Rick Porcello bolsters Cy Young case, AL East lead with complete game win over Orioles

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Red Sox starter Rick Porcello needed only 89 pitches to get through nine innings to defeat the Orioles 5-2 at Camden Yards on Monday night, helping his team increase its AL East division lead over the O’s to four games. Porcello allowed only five base runners on four hits and a hit batsman while walking none and striking out seven in the effort.

Mookie Betts and David Ortiz backed Porcello as each hit a two-run home run. Dustin Pedroia also helped out with an RBI single. The Orioles’ only two runs came on a Mark Trumbo RBI double in the fourth and an Adam Jones solo homer in the eighth.

Porcello is arguably the favorite for the American League Cy Young Award. After Monday’s performance, he’s 21-4 with a 3.08 ERA and a 174/29 K/BB ratio in 210 2/3 innings. He only trails Masahiro Tanaka (2.97) and Chris Sale (3.03) in ERA. J.A. Happ (3.27 ERA) is the only other starter likely to cross 20 wins. He’ll go for No. 20 on Tuesday against the Mariners.