Blue Jays strike first in showdown

•TORONTO 4, NEW YORK 2: David Price pitched seven shutout innings, Jose Bautista had two hits and the host Blue Jays used a three-run first inning to beat the Yankees on Monday night. Toronto stretched its lead in the AL East to 3½ games in the opener of a three-game showdown.

•CHICAGO 2-3, DETROIT 0-2: Erik Johnson followed a one-hitter by Jeff Samardzija with six solid innings, helping the host White Sox post a doubleheader sweep of the Tigers. Samardzija (10-13) allowed only a leadoff single to Victor Martinez in the fifth inning in his second shutout this season. He threw just 88 pitches in a game that took 2 hours, 12 minutes. Monday's losses guaranteed the Tigers will finish no better than .500.

•BOSTON 8, TAMPA BAY 7: Xander Bogaerts's grand slam in the eighth inning lifted the host Red Sox to victory — and out of the AL East's basement and ahead of the Rays.


Niese nudges Mets closer to title

•NEW YORK 4, ATLANTA 0: Jonathon Niese pitched three-hit ball for six innings and won for the first time in a month, Michael Conforto homered and the host Mets inched closer to an NL East title with their shutout of the Braves. Yoenis Cespedes had three hits and the Mets handed hard-luck Shelby Miller (5-16) his 15th straight defeat, while lowering their magic number for clinching the division to seven. The second-place Nationals' home game against Baltimore was rained out.

•ST. LOUIS 2, CINCINNATI 1: Rookie Stephen Piscotty doubled in the go-ahead run in a two-run eighth-inning rally that lifted the Cardinals over the Reds. Rookie Tommy Pham tripled off J.J. Hoover to open the eighth and Jhonny Peralta's one-out single tied it ahead of Piscotty's drive off the wall in left-center.

•PITTSBURGH 9, COLORADO 3: Starling Marte homered among his four hits and came within a triple of the cycle as the Pirates won in Denver. Aramis Ramirez went deep and Jody Mercer had four hits for the Pirates, who reduced their magic number for clinching a postseason berth to two.

•CHICAGO 9, MILWAUKEE 5: Anthony Rizzo had three hits and scored three runs and Jorge Soler hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer for the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Soler's first career pinch-hit home run broke the game open in the seventh inning after the Cubs broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth with two runs. Starlin Castro, who had two hits and two RBI for Chicago, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly before Miguel Montero singled in Rizzo.


• The Pirates put infielder Jung Ho Kang on the 60-day disabled list and called up outfielder Keon Broxton from Class AAA Indianapolis. Kang suffered a broken left leg and torn MCL on a takeout slide at second base by Chris Coghlan of the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. Kang is expected to be out six to eight months.

•The Boston Red Sox honored David Ortiz in his first game in Fenway Park since he joined the 500 home-run club.During a 15-minute ceremony before the Red Sox faced Tampa Bay, former teammates Pedro Martinez, Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek came out of a new vehicle that was presented to him by his teammates and the organization. "It's an unbelievable honor to be part of the 500 club," Ortiz said. "Let's keep on hitting bombs."