Boston bats come through to cool down Jays

Boston bats come through to cool down Jays

BOSTON -- The Red Sox chipped away at the plate and got the outs when they needed to from the mound en route to a 6-4 victory over the recently hot Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.

Boston snapped a three-game losing streak to push Toronto to 3 1/2 games back in the American League East.

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"It boils down to getting contributions up and down the lineup," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Not being so reliant on middle of the order, top of the order. We're getting contributions throughout. That's allowed us to score the number of runs that we are."

Farrell on offensive production

Knuckleballer Steven Wright did enough to get the win, allowing three runs (none earned) and throwing 111 pitches over five innings. Wright (6-4, 2.29 ERA) surrendered three hits and five walks in a performance that wasn't as sharp as many of the others he's had this season.

Wright's five innings of work

"Five walks definitely hurt me," Wright said. "I've got to give credit to them. They made me throw a lot of pitches. Five innings to me is a little bit of a letdown, but our guys battled."

A day after Xander Bogaerts had his 26-game hitting streak come to an end, the shortstop went 3-for-4 and scored twice for the Red Sox. Mookie Betts added two hits and two RBIs. David Ortiz continued his RBI tear by driving in two runs on a single in the third.

Betts' run-scoring single

Marcus Stroman (5-2, 4.82 ERA) was hit around by the Red Sox for the second time in a week, giving up nine hits, six runs and five walks over 5 2/3 innings.

Down early, the Blue Jays scored one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth, but the Red Sox shut them down over the final three innings.

"It was a battle for him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Stroman. "Really a typical Fenway Park game. They're hot, they swing the bats and they got some big hits."

Stroman strikes out Ramirez

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Barnes, bullpen seal it for Boston: The Red Sox's bullpen recovered from a tough few days by getting the final 12 outs to preserve the win for Wright. Matt Barnes went two innings, allowing one run. Junichi Tazawa worked a scoreless eighth. And Craig Kimbrel handled the ninth to earn his 13th save. Over the previous three games, Boston's relievers had been tagged for 14 earned runs over 9 2/3 innings.

Kimbrel seals the win in the 9th

"Lights out," credited Bogaerts. "Barnes, Taz and Kimbrel throwing 100 at the end." More >

The two-run strikeout: Toronto scored a pair of runs in the most unconventional of ways in the top of the fifth inning. The Blue Jays had runners on second and third with two outs when Michael Saunders struck out swinging. The rally appeared to be over, but Wright's knuckleball got away from catcher Ryan Hanigan and rolled to the backstop. Saunders beat the throw to first, which allowed Ryan Goins to score from third, but it didn't stop there. Jose Bautista kept running and also came around to score on the bizarre play.

Blue Jays score two

"I don't think I have [seen that]," Gibbons said of two runs scoring on the passed ball. "That got us right back into the game, but we couldn't shut them down."

Shaw rediscovers groove: In his last 64 at-bats entering Saturday, Travis Shaw was hitting just .188. But the left-handed hitter got his groove back, belting a double off the Green Monster in the bottom of the second and an RBI single that clanged off the wall in left in the fifth that increased Boston's lead to 5-3.

Shaw's RBI single off the wall

"Yesterday was as bad as it gets for me," Shaw said. "There was a determination to make sure that today was a rebound day."

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Blue Jays starters walked at least five batters in back-to-back games for the first time since May 9-10, 2013. R.A. Dickey walked five Friday night, and Stroman walked five on Saturday afternoon.

Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia have both hit in 12 straight games, which is the longest active streak in the Major Leagues.

Pedroia's double in the first

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs, Betts hit a line drive to left field to bring Blake Swihart in from first. Third-base coach Brian Butterfield was wildly waving Swihart home, and he slid into home plate just as Russell Martin tagged him for what was ruled an out. Farrell challenged, and after a three-minute-and-14-second review, the call was overturned as the replay official determined that Swihart's foot contacted home plate prior to Martin applying the tag. More >

Betts notches an RBI double

Swihart was involved in another replay just a half-inning later. WIth two outs in the top of the seventh, Saunders hit one into foul territory in the left-field corner. A charging Swihart gloved it while running into the left-field wall. The Blue Jays challenged, and after a 29-second review, the call was overturned due to the replay officials seeing that the ball caromed off the side wall before Swihart caught it. Swihart suffered a left ankle injury on the play and immediately exited the game. Chris Young came on to replace him. More >

Swihart exits the game on foul

WHAT'S NEXT
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada will take the mound when the Blue Jays close out their three-game series against the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET at Fenway Park. Estrada has allowed three runs or fewer in all but two of his 10 starts this season. This is the third time he has faced Boston this year, and he allowed four earned runs over his combined 13 innings against them.

Red Sox: Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will try to build on his strong debut to the season, when he got the win by holding the Orioles to two runs over six innings. This will be Rodriguez's first Fenway start of 2016.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.