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Sabathia leads rout

CC Sabathia marks his return to Cleveland with his fourth win in five games as the New York Yankees hammer the Indians.

CC Sabathia marked his return to Cleveland with his fourth win in five games as the New York Yankees hammered the Indians 10-5 to open up a one-and-a-half-game lead in the American League (AL) East. Playing in his first game at Progressive Field since signing for the Yankees as a free agent, Sabathia held his old team hitless for four innings as New York built up a 7-0 lead. He left after seven innings, having allowed three runs, five hits and three walks while striking out eight to improve to 5-3. Interestingly, he did not leave the field feeling like a villain.

"These are baseball fans, and they know I loved it here and had a good time here and I felt good playing here," Sabathia said. "So I wasn't surprised at all by the [positive] reaction." Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher homered while Robinson Cano contributed three RBIs for the Yankees, who claimed their 14th win in 17 games. The Boston Red Sox, meanwhile, dropped into a tie for second in the AL East with Toronto after going down 5-3 to the Blue Jays, who claimed their sixth consecutive home win thanks to Alex Rios who had four hits including two doubles and the game-winning RBI single in the seventh inning.

David Price had 11 strike-outs as he claimed his first regular-season win for the Tampa Bay Rays in a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Clete Thomas hit two home runs and Curtis Granderson also went deep to help the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles. Ryan Howard hit his eighth career grand slam besides a solo homer as the Philadelphia Phillies regained top spot in the National League (NL) with a 9-6 win over the Washington Nationals.

Looking to end a four-game losing run, Washington scored three runs in the top of the second but Howard went deep off Shairon Martis in the second for a solo shot before hitting his grand slam off the Nationals starter in a five-run third that put the Phillies on top. * Agencies

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