Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – A.J. Pierzynski hit a grand slam while Will Middlebrooks added a solo shot as part of a six-run third inning as the Boston Red Sox edged the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-6, Saturday in the second game of a three-game set at Rogers Centre.
Clay Buchholz notched his first win of the season, allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and as many walks while Grady Sizemore knocked in two runs as the Red Sox improved to 12-13.
Koji Uehara allowed a leadoff home run to Jose Bautista in the ninth, but retired Edwin Encarnacion with the winning run on first base to end the game for his fifth save of the season.
Bautista finished 3-for-5 with a solo shot, two runs scored and two RBI for the Blue Jays, who have lost four in a row and seven of 10.
Dioner Navarro added three hits and drove in a run, Juan Francisco also homered, while Edwin Encarnacion added an RBI in defeat as the Blue Jays dropped to 11-13.
Brandon Morrow (1-2) absorbed the loss after giving up four runs on eight walks with one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings of work.
Buchholz came out flat, walking one in the first and allowing three hits, including RBI singles to Jose Bautista and Dioner Navarro. The third Toronto run was scored on a wild pitch.
The Red Sox responded strong in the third. After Morrow gave-up a walk with the bases loaded, he was relieved by Chad Jenkins, who surrendered a grand slam to Pierzynski for a 5-3 Boston lead.
Middlebrooks followed Pierzynski by hitting a solo homer, his second of the year, to left-center field to help the Red Sox put six on the board in the third — the most runs they have scored in an inning this season. It marked the second time the Red Sox have hit back-to-back homers in 2014.
Mike Carp and Sizemore hit back-to-back one-out doubles in the fifth to extend Boston’s lead to 7-3.
Juan Francisco hit an eighth-inning homer, his second of the season, off Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa to make it a 7-4 game.
Tazawa allowed another run and then Chris Capuano loaded the bases with a walk before the Red Sox were forced to turn to Uehara with two outs. The closer retired Melky Cabrera to escape the jam.
Boston will attempt to earn its first sweep of the season, and extend its winning-streak to a season-high three games, in Sunday’s series finale with ace Jon Lester on the hill.