Slugger David Ortiz blasted two home runs to set a new Boston Red Sox record in his team's 6-0 home victory over Minnesota, a win that prevented the Twins from taking top spot in the American League Central.

A day after an 8-2 loss to the Twins helped the New York Yankees clinch a ninth consecutive AL East title, the Red Sox gave the Detroit Tigers' post-season hopes a boost.

While the Red Sox were beating the Twins, the Tigers were being edged 4-3 by the Baltimore Orioles, to leave Detroit clinging to a half-game lead top the Central.

Known as "Big Papi" to his swelling base of fans, Ortiz blasted his way into the Red Sox history books surpassing Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx's mark of 50 home runs set in 1938.

Ortiz made the historic hit off Minnesota Twins left-hander Johan Santana in the first inning, receiving a thunderous ovation from the Fenway faithful as he rounded the bases, tipping his helmet to the crowd after reaching home base.

Lost in the Ortiz fireworks was a brilliant pitching performance Josh Beckett (16-10), who scattering six hits over eight shutout inning while striking out five without a walk to claim his career high 16th victory.

In Baltimore, Melvin Mora stroked a two-run double in the eighth inning to lift the Orioles past the Tigers in a make-up game for a May 11 rainout.

After a first inning two-run homer from Magglio Ordonez and a third inning solo shot by Curtis Granderson had given Detroit a 3-0 lead, the Tigers had looked poised to extend their slim lead.

Mike Cameron drove in two runs to help the San Diego Padres beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 and maintain their half-game lead over the Dodgers atop the NL West.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, kept the pressure on the Friars with a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates and continue to set the pace in the NL wildcard race, a half-game clear of the idle Philadelphia Phillies.

Woody Williams (10-5) allowed one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings of work to pick up his third straight decision while Trevor Hoffman came on in the ninth to get the final three outs and nail down the win and his 41st save of the season.

J.D. Drew, Marlon Anderson and Russell Martin contributed an RBI each to the Los Angeles cause while Chad Billingsley (6-4) took credit for the win, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks.

Los Angeles opened the scoring on Saenz's first-inning two- run homer but watched the Pirates hit back, pushing across a run in the third and fifth to tie the game at 2-2.

The Dodgers retook the lead in the bottom of the inning when Josh Sharpless issued Drew a bases-loaded walk to push across Rafael Furcal with the go-ahead run.

09:51 : Premiership : Francis fumes at decision09:48 : Bundesliga : Bayern aim to get back on track09:44 : Baseball : Ortiz sets Red Sox record08:41 : Women World Championships : US stunned08:29 : Davis Cup : Murray wants whitewash08:13 : Japanese GP : Rossi paces practice07:56 : Premiership : Pearce still fighting07:40 : Int. Friendlies : Ronaldo left quarter-finals?

This is cache, read story here