The New York Yankees are looking even smaller in the Boston Red Sox's rearview mirror right now.
The Bosox lead the AL East by four games over the Yanks after Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel combined on a two-hitter in a 2-0 shutout of the Rays.
Sale was outstanding while improving to 14-4, holding Tampa Bay to a pair of hits while striking out 13 over eight innings. Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth, allowing Boston to finish with 16 K's against the Rays.
Rafael Devers put the Red Sox ahead with an RBI grounder in the top of the fourth. Jackie Bradley added an RBI single in the ninth to help Boston secure its seventh consecutive win.
The Red Sox were a half-game behind New York before the winning streak.
In Toronto, J.A. Happ held the Yankees to a run and four hits over 5 2/3 innings of the Blue Jays' 4-2 victory. Josh Donaldson slammed a pair of two-run homers off CC Sabathia, who was pulled after just three innings. Sabathia entered with an AL-leading 2.29 road ERA and had never allowed a homer to Donaldson in 35 career at-bats.
Garrett Cooper drove in both runs for the Yankees, who ended a two-game winning streak and lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Homers by Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud helped the Mets overcome the Rangers' three round-trippers in a 5-4 win over Texas. Chris Flexen allowed three runs over 5 2/3s in picking up his first big league win. Joey Gallo, Adrian Beltre and Robinson Chirinos went deep for the Rangers.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— The Indians ended a two-game skid by beating the Rockies, 4-1 on a three-run, walk-off homer by Yan Gomes off Greg Holland in the bottom of the ninth. Colorado was one out from a 1-0 win until Austin Jackson hit a game-tying single and scored on Gomes' game-winning blast, giving Cleveland a four-game lead over Kansas City in the AL Central. Corey Kluber struck out 11 and went the distance on a three-hitter in his fourth complete game of the year.
— Jedd Gyorko slammed a three-run homer and Yadier Molina added a solo shot and three RBIs to lead the Cardinals' second straight rout of the Royals, 10-3. Randal Grichuk also hit a solo homer and Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah) gave up three runs over six innings for his ninth win. St. Louis is just 2 ½ games behind the NL Central-leading Cubs after outscoring the Royals 21-6 in the first two games of the four-game season series.
— The Giants prevented the Cubs from expanding their lead in the NL Central as Buster Posey drilled a three-run homer and pitcher Ty Blach added an RBI single in a 6-3 decision over Chicago at San Francisco. Blach allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings to win his second straight start and help the Giants beat the Cubs for the first time in their last five meetings. The Cubs' second loss in their last 14 road games keeps them 1 ½ games ahead of Milwaukee.
— Max Kepler and Brian Dozier combined for three home runs and eight RBIs as the Twins throttled the Brewers, 11-4 in Minnesota. Dozier hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, while Kepler added a pair of homers to help the Twins send Milwaukee to its third straight loss. Losing pitcher Matt Garza was torched for eight runs over 3 1/3 innings.
— Dallas Keuchel was roughed up in Houston's 8-5 loss to the White Sox, yielding eight runs and 10 hits in just four innings. Kevan Smith hit a two-run homer and a two-run double off Keuchel, who is 0-2 with a 10.50 ERA in three starts since coming off the disabled list. The AL West leaders have dropped seven of 10.
— Giancarlo Stanton crushed his career-high 38th home run and Vance Worley worked six strong innings as the Marlins thumped the Nationals, 7-3 to cut Washington's lead in the NL East to 13 games over Miami. Stanton's three-run blast broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth, one inning after Derek Dietrich's solo shot knotted the score. Dietrich finished with three RBIs to back Worley, who gave up a run and six hits.
— Jake Lamb hit a solo homer and put the Diamondbacks ahead with a grand slam in the seventh inning to lead a 6-3 win over the Dodgers. Chris Iannetta also homered as Arizona moved a half-game ahead of Colorado for the first NL wild-card berth. Justin Turner homered twice for the Dodgers, whose lead in the NL West is at 15 games over the DBacks.
— Andrew McCutchen banged out his 23rd home run of the season and the Pirates climbed within 3 ½ games of the NL Central lead by whipping Detroit, 6-3. Chad Kuhl took a shutout into the sixth and allowed three runs and five hits to win his second straight start. Kuhl also provided a two-run single while Pittsburgh built a 6-0 lead in its fifth win in six games.
— The Mariners pulled out a 7-6 win at Oakland on Leonys Martin's solo blast in the 10th inning. The Athletics led 6-2 until Ben Gamel's two-run double in the sixth. Seattle overcame Khris Davis' three-run homer and RBI triple to move into a virtual three-way tie with Kansas City and Tampa Bay for the final AL wild-card berth.
— C.J. Cron hit a pair of RBI singles and Luis Valbuena doubled home the tiebreaking run as the Angels topped the Orioles, 3-2. Parker Bridwell limited Baltimore to a run and six hits over seven innings for Los Angeles, which is two games behind for the final AL wild-card berth. The Birds remain 1 ½ games out of a playoff spot following their third loss in 11 games.
— Luis Perdomo carried a shutout into the seventh inning of the Padres' 7-3 victory at Cincinnati. Perdoma left with a 7-0 lead but was charged with two runs following Tucker Barnhart's three-run homer off Jose Torres. Yangervis Solarte smacked a two-run homer and had three RBIs, while Austin Hedges added a solo shot to help the Padres end a two-game skid.
— The Phillies are 10-2 against the Braves this season after Odubel Herrera hit a two-run homer in a 5-2 decision over Atlanta. Winning pitcher Zach Eflin allowed two runs over seven innings following his recall from the minors. Julio Teheran fell to 1-8 in 12 home starts, surrendering five runs over five innings.
The Red Sox have activated Dustin Pedroia, who went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored as their designated hitter for Tuesday's game against the Rays.
Pedroia missed eight games after being placed on the DL with left knee inflammation. He was hitting .307 with six home runs and 54 RBIs this year before being sidelined.
Also around the majors:
— Indians All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley is undergoing more tests after spraining his right ankle in the fifth inning of Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Rockies. Brantley is batting .299 with nine homers and 52 RBIs in 88 games. He was limited to just 11 games last season due to right shoulder surgery.
— Cleveland reliever Andrew Miller may need more time to recover from knee tendinitis. Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list last week with soreness in his right knee that had bothered him for weeks. The All-Star left-hander was having control issues and the Indians felt it was best to shut him down before it worsened.
— The Mariners will be without starter Felix Hernandez for three to four weeks because of bursitis in his right shoulder. Hernandez was scratched from his scheduled start last Saturday in Kansas City and placed on the disabled list due to discomfort in his pitching arm.
— The Yankees say rookie Jordan Montgomery was demoted to the minor leagues on Sunday in an attempt to limit his innings. New York wants him to pitch about 180 innings this year.
— Don Baylor was honored Tuesday as the Rockies hung his No. 25 jersey inside their dugout at Cleveland. The former Colorado manager died Monday after a lengthy battle with cancer. The Indians observed a moment of silence for Baylor before the first pitch.
The new Miami Dolphins quarterback practiced Tuesday for the first time since December, marking the start of his comeback from a brief retirement.
Cutler participated in 11-on-11 drills and a lot of one-on-one conversations as he learns the names of his teammates. When the workout ended, the 34-year-old Cutler said he had no second thoughts about deciding to renew his working relationship with coach Adam Gase and return for another season.
Cutler agreed to delay the start of his network TV career and instead signed a $10 million, one-year contract with Miami. He's expected to start in place of Ryan Tannehill, who is out with a knee injury likely to sideline him for the entire season.
In other NFL news:
— 49ers rookie linebacker Donavin Newsom suffered a concussion during Tuesday's practice, but the team says he didn't sustain any cervical spinal fractures. He was taken from the practice field in an ambulance after taking a hit to the head and neck.
— Quarterback Cam Newton will sit out the Panthers' preseason opener against the Houston Texans on Wednesday as he continues to battle soreness in his right throwing shoulder. Other than some light warmup tosses, Newton hasn't thrown at training camp since July 30.
— The Packers have released defensive lineman Letroy Guion, ending a checkered three-plus year tenure in Green Bay. Guion was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Hawaii in June. In an unrelated incident, the NFL suspended him without pay for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating a policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
— The Falcons are holding out wide receiver Julio Jones in their preseason opener at Miami on Thursday night. Jones has reported no problems in his recovery from minor offseason foot surgery. His practice time has been regulated, though he has run well.
The Memphis Grizzlies will likely open the upcoming NBA season without Ben McLemore.
The team says the guard underwent surgery and would be out an estimated 12 weeks with a fractured right foot suffered in a pickup game.
The 24-year-old McLemore signed with the Grizzlies last month after averaging 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 25.5 minutes in four seasons with the Sacramento Kings.
— Former NHL forward and head coach Eddie Olczyk underwent surgery last week as he battles colon cancer.
Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry says Olczyk "will be undergoing further treatment in the coming weeks, including chemotherapy."
Olczyk says he expects to return to the Blackhawks and NBC broadcast booths after he completes his treatment.
Former Syracuse head football coach Dick MacPherson has died at 86.
MacPherson took over a declining program and led Syracuse to a 66-46-4 record from 1981-90 before returning to the NFL as head coach of the New England Patriots. The second all-time winningest coach in school history went to five bowl games with the Orange and had the nation's fourth-ranked team in the final 1987 AP poll after going 11-0-1.
Cause of death was not released.
The PGA Championship will be the second major of the 2019 golf season.
The PGA of America has confirmed that its major championship is leaving the mid-summer date it has had for some 50 years and will be played a week after Mother's Day in 2019. That would leave the PGA Championship in between the April Masters and June U.S. Open.
PGA of America chief executive Pete Bevaqua sited a sports landscape that is changing in part because of the Olympics and alterations to the FedEx Cup.
Some of golf's top players were sporting a new look as they practiced today in preparation for the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte.
Tournament officials are allowing players to wear shorts during practice rounds this week, a first in the tournament's 99-year history. World No. 1 Zach Johnson showed off his legs, as did Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. But on a rain-soaked Tuesday, only about half of the players took advantage of the change, with many like Rory McIlroy choosing to stick with long pants.
HIGH SCHOOL SURVEY
A high school sports study conducted by the Korey Stringer Institute and sponsored in part by the NFL shows that many individual states are not fully implementing key safety guidelines to protect athletes from potentially life-threatening conditions, including heat stroke.
More than 7.8 million high school students participate in sanctioned sports annually.
The state-by-state survey showed North Carolina with the most comprehensive health and safety policies at 79 percent, followed by Kentucky at 71 percent. At the bottom were Colorado's 23 percent and California's 26 percent.