Boston's nine-game AL East lead and 11-game winning streak going into its series with the second-place New York Yankees had Fenway Park tingling with excitement, and the Red Sox did nothing to diminish it.
Homers by Mo Vaughn and Tim Naehring put Boston ahead 6-2 after five innings, and the Red Sox cruised to a 9-3 victory - their 12th straight - Monday night.About the only excitement in the Boston-New York game came when Yankees starter Scott Kamieniecki (3-4) hit Luis Alicea on the wrist with a pitch. Kamieniecki was immediately ejected, but Alicea headed toward the plate and both dugouts emptied. No fight erupted, though.
"You get mad and you want to (retaliate)," Alicea said. "But the way (Erik) Hanson's throwing and the way this team's playing, we don't want to get in a fight, get guy's hurt. Then we have more to lose."
Hanson retired 14 consecutive batters between the first and the sixth innings. He allowed eight hits and walked two before being lifted with one out in the ninth.
Indians 9, Orioles 6
At Baltimore, Manny Ramirez singled in the go-ahead run in Cleveland's three-run ninth inning as Baltimore lost its fifth straight.
Kenny Lofton opened the ninth with a single off Armando Benitez (1-4) and stole second. With two outs, Ramirez grounded a single inside third base, and Paul Sorrento followed with a two-run double off Jesse Orosco at Camden Yards.
Mariners 6, Twins 2
At Minnesota, Mike Blowers is one hitter pitchers don't want to face with the bases loaded - he hit his second grand slam of the season to cap a five-run seventh.
Brewers 3, Tigers 2
At Milwaukee, Dave Nilsson's solo homer provided some needed insurance as Milwaukee held off Detroit. Nilsson's eighth homer, a solo shot of reliever Mike Christopher, made it 3-1 in the eighth.
Angels 11, White Sox 10
At Chicago, Greg Myers' home run in the 10th inning off Kirk McCaskill (4-4), the sixth White Sox pitcher, made a winner of Mike James (3-0), who pitched 22/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Athletics 13, Royals 5
At Kansas City, Mo., rookie George Williams hit a grand slam, helping another rookie, Steve Wojciechowski, get his first major league win for Oakland. Wojciechowski (1-1) went five innings, giving up five runs on six hits and four walks.
Braves 4, Marlins 3
No Greg Maddux, no problem.
Despite losing their three-time Cy Young Award winner to illness Monday night, the Atlanta Braves turned another late-inning deficit into another comeback victory.
David Justice hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to end the Marlins' winning streak at six games.
The win was Atlanta's 21st victory - and its 14th since July 4 - in its last at-bat. The visiting Marlins lost for only the third time in 17 games.
Reds 4, Rockies 0
At Cincinnati, Dave Burba and two relievers held Colorado's slumping lineup to eight singles as Cincinnati ended its four-game losing streak. The Rockies have fallen out of first place in the NL West by losing six of seven on their road trip and nine of 13 overall.
Cubs 5, Dodgers 4
At Los Angeles, Brian McRae singled home the winning run in the 11th inning and Sammy Sosa hit the 10,000th home run in Chicago history.
Padres 6, Pirates 5
At San Diego, Steve Finley, batting .423 the last 23 games, singled home the winning run with two outs in the eighth inning as the Padres rallied after blowing a 5-0 lead.
Expos 5, Phillies 1
At Philadelphia, Moises Alou hit a two-run homer in sparking Montreal to its sixth win in seven games and into second place, one game ahead of Philadelphia in the NL East.
Giants 4, Cardinals 1
At San Francisco, William VanLandingham (4-2) remained undefeated at Candlestick Park by allowing one run in eight innings. He is now 8-0 in 15 career starts in San Francisco.