Porcello inspires Red Sox with 18th win, Blue Jays cruise

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The Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 9-4 thanks to in-form pitcher Rick Porcello in MLB on Monday.

Porcello gave up three runs in seven innings to help the Red Sox top the Rays as he earned his MLB-leading 18th win in the process.

The Cy Young Award contender also became just the fifth pitcher to win his first 13 home decisions since 1900. Dallas Keuchel (15) did it last season.

The Red Sox are two games behind the American League (AL) East-leading Toronto Blue Jays, who crushed the Baltimore Orioles 5-1.

Elsewhere, the Cleveland Indians edged the Minnesota Twins 1-0, the Texas Rangers were too good for the Seattle Mariners 6-3, the Washington Nationals blanked the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0, the Colorado Rockies dismantled the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1 and the Houston Astros cruised past the Oakland Athletics 6-0.

The St Louis Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5, the New York Mets saw off the Miami Marlins 2-1, the Kansas City Royals trumped the New York Yankees 8-5, the Detroit Tigers overcame the Chicago White Sox 4-3, the Pittsburgh Pirates were outlasted 8-7 by the Chicago Cubs, while the Cincinnati Reds lost 9-2 to Los Angeles Angels.

 

ROARK INSPIRES SHUTOUT

Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark tossed seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts in a win against the Phillies. Roark improved to 14-7 with a 2.87 ERA on the season. Incredibly, he is now 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in four starts against the Phillies this year.

 

CESPEDES CHANNELS INNER BAUTISTA

Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes' walk-off home run was great, but his bat flip was even better.

 

TIGERS HAVE SALTALAMACCHIA TO THANK, MARTINEZ JOINS ILLUSTRIOUS DUO

Jarrod Saltalamacchia helped the Tigers beat the White Sox by smashing his fourth career go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later (second time this season).

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez struck out a career-high 13 batters against the Brewers. All 18 of his outs through six innings of work either came via strikeout or groundout. Martinez is the third pitcher to strike out at least 11 batters against the same team twice this season. The others are Jake Arrieta (against Pirates) and Jon Gray (Padres).

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki went two-for-four in a loss against the Mets. During the game, he recorded his 3,011th hit, surpassing Wade Boggs for 27th on the all-time list.

 

IN-FORM BLUE JAYS GO AGAIN, PRESSURE ON NORRIS

J.A. Happ (17-4 3.19 ERA) takes the mound on Tuesday looking to keep pace with Porcello for the most wins in MLB. He will take on Baltimore's Ubaldo Jimenez (5-11, 6.62 ERA).

Meanwhile, with Cameron Maybin likely out for a few games with another thumb injury, Detroit will need to win with power and pitching. Rising star Daniel Norris (2-2, 3.63 ERA) will face off against the White Sox's Anthony Ranaudo.