TORONTO (AP) — JD Martinez led in the tiebreaker run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Wednesday , avoiding a three-game sweep.
Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer and had four RBIs, and Franchy Cordero had four hits as Boston won for the third time in 10 games with Toronto this season.
With auto-runner Jackie Bradley Jr. at second base to start the 10th, Blue Jays right-hander David Phleps (0-2) walked Rob Refsnyder and Rafael Devers to load bases from Martinez, who was hitless during his 13 previous at bats.
Bradley scored when Phelps hit Martinez in the back with a 1-2 pitch. Tim Mayza came on and allowed Xander Bogaerts to kick in a double play, but Verdugo followed with a two-point brace to make it 6-3.
Matt Strahm (3-2) knocked out Bo Bichette and Guerrero in the ninth, but gave up an RBI single to Santiago Espinal and a RBI double to Cavan Biggio in the 10th. Strahm ended it by forcing George Springer to fly away.
Both benches and both relievers cleared after Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta hit Blue Jays receiver Alejandro Kirk on the left elbow in the third. After Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo exited the dugout, Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. jumped the dugout fence and began yelling at Pivetta, who yelled back. Devers got in front of Guerrero as other players rushed to join the fray, but no punches were thrown.
Springer hit his 15th homer for the Blue Jays, a solo hit in the fifth.
Toronto opened the scoring on Espinal’s two-out RBI single in the second, but Boston answered in the third on Refsnyder’s sacrificial volley, a deep center drive that Springer knocked down.
Springer put the Blue Jays ahead with his header in the fifth, but the Red Sox regained the lead in the sixth. Bogaerts hit a two-out single and Verdugo followed with a right drive, his sixth.
The Blue Jays tied Ryan Brasier in the eighth, rallying to the Boston bullpen for the second straight night. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a one-out double and was replaced by pinched runner Bradley Zimmer, who scored when Raimel Tapia followed with a double to the center. The missed save was Boston’s 16th of 33 opportunities.
Pivetta allowed two runs and five hits in over six innings. He walked three and took out five.
Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah allowed three runs, two earned and six hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out six.
Red Sox: RHP Garrett Whitlock (right hip) kicked off a pre-game bullpen session, his second in three days. Manager Alex Cora said Whitlock could return in a relief role when activated.
SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER?
A day after his team blew a ninth-inning lead and lost 6-5, Cora said he was willing to bet his roster would be fuller when Boston returns north of the border for a three-game series starting September 30. Boston Tanner Houck, who made six saves, missed two trips to Toronto this season because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccination status of injured LHP Chris Sale is unclear.
Toronto have completed the signing of RHP Sergio Romo to a one-year contract. RHP Shaun Anderson was traded to Triple-A Buffalo to make room on the major league roster, while LHP Tayler Saucedo (right hip) was traded to the 60-Day IL to open up a spot on the roster. 40 men. Romo was cut by Seattle on June 20.
Romo offered a tongue-in-cheek assessment of his appeal to other big league teams after being cut by the Mariners.
“I’m 39 and throwing 85,” Romo said.
Red Sox: LHP Rich Hill (4-4, 4.09) starts Friday as the Red Sox visit Chicago for a three-game series against the Cubs. The Cubs have not named a starter for Friday.
Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (2-4, 5.08) starts Thursday as the Blue Jays open a unique five-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, including a double Saturday. The Rays have not named a starter for Thursday.
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