TORONTO -- Dustin Pedroia hit an RBI double in the 11th as the Red Sox avoided a series sweep with a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.The Red Sox could not hold onto a lead in the eighth inning for a second consecutive game,
TORONTO -- Dustin Pedroia hit an RBI double in the 11th as the Red Sox avoided a series sweep with a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
The Red Sox could not hold onto a lead in the eighth inning for a second consecutive game, but unlike Saturday, it didn't come back to haunt them in the series finale. Boston improved to 2-0 in extra-inning games on the road and pushed the Blue Jays to five games back of first place in the American League East.
Boston's rally began when right-hander Gavin Floyd issued a pair of one-out walks to Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts. Reliever Drew Storen then entered the game and surrendered Pedroia's double as the Red Sox took a 4-3 lead. Xander Bogaerts added an insurance run with a grounder to short.
"On the heels of two really tough days up here, I thought we once again battled back, took the lead, gave it up and kept coming," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Couldn't be more proud with the energy and the effort guys find at some point during the game."
Red Sox ace David Price got a no-decision in his first appearance at Rogers Centre since he left the Blue Jays via free agency during the offseason. Price allowed two runs on five hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings. He left the game with a 3-2 lead, but Boston's bullpen was not able to keep the lead intact.
"I mean, I wanted to go out there and help us win," said Price. "This is a very tough lineup to navigate through, one through nine. Swings the bat extremely well, so for me, I wanted to continue with what I have done my past couple starts and give us a chance to win."
Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey carried a no-hitter into the sixth, but he then got into some trouble and could not pitch his way out of the inning. He was charged with three runs on three hits and four walks and also took a no-decision despite his best efforts.
"I didn't really have a swing-and-miss knuckleball today, but I did have a really hard one and it was moving late and off the barrel enough that they were hitting pieces of it," Dickey said. "And then a couple singles, a walk, and next thing you know, you've given up a couple of runs. That's a really good hitting ballclub, so I'm not going to give in to their hitters."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Buchholz solid in relief: Two days after being moved to the bullpen, Clay Buchholz came on in a crucial spot for the Red Sox and got the win. The righty fired a scoreless 10th inning, working around a single. Of his 19 pitches, 14 were for strikes. It was Buchholz's first relief appearance since 2008, and just the third of his career.
"It definitely felt a little different," Buchholz said. "That's the position I'm in. I've got to help the team any way I can. I'm glad I could contribute today." More >
The Ed-Wing: Toronto rallied from behind in the eighth inning for the second consecutive day. On Saturday afternoon, the Blue Jays overcame a four-run deficit in the eighth, and this time they bounced back from one-run down. Edwin Encarnacion tied the score with one swing of the bat when he sent a sharp liner over the wall in left for a solo homer. Encarnacion's 10th homer of the year was projected by Statcast™ to land 411 feet away and left his bat at 112 mph. The Blue Jays wanted a sweep, but after fighting back in each of the last two days, they seemed relatively content with the series victory.
"I thought it was a good series for us," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We're playing good baseball. We had the lead, they came back to take the lead and we battled back. The guys are battling. It was one of those series with two good teams going at it."
Bogaerts extends streak to 22 games: Bogaerts completed an 11-pitch at-bat by belting a single to left in the sixth to run his hitting streak to 22 games. Bogaerts has the longest current streak in the Majors and second best all season after teammate Jackie Bradley Jr.'s 29-game streak that ended on Thursday against the Rockies.
"We had some key at-bats," said Farrell. "Bogey, an 11-pitch at-bat, finally gets the base hit. We would get down in the count, but we wouldn't give in, wouldn't give at-bats away. That's the characteristic that this group has really developed throughout the course of the year." More >
Floyd runs out of gas: Floyd, who was working on back-to-back days for just the second time in his career, secured the club's top setup role after Brett Cecil and Storen struggled to begin the year. Floyd hasn't pitched himself out of that job yet, but by the sounds of it, manager John Gibbons will be looking to give him a bit of a break.
"Well, I just think that he was worn down," Gibbons said. "He's been working and pitching a lot. There's a lot of innings over his career and he's had some arm issues, so we're trying to be careful with him, but the way the games have all gone the last week, they're tight games and he's been so good for us. I just think he's a little bit out of gas right now." More >
SWIHART'S SENSATIONAL GRAB
The highlight-reel play of the day came in the bottom of the second, when Swihart raced to the left-center-field gap and made a diving catch to snare a drive by Darwin Barney. It is Swihart's best play since his move to left field earlier this season.
"He went deep in the left-center-field gap to take in a fly ball, and that shows his athleticism on that play particularly," said Farrell.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Jose Bautista's two-run homer in the fifth inning was the sixth of his career off Price, which is more than he has against any other pitcher.
Devon Travis was awarded first base to start the 10th when home-plate umpire Nick Lentz originally thought Travis was hit by Buchholz's pitch. But after Farrell challenged the play, it was clear the ball hit off of Travis's bat and not his body for a foul ball. The play was overturned, and Travis eventually popped out.
The Red Sox scratched David Ortiz a half-hour before the scheduled first pitch due to soreness in his left foot from being hit by a pitch on Saturday.
"He woke up this morning more sore than when he left here last night after being hit by the pitch. Had him in the lineup originally, but then when he tried to run, it was not feeling good," said Farrell. "Didn't want to push it. There were opportunities for him to come to the plate late in the game, so we're hopeful he'll be back in the lineup tomorrow." More >
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright, Boston's most consistent starter this season, draws the start in the opener of a four-game series against the Orioles. The first pitch of the Memorial Day matinee is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada (2-2, 2.76 ERA) will take the mound when the Blue Jays open up a three-game series against the Yankees on Monday night at Rogers Centre. Estrada faced New York during his last outing as well and picked up the win after allowing three runs over seven strong innings. The Yankees will counter with righty Ivan Nova (3-2, 3.65 ERA).
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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.