TORONTO -- Rich Hill delivered seven solid innings and Jackie Bradley Jr. came through with a timely sacrifice fly as the Red Sox took the rubber match of a three-game series against the American League East-leading Blue Jays, 4-3, at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Making his second start, Hill controlled a powerful Blue Jays offense, turning in his second consecutive quality start with a seven-hit, three-run performance. He struck out 10 for the second straight game, employing a wicked changeup that kept Toronto off balance to earn his first win as a starter since June 19, 2009.
The Blue Jays jumped ahead to a 3-0 lead in the second on a two-run shot from Dioner Navarro and an RBI single by Ben Revere, but the Red Sox erased the deficit by the end of the fifth. Xander Bogaerts singled in the fourth and did the same in the fifth, scoring on an error before Boston knotted the game at 3 on Travis Shaw's two-run single. The tie persisted until the eighth, when Bradley's fly ball brought home the eventual winning run in Pablo Sandoval.
Noe Ramirez and Robbie Ross Jr. combined to throw a scoreless eighth and ninth, with Ross picking up the save. With the loss, the Blue Jays were unable to extend their lead in the American League East, where they sit 2 1/2 games up on the Yankees.
"Unfortunately a lot of things didn't go our way, but we've got to go through some adversity," said Navarro, who was 2-for-4. "We'll be all right. We're right where we want to be."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Hustle by Bogaerts sparks comeback: After falling behind early, the Red Sox needed a spark and Bogaerts helped provide it in the fifth. On a grounder by David Ortiz, first baseman Chris Colabello flipped to Mark Buehrle for the out. Meanwhile, Bogaerts never stopped running, motoring to third on the play. Buehrle's throw across the diamond was wild, and Bogaerts scored on the error. Shaw followed with a clutch two-out, two-run single.
Navarro goes deep: The Blue Jays' backup catcher spotted the home team an early lead, drilling the first pitch he saw in the second over the wall in left field for a two-run shot. It was his fourth homer and his first since July 25.
A trio of errors: The Blue Jays made three errors, two by pitchers. Bogaerts scored all the way from first base when Buehrle threw the ball away trying to get him at third on a broken play, and in the eighth, reliever Brett Cecil couldn't field Sandoval's grounder, allowing him to reach first. Sandoval would score the eventual winning run to break a tie. More >
"I don't think it was a great game defensively by a lot of us. Had some double plays that could've been turned, me making that throw and Cecil didn't field the ball," said Buehrle, who pitched six innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits with two walks. "It wasn't a very good game overall defensively. We've been playing outstanding defense, so we're due for a clunker like this."
"I don't think they need a speech on that." -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, on losing two straight to the Red Sox
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Hill became the first starter in Red Sox history to notch 10 strikeouts in his first two starts for the club.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Boston opens its final homestand of the season Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET against the Rays at Fenway Park, with Eduardo Rodriguez opposing Chris Archer. Rodriguez is 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA in his past five starts. Ortiz, playing at home for the first time since belting homer No. 500, will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
Blue Jays: Toronto begins a crucial three-game series with the second-place Yankees on Monday at 7:07 p.m. ET, sending David Price to the hill against Adam Warren at Rogers Centre. Price (16-5, 2.42 ERA) has yet to allow more than three runs in any of his nine Toronto starts, going 7-1 with a 2.17 ERA. In his career, He's 12-7 with a 4.19 ERA vs. the Yanks.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.