BOSTON -- C.J. Wilson and four relievers combined on a nine-hitter and the Los Angeles Angels took over sole possession of first place for the first time since opening day, 2013, with a 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.
Technically, the Angels, who have won seven of their last nine games at Fenway Park, led the idle Oakland Athletics by a percentage point coming into the game. But they now have a half-game lead, their first actual games lead since winning last year's opener.
The Angels visit Oakland this weekend and then host the A's next weekend.
Center fielder Mike Trout and designated hitter Albert Pujols stroked back-to-back RBI hits off hard-luck loser Brandon Workman in the third inning and Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa was guilty of a double error with the bases loaded in the eighth, good for two more runs.
Cubs 4, Mets 1
NEW YORK -- Anthony Rizzo scored the tying run in the sixth inning Monday afternoon and hit a tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning to lead Chicago to a 4-1 win over New York at Citi Field.
Javier Baez added a long two-run homer in the ninth inning for the Cubs, who won the final two games of the four-game weekend wraparound series.
The Mets had just four hits, the franchise record-tying fifth straight game in which they were limited to four hits or less.
Phillies 4, Mariners 1
PHILADELPHIA -- Jerome Williams pitched seven strong innings and Andres Blanco hit his first homer in over three years on Monday night as Philadelphia beat Seattle.
Williams, making his second start for Philadelphia since he was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Aug. 7, allowed one run and three hits to record his first decision with his new club. He struck out four and walked three.
Philadelphia reliever Ken Giles struck out the side while working out of a jam in the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save.
Braves 7, Pirates 3
PITTSBURGH -- Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons led off the game with back-to-back
home runs as the Atlanta scored six runs in the first inning and held on to defeat Pittsburgh.
Heyward hit right-hander Vance Worley's third pitch of the game deep into the right-field stands. Two pitches later, Simmons homered into the left-field bleachers.
Heyward had three hits and two RBIs as the Braves extended their overall winning streak to four games while snapping an eight-game road losing streak. He drove in the game's final run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning after leading off a game with a home run for the third time this season and sixth time in his career.
The Braves entered the night six games in back of the Washington Nationals in the National League East.
The Pirates dropped their sixth straight game for their longest losing streak since 2012 and fell six games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL East.
Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 4 (11 innings)
WASHINGTON -- Adam LaRoche homered with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Washington its seventh straight victory.
The Nationals dodged a bullet in the top of the 11th when the D-backs loaded the bases with none out before right-hander Craig Stammen (3-4) struck out the next two hitters and got pinch-hitter Cliff Pennington on a grounder to second.
Right-hander Will Harris (0-3), called up earlier in the day, came on for Arizona (53-72) and retired the first two Nationals (70-53) in the 11th before LaRoche hit the first walk-off homer of his career.
Orioles 8, White Sox 2
CHICAGO -- Bud Norris had one of his best starts of the season, outdueling Chicago ace Chris Sale, as Baltimore opened a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field with its second win in a row. The Orioles hold a comfortable lead in the American League East and have now won nine of their past 10 series-openers.
Norris (11-7) needed only 82 pitches to get through seven innings, allowed two runs, struck out five and didn't issue a single walk to earn his third straight win. Helping his cause, the Orioles scored three runs off Sale in his six innings and broke the game open with a five-run eighth against Chicago's maligned bullpen.
Right-fielder Nick Markakis scored twice and went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs to lead Baltimore offensively. Shortstop J.J. Hardy also scored twice and went 2-for-4 with a homer, left-fielder Nelson Cruz hit a homer, first baseman Steve Pearce went 3-for-5 and second baseman Jonathan Schoop had a three-run double to key the eighth-inning fireworks.
Royals 6, Twins 4
MINNEAPOLIS -- Backed by seven innings of one-run pitching from left-hander Jason Vargas, Kansas City defeated Minnesota at Target Field.
The victory was the Royals' third in the four-game series here and moved them to two full games ahead of idle Detroit atop the American League Central standings.
Vargas was nearly flawless through seven, allowing only a solo homer to Oswaldo Arcia in his final inning of work. Before that, it was three harmless singles. In between, Vargas retired 10 in a row through the middle innings, allowing only the four hits and a walk en route to his 10th win of the year.
The only concerning news to come from the night for the Royals was the early departure of catcher Salvador Perez, who left the game in the seventh inning with a sore right knee. Team officials declared him day-to-day, but the removal from the game is believed to have been precautionary.