Miguel Cabrera, the Detroit slugger, drove in five runs to power the Tigers to a 10-7 road victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. In a contest between two first-place teams that was expected to be a pitching showdown between Detroit ace Justin Verlander and Anaheim's Jered Weaver, Cabrera stole the show. Detroit's first baseman delivered his 26th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth inning, to help the Tigers take a commanding 10-0 lead. He also drove in runs in the first and sixth innings.
The AL West-leading Angels (74-49) cut the deficit with four runs in the sixth before Bobby Abreu's three-run homer in the eighth gave the home fans hope. However, the Tigers' reliever Fernando Rodney snuffed out the rally by pitching a scoreless one and a third innings to end the game and earn his 27th save of the year. The Tigers (66-58) stretched their lead in the AL Central to more than three games.
The Boston Red Sox kept up their American League East push with a 12-8 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Mike Lowell's three-run homer proved the final straw for the White Sox starter Jose Contreras, whose two-out error earlier in the third inning put his side on the back foot. The defeat saw the White Sox fall three and a half games behind Detroit in the American League Central. The Minnesota Twins closed to within one game of Chicago after Alexi Casilla and Jason Kubel both scored in the sixth inning to seal a narrow 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Luis Valbuena hit a second decisive homer in three days as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Kansas City Royals 10-6, with Travis Hafner also hitting a three-run shot. Ian Snell was the hero for the Seattle Mariners, allowing the Oakland A's only one hit in the fifth inning as they pulled further clear of the American League West basement boys with a 3-1 victory. Roy Halladay gave up eight runs in six innings as the Toronto Blue Jays lost a high-scoring encounter 12-7 to the Tampa Bay Rays, for whom Jeff Niemann also struggled.
In the National League, Ryan Spilborghs hit the first walk-off grand slam in the Colorado Rockies' history as they edged out the San Francisco Giants in 14 innings. The match was tied at 1-1 when the Giants scored three runs in the top of the 14th but the home side hit back, led by Spilborghs, to secure a 6-4 win. The Philadelphia Phillies maintained their big lead at the top of the National League East with a 6-2 win over the New York Mets. Cliff Lee continued his superb start to life with the Phillies, giving up two unearned runs over seven innings, while Ryan Howard hit two homers for the world champions.
* With agencies