BOSTON (AP) — Chris Sale pitched 6 1/3 overpowering innings with nine strikeouts, Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the third straight game and the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday in a matchup of two of the AL’s top teams.
Dustin Pedroia had two hits and drove in a run and Moreland added a sacrifice for Boston, which kept pace with the New York Yankees atop the East.
Coming off a three-game sweep in Cleveland that had jumped them over the Indians into first in the Central, the Twins’ offense was stymied by Sale and three relievers.
Sale (10-3) gave up one run and four hits, increasing his major-league strikeout total to 155. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 21st save.
The 6-foot-6 Sale relied on his usual sharp-breaking slider and fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s to fan eight over the first six innings, getting the initial half dozen with his breaking pitch.
Jose Berrios (7-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Chris Gimenez had a solo homer for Minnesota.
Boston jumped ahead 2-0 in the first when Moreland homered into the first row of Green Monster seats after the first run scored on a double-play grounder.
Berrios had given up just two runs in each of his previous four starts, and six of eight since being promoted on May 7.
Gimenez’s homer completely left Fenway Park over the Monster.
Indians 15, Rangers 9
CLEVELAND — Francisco Lindor, Lonnie Chisenhall and Carlos Santana each had three RBIs to help the Cleveland Indians rally from a seven-run deficit and beat the Texas Rangers after manager Terry Francona left the game because he wasn’t feeling well.
The Indians came back after trailing 9-2 in the fourth inning to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 2015.
Francona was examined by the team’s medical staff. The Indians did not say whether he went to a hospital, and had no update on his status for today’s game.
The Indians scored a run in the fourth, four in the fifth, took the lead with five in the sixth and added three in the seventh.
Bryan Shaw (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Tanner Scheppers (0-1) allowed all three batters he faced to reach the base.
Cubs 5, Nationals 4
WASHINGTON — Wade Davis struck out big league batting leader Ryan Zimmerman with runners on second and third to blunt Washington’s ninth-inning rally, and Chicago held on for a win.
In jeopardy of being shut out for the first time this season, the NL East-leading Nationals scored four times in the ninth. Their comeback began against Hector Rondon and continued when Davis became the Cubs’ eighth pitcher of the game.
With Washington down 5-3, Bryce Harper’s single loaded the bases with two outs. Davis threw a wild pitch that scored a run before striking out a swinging Zimmerman, who’s hitting .344. The final pitch bounced, and catcher Willson Contreras zipped a low throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to close out the victory.
Contreras hit a leadoff home run in his first career game-opening at-bat and Eddie Butler (4-2) worked five scoreless innings to keep the Cubs ahead.
Gio Gonzalez (7-2) allowed a run and two hits, striking out eight over six innings.
Diamondbacks 6, Phillies 1
PHOENIX — Zack Greinke pitched five effective innings after a shaky start, Daniel Descalso had three RBIs and Arizona rolled over Philadelphia.
The Diamondbacks were sluggish Sunday against the Phillies, scratching out a 2-1 victory in 11 innings. They took advantage of a rough outing by Nick Pivetta (1-4) in the series finale, racking up six runs in less than three innings against the rookie right-hander.
Chris Herrmann led off the first inning with a homer and Greinke (9-4) allowed a run and three hits with five strikeouts.
Cardinals 8, Reds 2
ST. LOUIS — Randal Grichuk and Jedd Gyorko each homered and drove in three runs, leading St. Louis over Cincinnati.
Michael Wacha (4-3), who began the day with an 8.17 ERA over his last seven starts, limited the Reds to one run on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked one.
Brandon Finnegan (1-1) was activated off the disabled list after missing more than two months because of a shoulder problem. The lefty exited in the fourth with a strained left triceps.
Giants 9, Rockies 2
SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey hit an RBI double in the first and a sacrifice fly two innings later, Jeff Samardzija struck out five pitching into the seventh and San Francisco snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Colorado.
Brandon Belt and Denard Span each added run-scoring triples to back Samardzija (3-9), who lost his first three starts against the Rockies this year. He won for the first time in four total starts after losing his previous two decisions since beating the Brewers on June 5.
Joe Panik hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth as San Francisco went ahead 5-0 against Rockies rookie right-hander German Marquez (5-4). Colorado dropped its season-high sixth straight game.
Angels 4, Dodgers 0
LOS ANGELES — Ricky Nolasco pitched into the seventh inning to pick up his first win in almost exactly two months, Yunel Escobar drove in two runs and the Angels snapped the Dodgers’ 10-game winning streak.
Nolasco (3-9) gave up five hits while striking out five and walking two in 6 2/3 innings. He left the game after getting hit by a line drive by Enrique Hernandez. Nolasco was 0-7 in 10 starts since beating Oakland on April 27.
The Dodgers also ended a streak of 17 consecutive games with at least one home run, which was tied for the longest stretch since moving to Los Angeles before the 1958 season.
Dodgers starter Rich Hill (4-4) gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking two.