The Boston Red Sox matched a team record with their 18th win this month by beating American League rivals the Houston Astros 6-1 on Sunday, while Russell Martin had two of Pittsburgh’s four home runs in a 9-0 victory over the St Louis Cardinals that gave the Pirates the National League Central Division lead.
John Lackey (1-1) returned from the disabled list and pitched six solid innings, allowing five hits, striking out four batters and walking two.
Stephen Drew hit a two-run triple and David Ortiz had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 20 games since last season. Ortiz has 11 RBIs and is batting .516 in eight games since returning to the lineup last weekend.
Pittsburgh rookie Jeff Locke allowed three hits over seven innings, Garrett Jones had three hits and John McDonald added an RBI double for Pittsburgh, who ended rookie Shelby Miller’s streak of 14 scoreless innings at home to start the season.
In the American League, David Price struck out nine batters to win for first time this season and Ben Zobrist hit a go-ahead RBI single in a three-run eighth inning spurred by Alex Rios’ error as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 8-3 in a game marked by a spat between Price and home plate umpire Tom Hallion.
Price (1-2) allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings. The 2012 AL Cy Young pitching award winner walked two and threw 119 pitches. Price and Hallion exchanged words as Price walked toward the dugout after throwing his last pitch. After the game, Price said Hallion used an expletive, which Hallion denied.
New York’s Lyle Overbay hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning as the Yankees downed the Blue Jays 3-2 to complete a four-game sweep of Toronto.
Brennan Boesch homered in the second off R.A. Dickey (2-4), pitching in New York for the first time since September last year.
Minnesota’s Justin Morneau homered as the Twins downed Texas 5-0 to send the Rangers to their second straight loss for the first time this season.
Kevin Correia (3-1) gave up six hits over eight sharp innings, struck out two and walked one. He allowed only one runner to reach third base while lowering his ERA to 2.23.
In other AL games, the Oakland Athletics edged the Baltimore Orioles 9-8 over 10 innings, the Baltimore Seattle Mariners edged the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 and the Kansas City Royals shared a double header with the Cleveland Indians — winning the first 9-0 and losing the second 10-3.
The Detroit Tigers downed the Atlanta Braves 8-3 in the only interleague game.
In the National League, Clayton Kershaw retired 18 consecutive batters and struck out 12 in eight innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0.
San Diego’s Chase Headley, Nick Hundley and Alexi Amarista homered off Ryan Vogelsong as the Padres downed the Giants 6-4. Headley had three hits and Amarista scored three runs for the Padres, who have won four straight.
In other NL games, the Florida Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4, the Arizona Diamondbacks downed the Colorado Rockies 4-2, the Philadelphia Phillies dominated the New York Mets 5-1 and the Cincinnati Reds were 5-2 winners over the Washington Nationals.