TORONTO -- J.D. Martinez is leaving Toronto on a high note after driving in three runs to give the Red Sox a 5-3 win -- and a series victory -- in the finale against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.Martinez opened the scoring in the first inning
TORONTO -- J.D. Martinez is leaving Toronto on a high note after driving in three runs to give the Red Sox a 5-3 win -- and a series victory -- in the finale against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
Martinez opened the scoring in the first inning with his 10th home run of the season, a towering two-run shot to the opposite field. The 386-foot big fly left Martinez's bat with a loud crack at 104.5 mph, according to Statcast™, to give Martinez his 31st and 32nd RBIs.
Later in the game, Martinez drove in the game-winning run for the Red Sox with an RBI single to right field that scored Jackie Bradley Jr.
"He's not just a slugger," manager Alex Cora said after the win. "He can hit. He works at it. He'll take his walks, he goes the other way and he's just a good hitter."
Thomas Pomeranz walked a tightrope through the first four innings, but he still managed to keep the Blue Jays scoreless. That all changed in the fifth, though, when Pomeranz allowed two runs and was pulled with a runner on second before recording an out.
"I was just trying to get more outs, because I know how we were in the bullpen," Cora said, "but at that point, there was nothing we could do. We knew Hector [Velazquez] was going to give us plenty of outs."
Control was a challenge for Pomeranz throughout, as he threw 103 pitches but just 57 strikes. He finished his outing after four innings, yielding three runs on five hits and five walks with six strikeouts.
"He made some good pitches," Cora said. "He used the changeup at one point, but I think command was an issue."
Pomeranz had some help from the defense. Mookie Betts made a tremendous diving catch in the bottom of the fourth inning on what would have been a Richard Urena RBI double. The catch ended the inning and kept the Blue Jays off the board.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bradley tried multiple times to steal off Russell Martin in the third inning, which finally resulted in a well-timed hit and run with Betts that opened up a hole in the infield for a single. This avoided a likely double play, which eventually kept the inning alive for the Red Sox to add a third run on a bases-loaded walk.
Defense kept the Red Sox ahead in the seventh with an excellent relay to home in time to get a sliding Yangervis Solarte for the third out. Andrew Benintendi picked up Martin's double to the corner and fired to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who threw home to Christian Vazquez for the tag.
"Pretty solid and under control. Nobody panicked," Cora said. "Benintendi did an outstanding job getting to the ball. Good throw to Xander. Sometimes as an infielder, you rush yourself, and he didn't. He had great pace."
The Red Sox have scored 5 or more runs 25 times this season, more than any team in Major League Baseball. They are 20-5 in those games.
HE SAID IT
"These are the days when I look back at managing at the big league level. It's not that easy. There's certain days that there's nothing you can do. You want to match up, but you have to trust your guys." -- Cora, on managing his bullpen in the final game of the series
Rick Porcello will open the series against the Athletics when the Red Sox return to Boston on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. They'll be facing Sean Manaea (4-4, 2.11 ERA), who no-hit Boston when he last faced him at Oakland Coliseum on April 21. The Red Sox have an 11-4 record at Fenway Park so far this season.
Keegan Matheson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto.