BOSTON - Cleveland reliever Oliver Perez broke a spike loose on his shoe, and three batters later, the Boston Red Sox broke the game open.
Sandy Leon hit a three-run homer off Perez after he caused an odd stoppage asking for new footwear, J.D. Martinez homered twice and the Red Sox pounded the Indians 12-5 Monday.
Perez put Fenway Park into a strange delay when he relieved during Boston’s six-run fifth inning. The 37-year-old left-hander noticed something amiss with his spikes while warming up and signaled for a replacement pair, leaving him milling about the mound in his socks while a trainer fetched fresh Nike’s from the clubhouse.
He said after the game that the toe spike came loose when he was grooming the mound getting ready for the first batter he faced.
“It never happened to me before,” he said. “It’s kind of funny. It’s part of the game.”
Boston socked it to him after that. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit an RBI double to make it 6-3 after Perez retired the first batter, and Leon followed with his drive into the Green Monster seats.
“I heard he busted out of ’em,” said Bradley, who was on-deck. “I’ve never seen anything like that. I didn’t actually see it, still. I was still trying to do my homework on him.”
Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts had RBI doubles earlier in the inning against starter Jefry Rodriguez (1-5).
Leon, who is known for his defense and calling games behind the plate, came in hitting just .167 with one homer and five RBIs.
“He can say all he wants about the defense and calling games, that’s what he cares about,” Red Sox manager Cora said. “But not really, he wants to contribute offensively and today he did.”
Bradley added another RBI double, and Mookie Betts and Bogaerts each had two hits and scored twice for the Red Sox, who have won 18 of 26.
The Indians have lost seven of eight.
Oscar Mercado had two hits and three runs for Cleveland, but he’s also likely to end up on blooper reels from Martinez’s first home run. The drive banked off the top of the right-field wall, hit Mercado in the glove and then fell into the bullpen.
Boston starter Rick Porcello (4-4) gave up five runs —three earned — on eight hits in 6⅔ innings.
Making his seventh career start, Rodriguez was tagged for seven runs, six earned, in 4 1/3 innings, and dropped his third straight start.
Athletics 8, Angels 5
In Oakland, Jurickson Profar and Josh Phegley homered off former Athletics starter Trevor Cahill and the hosts rolled to their 10th straight win.
Profar tied it with a two-run homer in the fourth against Cahill (2-5), and Phegley gave Oakland the lead for good with a leadoff shot in the fifth. Stephen Piscotty added a two-run single that inning to help the Athletics to their first 10-game winning streak since 2006, with a caveat.
Matt Chapman tacked on a solo shot in the seventh to give him home runs in three straight games. Robbie Grossman had two doubles and an RBI in support of Chris Bassitt (3-1), who allowed five runs and six hits in five-plus innings.
Oakland then got four scoreless innings from five relievers. Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.
Albert Pujols hit his 642nd career homer, and Kole Calhoun and David Fletcher each had RBI doubles for Los Angeles, which has lost six of eight games.
Angeles designated hitter Shohei Ohtani went 1-for-4.
Brewers 5, Twins 4
In Minneapolis, Orlando Arcia drove in three runs, including a go-ahead homer in the eighth that powered Milwaukee past the hosts to stop their six-game winning streak.
Josh Hader struck out Miguel Sano on three pitches with two runners on, notching his 13th save after a two-inning appearance.
The Twins, who fell to 19-7 in May, outscored their opponents 53-16 during their six-game streak.
Dodgers 9, Mets 5
In Los Angeles, Cody Bellinger hit his 19th homer and threw out two runners from right field, leading the Dodgers over New York.
Chris Taylor and pinch hitter Kike Hernandez also went deep for Los Angeles, which has won 10 of 12. Kenley Jansen entered with the bases loaded and pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings for his 15th save.
In a marquee pitching matchup between Cy Young Award winners Jacob deGrom and Clayton Kershaw, the teams combined for 32 hits.
Kershaw (5-0) allowed three runs and 10 hits over six innings.
DeGrom gave up seven hits and two runs in five innings.
Los Angeles trailed 3-2 before scoring six runs in the sixth. Taylor tied it with a solo shot off Tyler Bashlor (0-2), and Hernandez gave the Dodgers the lead with a three-run drive off Daniel Zamora.
Marlins 3, Nationals 2
In Washington, Jose Urena pitched seven solid innings, the Nationals bullpen blew another lead behind ace Max Scherzer and Miami won to avoid a four-game sweep.
Yankees 5, Padres 2
In New York, Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner and Gary Sanchez homered, Manny Machado was booed and greeted with chants of “Over-rated!” in his first visit to the Bronx since free agency and the Yankees beat San Diego for their eighth win in nine games.
Matt Strahm (2-4) struck out a career-high 10 in six innings but wasted a 2-0 lead in New York’s three-run second.
Short on starting pitching with Luis Severino, James Paxton and CC Sabathia on the injured list, the Yankees used Chad Green as an opener for the third time, and he struck out the side in the first. David Hale (1-0) allowed two runs and three hits over the next four innings for his first win since 2015.
Astros 6, Cubs 5
In Houston, Gerrit Cole tied a season high with 12 strikeouts in six solid innings and the Astros reached Cole Hamels early and held on for a win over Chicago.
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the first inning, but Cole (5-5) dominated after that, allowing two singles and striking out 10 over the next five innings.
Jack Mayfield made his major league debut after playing more than 600 games in seven seasons in the minors. He hit a double in his first plate appearance in the second and got his first RBI on a groundout in Houston’s big third.
Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3 (11)
In Denver, Raimel Tapia singled in the winning run in the 11th to give the hosts another dramatic victory.
It was Colorado’s third walk-off win in four games. The Rockies won two of three over the weekend against Baltimore in their final at-bat.
Oh Seung-hwan (2-1) earned the win with a 1-2-3 11th inning.
Arizona reliever Yoshihisa Hirano worked two-thirds of an inning and picked up his fifth hold of the season despite allowing a hit and two runs and issuing a walk.
Rays 8, Blue Jays 3
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Yonny Chirinos was pulled after five no-hit innings and Tampa Bay beat Toronto.
Chirinos (6-1) made his 11th appearance and fifth start this season. Oliver Drake relieved to begin the sixth and gave up a leadoff single to Luke Maile. Five Rays relievers completed a four-hitter.
Pirates 8, Reds 5 (1st)
Reds 8, Pirates 1 ( 2nd)
In Cincinnati, Jose Iglesias hit his first career grand slam off Mitch Keller in the right-hander’s major league debut, and the Reds routed Pittsburgh for a split of their day-night doubleheader.
Iglesias’ homer was part of a six-run first inning. Derek Dietrich and Yasiel Puig added back-to-back homers in the seventh against Alex McRae.
The Pirates rallied to win the opener, going ahead to stay when Bryan Reynolds hit a tiebreaking, two-run triple off David Hernandez (1-3) in a four-run eighth.
Mariners 6, Rangers 2
In Seattle, Daniel Vogelbach hit a mammoth two-run homer in the seventh, Kyle Seager drove in his first run of the season and the Marines topped Texas to snap a six-game losing streak.
Tommy Milone (1-1) pitched into the sixth for the win. Vogelbach’s towering drive off reliever Jose Leclerc found a rare landing spot in the right field upper deck at T-Mobile Park. It was his 15th homer of the season.
Orioles 5, Tigers 3
In Baltimore, Renato Nunez and Jonathan Villar homered and the Orioles benefited from several miscues by skidding Detroit.
In a matchup between two struggling teams,Baltimore prevailed because of the long ball and a throwing error by shortstop Ronny Rodriguez that produced two unearned runs.
Royals 1, White Sox 1 (suspended)
In Chicago, Yolmer Sanchez hit a tying single, then entertained his White Sox teammates with a dugout show during a long rain delay before Chicago’s game against Kansas City was suspended in the fifth inning.
The teams will pick up Tuesday where they left off, with two outs in the bottom of the fifth and a runner on second. Play is set to begin at 4:40 p.m., before the regularly scheduled night game.
The clubs waited through a 2-hour, 55-minute delay with the White Sox batting in the fifth. The game resumed for only five minutes, long enough for Sanchez to hit an RBI single, before play was halted again. The suspension was announced an hour later.