allowed two runs on eight hits, walked none and striking out two. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was set to try for his 11th win later at night against Colorado.
Troy Tulowitzki and Pillar homered off Vargas.
Alcides Escobar had three hits and scored twice, including the go-ahead run in the seventh. He singled with one out and scored on Alex Gordon’s triple down the right-field line off Marco Estrada (4-6).
After Joakim Soria struck out two in the eighth, Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances.
Escobar tripled in the third when Blue Jays outfielders Jose Bautista and Kevin Pillar collided in right-center chasing the flyball. Escobar scored on Whit Merrifield’s sacrifice fly.
Estrada gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked four.
Royals rookie Jorge Bonifacio walked in his first three plate appearances.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (broken nail on middle finger) will throw a minor league rehab game Tuesday for Class A Dunedin. … Pearce returned to the lineup after missing two games with a bruised right knee.
Blue Jays: RHP Francisco Liriano, who is 3-3 with a 5.76 ERA, will make his 12th start.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel, who is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA since May 20, will start the series finale.