Jays Come Through in a Pinch to Take Finale
Toronto Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar, right, dives safely into home plate in front of Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross after Blue Jays' Jose Reyes ground into fielders choice during seventh inning American League baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
Boston Red Sox pitcher Junichi Tazawa reacts after Toronto Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar hits a double during seventh inning American League baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
Toronto — Pinch-hitter Danny Valencia had a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning, leading the Toronto Blue Jays over the Boston Red Sox 5-2 Wednesday night.
Jose Bautista homered for the second straight night, a two-run drive in the first that helped the Blue Jays improve to 7-16 in August.
With Boston leading 2-1, Edwin Encarnacion doubled off Joe Kelly starting the seventh, and left-hander Tommy Layne (0-1) relieved.
Dioner Navarro’s at-bat was prolonged when catcher David Ross dropped his foul popup for an error and Navarro singled.
Right-hander Junichi Tazawa came in, and Valencia turned on a 2-0 pitch for his first home run since Toronto acquired him from Kansas City on July 28. Eight of 20 home runs off Tazawa in his big league career have been hit by Blue Jays batters.
Kevin Pillar followed with a double, was sacrificed to third and made it 5-1 when he scored ahead of shortstop Brock Holt on Jose Reyes’ fielder’s-choice grounder.
Marcus Stroman (8-5) allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits in 7 2⁄ 3 innings. He had been 0-3 in four starts since winning at Boston on July 29.
David Ortiz, who returned to the lineup after sitting out the previous two games with a sore right foot, gave the Red Sox their first hit with a one-out single in the fourth.
Ross reached on a fielding error by third baseman Juan Francisco in the sixth, and back-to-back singles by Holt and Pedroia loaded the bases for Ortiz, who lined an RBI single to right. One pitch later, Holt scored on a wild pitch, but Stroman retired Mike Napoli on a groundout and struck out Daniel Nava.
Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts has passed baseball’s mandatory concussion tests and been cleared to rejoin the team in Tampa Bay on Saturday. Bogaerts sustained a concussion when he was hit on the helmet by a pitch from Seattle’s Felix Hernandez last Friday.
Red Sox: Boston is off today before a four-game series at Tampa Bay starting Friday. The Red Sox have not announced a starter to face Rays RHP Chris Archer (8-6), who is 0-1 with a 4.32 ERA in three starts against Boston this season.