BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) J.D. Martinez hit his major league-leading 28th home run, Steve Pearce added a two-run shot and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 5 2/3 innings on Monday night to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 5-0 victory over the Texas Rangers and their seventh straight win.
The Red Sox won for the 14th time in 17 games to end the day with their biggest lead over the Yankees in the AL East since April. Boston led New York, which lost the opener of a doubleheader in Baltimore, by three games pending the outcome of the nightcap.
Pearce, who was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays last month, lined a 3-2 pitch into the Monster Seats with two outs in the first inning to make it 2-0. It stayed that way until Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi singled to lead off the eighth and Martinez put one into the Monster Seats to give the Red Sox a 5-0 lead.
That was plenty for five Red Sox pitchers, who combined on a five-hitter.
Rodriguez (11-3) held Texas hitless until Adrian Beltre singled with one out in the fourth. He allowed just three singles and three walks, striking out five. No one made it past second base for the Rangers until Robinson Chirinos tripled to lead off the seventh. He was stranded there when Brandon Workman struck out Joey Gallo and then retired Delino Deshields and Elvis Andrus on groundouts.
Mike Minor (6-5) allowed two runs on six hits, striking out four in 5 1/3 innings for his first loss since May. The Rangers have lost five of their last seven.