Orioles extend lead in AL East to 10 games, their largest since 1979

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The American League East is turning into a runaway.

The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 4-0 at Fenway Park this evening to extend their division lead to 10 games over the Yankees and Blue Jays. They also trimmed their magic number to 11.

Miguel Gonzalez tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in the victory while allowing six hits and three walks. He was pulled after loading the bases with three straight singles in the seventh, but Tommy Hunter wiggled out of the jam by getting Will Middlebrooks and David Ross to strike out swinging. Gonzalez has allowed just four runs in 34 2/3 innings over his last five starts and now sits at 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA on the year.

Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce each had two hits for the Orioles, though three errors from Boston helped give Baltimore’s bullpen some extra breathing room.

Per Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com, this is the largest division lead for the Orioles since way back on September 22, 1979. They currently have the biggest lead of any of the six division leaders.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.