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June 24, 2017

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Angels beat Red Sox but lose Richards

BOSTON -- The Los Angeles Angels beat Boston 8-3 on Wednesday to extend their lead in the American League West, and saw their nearest divisional rival beaten, yet still had cause for concern after losing pitcher Garrett Richards to a nasty knee injury.

The Angels opened up a 1-1/2 game advantage over Oakland, which was beaten at home by the non-contending New York Mets.

In the AL East, leader Baltimore stretched its dominant lead to nine games by edging the Chicago White Sox, while National League Central leader Milwaukee had its five-game winning streak broken at home by Toronto.

Angels' slugger Josh Hamilton broke out of a 5-for-41 hitting slump by hitting two sacrifice flies and a single that brought home the final run in the ninth inning.

Howie Kendrick drove in two runs for the Angels, who have won seven of eight.

Richards sustained a patella injury in his left knee while running to cover first base in the second inning. He was 7-2 in his previous 11 starts and his expected absence will be a blow to Los Angeles' rotation.

Oakland slipped further behind with an 8-5 home defeat by the Mets.

Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer and Eric Campbell also cleared the fences for New York, with both coming in a five-run third inning that effectively decided the game.

Mets' starter Zack Wheeler (9-8) allowed two earned runs while working 5 2-3 solid innings. He is 6-0 with a 2.12 ERA over his nine outings since June 30.

Toronto's Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run sixth inning which lifted the Blue Jays to a 9-5 win at Milwaukee.

Colby Rasmus also homered for Toronto, which had won only one of its previous seven games of a lengthy road trip.

The homers made a winner of R.A. Dickey (10-12), who gave up five runs in 5 2-3 choppy innings. Dickey left after Carlos Gomez's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth made it 7-5.

Baltimore's Nelson Cruz took the major league home-run lead with his 33rd homer as the surging Orioles won 4-3 to complete a three-game sweep of the White Sox.

Adam Jones and Steve Pearce also homered for the Orioles, who posted their first sweep away to the White Sox since 1995.

Cruz's homer was a two-run shot in the fourth off Hector Noesi (7-9) that gave Baltimore a 3-2 lead. Cruz is one ahead of White Sox rookie Jose Abreu and Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the homer lead.

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