Red Sox thrash Orioles to maintain lead

Boston maintained their two-game lead in Major League Baseball’s American League East on Monday night after beating the Baltimore Orioles.

The series opener between the Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park ended in a 12-2 victory to the hosts, who never looked back after leading 5-0 at the end of the first inning.

Elsewhere, Ezequiel Carrera’s pinch-hit home run in the eighth gave the Toronto Blue Jays a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, while a two-run seventh proved decisive as the Detroit Tigers saw off the Minnesota Twins 4-2.

The Oakland Athletics were the night’s biggest winners, blowing away the Kansas City Royals 16-3, while another one-sided contest saw the Chicago White Sox ease past the Cleveland Indians 11-4.

Rougned Odor’s homer in the 12th gave the Texas Rangers a 4-3 win over the Houston Astros, boosting their hopes of wrapping up the West, while the Seattle Mariners brushed aside the Los Angeles Angels 8-1.

In the National League, runaway Central pacesetters the Chicago Cubs stretched their advantage over the St Louis Cardinals to 17 matches with a 4-1 win, while the Cincinnati Reds closed on the Milwaukee Brewers with a 3-0 success.

The Arizona Diamondbacks were quick out of the blocks against the Colorado Rockies, holding on for a 12-9 victory, while the San Diego Padres blanked the San Francisco Giants, 4-0.

East leaders the Washington Nationals were too hot for the New York Mets, winning 8-1, while the Atlanta Braves sunk the Miami Marlins 12-7.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 and the Los Angeles Dodgers picked up their seventh win in nine games, seeing off the New York Yankees 8-2 at Yankee Stadium.

Press Association Sport