KANSAS CITY, Mo. -

Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer, Jason Vargas pitched into the seventh inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 4-1 on Wednesday night to finish off a three-game sweep.          

Vargas (11-7) stranded four runners in scoring position before turning over a two-on, two-out mess to Kelvin Herrera, who escaped the jam. Louis Coleman gave up a run in the eighth before Wade Davis finished off the inning, and Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth for his 42nd save.          

The victory along with Detroit's 7-0 loss to Cleveland allowed the Royals to extend their lead to 1 1/2 games over the Tigers in the AL Central. They are off Thursday before a crucial trip that takes them through the wild card-chasing Yankees and into a three-game set in Detroit.          

Nick Tepesch (4-9) allowed all four runs over 6 2-3 innings for Texas.