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