Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- Josh Thole, a catcher filling in at first base after Adam Lind left with an injury, booted a Shane Victorino bouncer in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, giving the Red Sox a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Jays had tied the game when Jose Bautista, who hit two late homers to win Saturday's game, hammered a solo shot off Koji Uehara to tie the game in the top of the ninth before the Sox finished off the 3-1 series win and ended Toronto's 2-5 road trip.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Brandon Snyder, who singled home two runs in the second inning and also made a nifty fielding play, singled off loser Juan Perez (1-1). Jacoby Ellsbury walked and Casey Janssen relieved Perez. Jonathan Diaz ran for Snyder and scored when Thole botched what would have been at least one sure out.

Thole came on in the third inning and the Blue Jays' carrying eight relievers led to manager John Gibbons leaving him out there, with Mark DeRosa the only player left on the bench.

Uehara (1-0) had retired all nine batters he faced in saving games three straight days, striking out six and getting the other three on grounders. He got a break starting the ninth when right fielder Victorino made a sliding catch at the foul line, robbing Jose Reyes of at least a double.

Bautista hit his 25th career homer against the Sox, his 17th at Fenway Park.

Snyder had his first major-league hit since July 23, his first big-league RBI since June 26, 2012, (with Texas) and his first multihit game since May 7, 2012.

The win, the sixth in the last seven games allowed the Red Sox, losers of 93 games last season, to finish off a 17-11 June that saw them in first place in the AL East from start to finish.

Ryan Dempster worked the first 5 1/3 innings and left with the lead. He departed after the Jays loaded the bases. Craig Breslow relieved and escaped the jam.

Mark Buehrle went the first six for the Jays, who fell 8 1/2 games out of first place.

Reyes hit his second homer, Bautista had three hits and Rajai Davis two for the Jays who went 17-9 in June, including an 11-game winning streak.

Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Mike Napoli, who struck out four times Saturday, opened with a single and took second when Daniel Nava also singled. Ryan Lavarnway then hit a pop fly down the right-field line that fell among three Jays and bounced into the stands for an RBI double.

Jose Iglesias struck out but Snyder followed with his big hit.

The Jays came back with two in the fourth. Singles by Edwin Encarnacion and Davis set up first and second with one out. Colby Rasmus singled home a run. Davis then stole third, his fifth steal in the last three games, and J.P. Arencibia walked to load the bases. Maicer Izturis' RBI grounder made it 3-2.

Boston got a run in the fifth when Jacoby Ellsbury singled, took second on a groundout and scored on Jonny Gomes' two-out double off the wall in left.

Then came the sixth. Thole walked and singles by Davis and Rasmus loaded the bases. Arencibia popped out and Breslow replaced Dempster and blew Emilio Bonifacio away with a 2-2 pitch.

Reyes opened the seventh with his homer and Alex Wilson replaced Breslow. Bautista singled and Encarnacion popped out. On came Andrew Miller and struck both Thole and Davis out.

NOTES: Lind left with mid-back tightness. ... Boston DH David Ortiz, a .358 hitter with three homers lifetime against Buehrle, was given a planned day off. ... Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Kawasaki made his big league 2B debut. ... On Monday, Toronto returns home for a Canada Day game against Detroit, with R.A. Dickey hoping to even his record at 8-8. The Red Sox are off Monday before hosting a three-game series with San Diego. John Lackey pitches Tuesday night. ... The Jays and Red Sox next meet Aug. 13 in Toronto. Boston leads the season series 8-5, with just six games left. ... The Sox capped Kids Month, where locals accompanied the players out onto the field at the start of the home games, by bringing their own kids out Sunday. ... Rain was supposed to be a problem all weekend and the teams made it through with just brief shower and some picture-perfect weather. ... Long-time TV newsman Sam Donaldson was on hand for Skin Cancer Awareness Day. Free screenings were available.
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