Red Sox holds on to 6-5 win over Blue Jays

TORONTO — The Boston Red Sox hit three runs in the 10th inning and held on to a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night to avoid a three-game sweep.

Boston capitalized on an ineffective performance by reliever David Phelps (0-2), who gave out two walks before hitting a hitter, to put automatic runner Jackie Bradley Jr. home with the go-ahead run.

Alex Verdugo later bet on a doubles in two runs against Tim Mayza to help Boston (43-33) win for the eighth time in 10 games.

Matt Strahm (3-2) gave up two runs late in 10th before putting George Springer on a flyout with runners in goal position to complete the win. Santiago Espinal and Cavan Biggio used to do one run each in the frame.

Verdugo also hit a homer and Franchy Cordero had four for the Red Sox, who moved a half-game over third-placed Toronto with the win. Springer hit a solo shot for the Blue Jays (42-33).

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After starting a rally with a pinch-hit single in a walkoff win the night before, Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk helped get the offense back on track in the series finale.

He pulled a leadoff walk from Boston starter Nick Pivetta in the second inning and moved up to second with a single from Raimel Tapia. Espinal ran in Kirk with the game’s opening run.

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Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah pulled back the first six batters in turn before delivering a colorful single to Cordero with the shift in the third inning.

The Toronto ace threw his glove on the ball as it rolled up the third baseline, but no contact was made. If that had been the case, Cordero could have received three bases under Major League Baseball rules.

Cordero was soon at third base anyway. He stole second and took an extra pocket on Kirk’s wild throw before hitting with a Rob Refsnyder sacrificial fly.

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Tension mounted in the bottom half of the frame after Pivetta hit Kirk on the left elbow with a throw. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a few words for the Victoria native from the dugout and led the charge as the benches and bullpens emptied.

The two squads mostly slammed at each other and Springer crowded Guerrero to keep things from escalating. Kirk stayed in the game and Toronto loaded the bases, but Tapia struck to end the threat.

Back-to-back singles and a sacrificial bunt put two runners from Boston in goal position in the fifth inning. Manoah responded by fanning Bradley and grounding Refsnyder to tie the game.

Springer jumpstarted the announced crowd of 27,601 at Rogers Center when he turned a 0-1 fastball on his 15th homer of the season. His defensive skills were on form, too, as he made a nice dive catch on a sinking liner by JD Martinez in the sixth inning.

Xander Bogaerts later scored in the frame and scored on Verdugo’s sixth homer of the year.

Pivetta was pulled after giving Biggio a leadoff walk in the seventh inning. The Canadian was treated to a chorus of boos as he walked to the dugout.

Toronto even drew in the eighth inning. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a one-out double and pinch runner Bradley Zimmer scored on a Tapia double off release Ryan Brasier.

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The Red Sox had a runner at third base with an out in the ninth inning against Jordan Romano, but he hit pinch-hitter Bobby Dalbec and put Bradley in a flyout.

The game lasted three hours and 54 minutes.

PITCH PLANS

The likely pitchers for Toronto’s upcoming five-game series against Tampa Bay have yet to be officially revealed, but manager Charlie Montoyo said Yusei Kikuchi has been nominated for Thursday night’s opener.

Jose Berrios will pitch on Friday and Kevin Gausman will start on Saturday, although it has not been determined if he would start in Game 1 or 2 of the doubleheader.

MARTIN HONOR

Former Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin is honored during pregame ceremonies on Canada Day to recognize his influence on Canadian baseball.

The four-time All-Star was born in Toronto and raised in Montreal. Martin played 1,693 big league games in 14 seasons before retiring last month.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 29, 2022.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

https://globalnews.ca/news/8957992/red-sox-hang-on-for-6-5-win-over-blue-jays/ Red Sox holds on to 6-5 win over Blue Jays

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