Blue Jays use 9-run 5th to beat skidding Red Sox 12-4
TORONTO (AP) — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run homer, Teoscar Hernández had three hits and three RBIs, and the Toronto Blue Jays used a nine-run fifth inning to beat Boston 12-4 on Friday night, handing the skidding Red Sox their seventh loss in eight games.
Rookie right-hander Alek Manoah (4-1) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings to win for the third time in four starts as Toronto improved to 7-1 since returning north of the border July 30.
The Red Sox have scored five runs or fewer in 13 straight games, leaving shortstop Xander Bogaerts feeling frustrated.
“Maybe we should try harder because apparently what we’re doing right now is not enough,” Bogaerts said. “This game is about whoever is putting up more runs. It’s a really, really bad time to be playing bad right now.”
Boston has been outscored 57-22 over the past eight games.
“When it’s going bad, it’s going real bad,” Bogaerts said.
Toronto (58-49) is a season-best nine games above .500.
George Springer had two hits and drove in three runs, while Bo Bichette had two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who wiped out a 2-0 deficit by sending 14 batters to the plate in the pivotal fifth. Toronto had nine hits in the inning, seven of them for extra bases.
“That was incredible,” said Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk, who scored three runs. “That was just kind of a glimpse of what this offense is capable of.”
Alejandro Kirk, Grichuk and Breyvic Valera opened the fifth with consecutive doubles off Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (9-7). Springer flied out, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was intentionally walked and Marcus Semien struck out.
Bichette followed with a tiebreaking single, Hernández lined the first pitch he saw to center for a two-run double, and Gurriel hooked the very next pitch off the left-field foul screen, ending Eovaldi’s outing.
“It just happened so fast,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “They’re a good offensive team. Eovaldi was doing an amazing job until there. It’s a tough one.”
Gurriel’s homer was his 12th and Toronto’s 165th. The Blue Jays began the day tied with San Francisco for the major league lead.
Right-hander Hansel Robles came on and gave up a double to Kirk, then hit Grichuk with a pitch, causing the umpires to warn both benches.
Blue Jays players exchanged angry words with Robles from their dugout railing, and several players from both teams spilled onto the field during the next at-bat, but the situation did not escalate.
Grichuk said he spoke to Boston players during and after the game and was assured the pitch was accidental.
“One got away,” Grichuk said. “He was probably trying to pump up to get out of there.”
Eovaldi allowed eight hits and a season-high seven runs in 4 2/3 innings, extending his winless streak to five starts.
Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run homer off Toronto left-hander Ryan Borucki in the sixth, his 18th.
Red Sox infielder Jonathan Araúz, recalled from Triple-A Worcester earlier in the day, came on to pitch in the eighth. Tossing pitches that averaged around 40 mph, Araúz gave up two hits and a sacrifice fly.
The nine-run inning was Toronto’s biggest since a 10-run sixth against the Yankees last Sept. 7.
Blue Jays: Guerrero started at 1B one day after being hit in the back of the left hand by a pitch from Cleveland’s Bryan Shaw. The ball struck the padding on the back of Guerrero’s batting gloves. Guerrero said he’s a big advocate for wearing protective padding at the plate. “If it was up to me, I’d use the entire catching gear,” he said.
Red Sox: Boston put rookie OF Jarren Duran on the COVID-19-related injured list and recalled Araúz from Triple-A. Cora said Duran has not tested positive for the virus and is isolating at the team hotel. Cora also said the entire team was tested Friday “because of everything that’s going on.”
The Blue Jays and Red Sox play a day-night doubleheader Saturday, making up for a July 20 rainout in Buffalo, N.Y. LHP Robbie Ray (9-5, 3.04 ERA) faces Boston RHP Nick Pivetta (8-5, 4.57) in the afternoon game. At night, RHP José Berríos (8-5, 3.31) makes his second Toronto start, going against RHP Tanner Houck (0-2, 2.45). Houck will start in place of struggling LHP Martín Pérez, who was moved to the bullpen Friday.
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