Boston (16-8), trying to end the Yankees’ streak of nine straight AL East titles, is assured of having at least a 3½-game lead at the end of April, the largest in franchise history.
“It’s a good month, but you can’t get caught up in the numbers,” said Cora, who hit an RBI grounder in the third, had two-run homer for a 4-3 lead in the fifth and tripled and scored in the seventh.
Ortiz was wary about reading too much into the first month. Two years ago, the Yankees started 11-19 before a 10-game winning streak got them going.
“Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve watched them struggle at the beginning. Then they pick it up,” he said.
Wang, making his second start since recovering from a hamstring injury, failed to hold a 3-2 lead, repeatedly left pitches up and allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. Ramirez, batting .202, boosted Boston’s lead to 7-3 with a two-run homer off Sean Henn in the eighth.
Julian Tavarez (1-2) and four relievers held New York to seven hits, with Papelbon pitching the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.
“I think today was one of the very, very important starts for me,” Tavarez said. “I felt it was like the last start of my life.”
Notes: Yankees RHP Carl Pavano (sore forearm), who hasn’t pitched since April 9, threw about 45 pitches in a bullpen session, about 20 from the top of the mound. He probably will throw again Tuesday or Wednesday. ... Boston’s Mike Lowell went 0-for-2, ending his hitting streak at 14 games.
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TORONTO (AP) - R.A. Dickey won his second straight start, Edwin Encarnacion hit a tiebreaking, bases-loaded double in the seventh inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-5 Monday.
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