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Donaldson powers Jays past Red Sox

May 27, 2016

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson put the Blue Jays on his back and single-handedly took over Friday night's game against the Red Sox with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate which included a pair of home runs in a 7-5 victory.Donaldson drove in five of Toronto's seven runs in the seventh

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson put the Blue Jays on his back and single-handedly took over Friday night's game against the Red Sox with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate which included a pair of home runs in a 7-5 victory.
Donaldson drove in five of Toronto's seven runs in the seventh multihomer game of his career and first of the season. He finished a triple shy of the cycle and his four hits tied his season high while it also marked the third five-RBI game of his career.
"It feels nice," Donaldson said. "I've been putting in a lot of work and been getting right where I have that feeling when I'm about to start producing. Tonight was just a result of the process that has been going on."
The decisive blow came in the eighth inning when Donaldson hit a two-run shot to right off Boston reliever Koji Uehara. It was the second time in his previous four appearances that Uehara surrendered two runs, and both of those included home runs.
"The story of this one was being able to contain Donaldson," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Big night for him, and he's been a very difficult hitter for Joe [Kelly] over the course of the time since he's come over to the American League."
The late rally meant neither starting pitcher was on the hook for a decision. Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez surrendered four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six over 6 2/3 innings. Kelly could not pitch his way out of the fifth inning, and he was charged with five runs over 4 2/3 frames.
Third baseman Travis Shaw had a two-hit night for the Red Sox and second baseman Dustin Pedroia added a double. Boston has now lost two in a row after a mini four-game winning streak earlier this week.
Dazzling Donaldson: Donaldson's production wasn't limited to the offensive side of the game. He also was responsible for what might have been the turning point of the game, and it was all because of his glove. Boston had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth when Marco Hernandez hit a low sinking liner to third. Donaldson grabbed the ball out of the air and then immediately fired to second base for the inning-ending double play. That kept the score tied at 2 and bought the Blue Jays time to do some damage with their bats.

"It was a big part of the game right there," Donaldson said. "They score runs at a quick rate. The guy hit the ball pretty hard at me and I was able to make a pretty good throw to [Devon Travis] right there, so that was obviously a momentum changer for us." More >
Bogaerts extends streak to 20: One night after Jackie Bradley Jr.'s hitting streak ended at 29 games, Red Sox teammate Xander Bogaerts extended his to 20 with a single in the fourth. Bogaerts has the longest active streak in the Majors and the second best this season behind Bradley. The shortstop has reached safely in 32 of his last 34 games.

"I'm just trying to go out there and get on base," said Bogaerts. "We have a lot of guys that can drive me in. I'm just trying to do the best I can." More >
Blunder in left: The Blue Jays carried a 5-4 lead into the eighth inning and reliever Joe Biagini appeared to get an easy first out when he got a lazy fly ball to left-center field off the bat of Pedroia. Left fielder Michael Saunders should have been in position to make the play, but he appeared to think Kevin Pillar was going to come over from center for the grab. By the time Saunders realized that wouldn't be the case, it was too late as he tripped and allowed the ball to drop for a double. Pedroia later scored on a single vs. a drawn-in infield to tie the game at 5.

Kelly slips in second start back: After a marvelous performance in his return from the disabled list last time out, Kelly had a significant dropoff in this one. The righty obviously had life to his fastball, striking out eight. But he made too many mistakes to hold down a good lineup like the one the Blue Jays have.

"My stuff was good. I just missed too many spots," Kelly said. "When you fall behind these hitters with a good lineup like this, they make you pay for it." More >
Donaldson finished just shy of the cycle, and that's still something that has been done just twice in Toronto franchise history. Third baseman Kelly Gruber was the first to do it on April 16, 1989. Utilityman Jeff Frye became the second when he accomplished the feat on Aug. 17, 2001.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello (7-2, 2.47 ERA) looks to continue his solid start when he takes the ball for Saturday's 1:07 p.m. ET game against the Blue Jays. Porcello is 2-0 with a 5.11 ERA in two starts this season against Toronto.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman (5-1, 3.89 ERA) will take the mound when the Blue Jays continue their three-game series against the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre. Stroman has surrendered two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. He faced the Red Sox earlier this season and allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings.
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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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