sport

MLB: Fast start for Toronto

An explosive start from the Toronto Blue Jays helped them record a valuable 8-3 victory over American League East rivals the New York Yankees.

Adam Lind's three-run homer allowed Toronto take a 7-0 lead after the first two innings at Rogers Centre and the Blue Jays never looked back after that as they moved two 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees.

The victory, which ended a mini slump of back-to-back defeats, also kept Toronto one 1/2 games ahead of second-place Baltimore, who picked up a third successive win with their 6-4 triumph over the Chicago White Sox.

Chris Davis secured that win for the Orioles with a pinch-hit, three-run walk-off homer.

Reigning World Series champions the Boston Red Sox slumped to a comprehensive 12-3 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Mariners. A nightmare bottom of the fourth cost Boston dear as John Lackey threw 38 pitches and gave up six runs, allowing Seattle to take 7-2 lead which they never relinquished as they recorded a fourth successive win.

Colorado's miserable run continued as they crashed to a seventh successive defeat after going down 8-0 to the St Louis Cardinals, for whom Matt Adams homered twice and also contributed a two-run single.

It was a similarly one-sided contest at Tropicana Field where hosts Tampa Bay were mauled 8-1 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, while National League West leaders San Francisco continued to falter as they were blanked 6-0 by the San Diego Padres.

At Wrigley Field, Devin Mesoraco's grand slam - the fourth successive match where he has notched a home run - helped the visiting Cincinnati Reds to a 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs. It might have been a slightly closer result but a bizarre incident in the third inning cost the Cubs a run as the ball got lost in the ivy-covered outfield wall following a hit from Darwin Barney - ground rules meaning that Barney, who reached home, was only given a double.

Elsewhere, NL East pacesetters the Washington Nationals defeated NL Central leaders the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0, the Miami Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 with a brace of runs in both the first and ninth innings, while the Kansas City Royals saw off the LA Dodgers 5-3.