Martinez, Red Sox continue roll; Yankees split with Orioles
BOSTON (AP) — J.D. Martinez hit his major league-leading 28th home run. Mookie Betts had two hits and a running catch in center field. Mitch Moreland made an over-the-shoulder grab. Even Andrew Benintendi, who is still trying to earn a spot in the All-Star Game, had a pair of hits.
The Boston Red Sox have a lineup stocked with All-Stars, and they’re playing like it.
“There’s so many ways this team can win every night,” Martinez said after helping the Red Sox win their seventh straight game, 5-0 over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
“Our whole team’s been really consistent,” said Martinez, one of five Boston players named to the AL roster in next week’s All-Star Game. “You know what you’re going to get when you come to the ballpark every night.”
Martinez hit a three-run homer, Steve Pearce added a two-run shot and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 5 2/3 innings as Boston won for the 14th time in 17 games. The Red Sox ended the day with a 2 1/2-game lead in the AL East — their biggest since April — over the New York Yankees, who split a doubleheader in Baltimore.
“Mookie, Benny, now it’s getting fun,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “Those guys are getting on base a lot. And J.D.’s getting pitches to hit.”
Pearce, who was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays last month, lined a 3-2 pitch into the Monster Seats with two outs in the first inning to make it 2-0. It stayed that way until Betts and Benintendi singled to lead off the eighth and Martinez put one into the Monster Seats to give the Red Sox a 5-0 lead.
That was plenty for five Red Sox pitchers, who combined on a five-hitter.
Rodriguez (11-3) held Texas hitless until Adrian Beltre singled with one out in the fourth. He allowed just three singles and three walks, striking out five.
No one made it past second base for the Rangers until Robinson Chirinos tripled to lead off the seventh, but he was stranded there when Brandon Workman struck out Joey Gallo and then retired Delino Deshields and Elvis Andrus on groundouts.
“When you’re playing a team like this, you have to capitalize on your opportunities,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “And we didn’t do that tonight.”
Mike Minor (6-5) allowed Pearce’s homer in the first and was charged with two runs on six hits, striking out four in 5 1/3 innings for his first loss since May. The Rangers have lost five of their last seven.
“The first inning I was behind on everybody and couldn’t throw it where I wanted to,” Minor said. “I felt good. My arm felt good. I just didn’t make quality pitches early.”
GARDNER, YANKEES BEAT ORIOLES, 10-2, FOR DOUBLEHEADER SPLIT
BALTIMORE (AP) — Brett Gardner had four hits, homered and drove in three runs to help the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-2 Monday night for a doubleheader split.
In the opener, Danny Valencia snapped an 0-for-25 skid with a three-run homer off CC Sabathia, and Baltimore ended a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory.
The split left the Yankees a 4-4 record against Baltimore and dropped them 2½ games behind first-place Boston in the AL East.
The first game ended with Gardner grounding out as a pinch hitter with the potential tying run on third base. He returned in the nightcap to torment the Orioles at the plate and in center field, where he made several fine, running catches.
Gardner led off with a single off Jefry Ramirez (0-3) and scored on a double by Didi Gregorius. In the fourth, Gardner hit his seventh homer, a two-run drive that made it 3-0.
That was enough offense for Luis Cessa (1-1), who allowed three hits over six shutout innings.
A four-run eighth —highlighted by Austin Romine’s two-run homer and an RBI double by Gardner — ended any doubt.
Despite allowing a home run to Tim Beckham, Giovanny Gallegos finished for his first major league save.
New York had a season-high 17 hits, at least one from every starter.
In the first game, Baltimore trailed 4-2 in the sixth when Sabathia (6-4) walked Mark Trumbo and yielded a double to Jonathan Schoop. With the New York bullpen buzzing in an effort to get a reliever ready, Sabathia served up a 2-1 pitch that Valencia drove far over the center-field wall.
“To come through big with the home run there to put us ahead, it feels nice. Can’t deny that,” Valencia said.
It would be the final pitch for Sabathia, who allowed five runs and seven hits in five-plus innings. The 37-year-old lefty is winless in nine starts against the Orioles since May 4, 2016.
Mike Wright (2-0) struck out four in two innings of relief, Mychal Givens fanned two in the eighth and Zach Britton followed for his second save.
Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to be the 26th man for Baltimore in the doubleheader, Jimmy Yacabonis allowed three runs over five innings in his second major league start.
Giancarlo Stanton put the Yankees up 1-0 with his 22nd home run in the second inning. It was 3-0 before Manny Machado doubled and Trumbo connected in the fourth.
The game was a makeup of a rainout on May 31.
Yankees: All-Star reliever Aroldis Chapman (knee tendinitis) left Saturday’s game against Toronto with a trainer by his side, but manager Aaron Boone says there has been no discussion about putting the lefty on the DL and that the injury has not impacted his effectiveness. … C Gary Sanchez (groin) is scheduled to take batting practice on Tuesday in Baltimore, and a decision on the start of his rehab assignment will be made this weekend.
Orioles: Reliever Darren O’Day will undergo surgery Thursday to repair a severe hamstring strain. “I’ve come to terms with my season being over. I’m excited to get the surgery and kind of get focused on going forward,” O’Day said. … RHP Chris Tillman (back) has been dealing with a callus on his pitching hand but remains on schedule to make his next rehab start.
UP AND DOWN
After going 0 for 4 in the opener of the doubleheader, INF Brandon Drury was optioned by the Yankees to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room on the roster for Cessa.
NO TEARS, PLEASE
Dellin Betances is one of the game’s hottest relievers, but his run of four All-Star appearances in four big league seasons is over. If the right-hander was dismayed over the slight, he didn’t show it. “Every year a lot of guys are left out. Last year I probably didn’t deserve to get in,” he said. Betances started the week with a run of 18 straight scoreless appearances. Asked about being idle during the All-Star break for the first time, he replied, “It’ll be weird. But I’ll enjoy those four days.”
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.58 ERA) comes off the DL to start Tuesday night in the third game of the series. Both hamstrings were strained.
Orioles: Andrew Cashner (2-9, 4.39) takes his eighth crack at getting his third win of the year.
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