CLEVELAND — Carlos Santana homered leading off the ninth inning to send the Cleveland Indians to a 6-5 win over the fast-fading Boston Red Sox on Monday night and back into first-place in the AL Central.
After the Red Sox tied it in the top of the inning, Santana connected on a 2-2 pitch from Marcus Walden (7-2), driving it barely over the wall in left to give the Indians their biggest win this season.
The Indians moved past the idle Minnesota Twins and are alone in first for the first time since April 19.
José Ramírez hit a three-run homer and Franmil Reyes had a two-run shot as the Indians improved to a MLB-best 43-17 since June 4, when they trailed the Twins by 10 ½ games.
Down 5-1 after three innings, the Red Sox chipped away and finally tied it in the ninth on a two-out double by Xander Bogaerts off Indians closer Brad Hand (6-3).
But Santana bailed him out and added a new chapter to his own comeback season with Cleveland.
J.D. Martinez and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered, but Boston lost for the 12th time in 15 games. The defending World Series champions came in trailing the New York Yankees by 16 games in the AL East and 7 ½ back in the wild-card race.
NATIONALS 7, REDS 6
WASHINGTON — Trea Turner and Matt Adams homered, Erick Fedde pitched well after allowing a solo shot on the game’s first pitch and depleted Washington held on to edge Cincinnati.
Washington led 7-2 but blew most of that advantage before Sean Doolittle got his 27th save in 32 chances. He entered in the ninth with a 7-4 lead, but the struggling lefty closer’s first pitch of the evening became Phillip Ervin’s pinch-hit homer. The next batter singled, and came around on Joey Votto’s two-out double off the wall in left. Doolittle finally ended things on Josh VanMeter’s foul pop to third baseman Anthony Rendon.
The Nationals opened a six-game homestand without three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, left fielder Juan Soto or first baseman Ryan Zimmerman — all injured — while second baseman Brian Dozier was ill and limited to pinch-hitting duty.
BLUE JAYS 19, RANGERS 4
TORONTO — Brandon Drury hit his first career grand slam, Justin Smoak had a two-run homer among his three extra-base hits, and Toronto routed Texas.
Bo Bichette had the first four-hit game of his career and Randal Grichuk had three hits, including a solo homer, as the Blue Jays won for the 10th time in 15 games.
Drury had five RBI, while Smoak and Grichuk each had four. Danny Jansen had a two-run homer.
Toronto scored eight runs in the fourth, its biggest inning since an eight-run outburst against Seattle on Sept. 20, 2016.
Nomar Mazara, Willie Calhoun and Rougned Odor hit solo home runs but Texas lost for the fifth time in six games.
YANKEES 8, ORIOLES 5 (G1)
YANKEES 11, ORIOLES 8 (G2)
NEW YORK — Gleyber Torres hit three more home runs, including a pair of three-run drives in the night game that gave him 13 of New York’s record 59 long balls against Baltimore this season, and the Yankees completed a doubleheader sweep.
The Yankees’ winning streak against the Orioles is 14 games.
Gio Urshela had six hits in the twinbill, including a 461-foot homer in the opener.
Torres set a big league record with his fifth multihomer game against a team in a season, breaking a tie with Ralph Kiner (1947), Gus Zernial (1951) and Roy Sievers (1955). His 26 homers are two more than his total as a rookie last year, and the 13 against Baltimore matched Roger Maris in 1961 against Cleveland for the second-most against one team in a season by a Yankees player, one behind Lou Gehrig’s total in 1936 versus Cleveland.