BOSTON -- Finally, the Red Sox could relax a little.After a string of tension-filled games coming out of the All-Star break, the bats strung together some early offense and Thomas Pomeranz made it stand up, lifting Boston to a 5-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Fenway
BOSTON -- Finally, the Red Sox could relax a little.
After a string of tension-filled games coming out of the All-Star break, the bats strung together some early offense and Thomas Pomeranz made it stand up, lifting Boston to a 5-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
Dustin Pedroia was in the middle of the action as usual for the Red Sox, going 2-for-3 with a walk and driving in three. It was the fifth multi-hit performance in the past eight games for Pedroia, coming on the same night his franchise-record errorless streak for a second baseman finally ended at 114 games. Pedroia is hitting .392 during his eight-game hitting streak.
"He's come up big," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Another [three] RBIs tonight. Whether it's been after the break or throughout the course of the season, he's done an outstanding job. He's a money player. That's been on display, it was again here tonight. He's been the right man in the right spot."
With the win, the Red Sox extended their lead over the Rays to three games in the American League East.
And the fact it didn't take all night made it that much sweeter to a team that can't help but feel a little weary after a 16-inning loss Saturday, a day-night doubleheader split on Sunday and a 15-inning win Tuesday.
"No matter how long or how many innings it's going to take, we'll play right through to the end," said Farrell. "And tonight, the fact that it's less than three hours, it almost felt like it was halftime. So this was a good win tonight."
The Red Sox staked Pomeranz (10-4, 3.51 ERA) to a four-run lead in the second and the lefty got a couple of key double-play balls in his latest solid outing, giving up three hits and an unearned run while walking five and striking out three.
"I was able to make some key pitches there when I got into some jams. The defense was great out there," said Pomeranz. "Just trying to put the ball on the ground any way I can and let them turn it."
Righty Aaron Sanchez lasted just four innings for the Jays, giving up six hits and five runs (three earned). He walked five and struck out two before leaving after four innings because of a blister on his right hand. It's the same issue that previously required two stints on the disabled list and limited him to six starts in the first half.
• Sanchez frustrated as blister issue resurfaces
"Blister again," a dejected Sanchez said. "It's just one of those things, man. I don't know what else to talk about, about the blister. It just started forming midway through the game and I kept going and it got worse."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Marrero subs for Bogaerts with big hit: With shortstop Xander Bogaerts out of the lineup for the second straight day as he recovers from a right hand bruise, Deven Marrero subbed in with an important contribution. Marrero helped get the big four-run rally going in the second with a two-out, two-run single that took away the sting of Christian Vazquez hitting into an odd double play two batters earlier.
Mookie hustles in for a run: When Pedroia hit a slow roller in the fourth, Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki charged in for a bang-bang play but the roller went past him. A heads-up Mookie Betts, who was on second base when the play started, never stopped running and roared in to make it a 5-0 game.
"A heads-up play," said Farrell. "Mookie has such great instincts on the basepaths. To think that there's a chopper in the middle of the infield that ends up being an RBI single when a man is at second base, that's a testament to Mookie's speed and the heads-up read after the ball gets by Tulowitzki."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Since Aug. 19, 2016, Pedroia leads the Major Leagues with a .441 average (51-for-118) with runners in scoring position. This season, he's hitting .400 (30-for-79) with RISP.
The Blue Jays were held to five or fewer hits for the 15th time this season.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the second, Pedroia hit a two-run single with the bases loaded that scored Betts and Marrero. Andrew Benintendi, who was on first, thought about advancing to third, but dove back to second and was ruled safe after beating the tag. Blue Jays general manager John Gibbons challenged the ruling on the field. The call was confirmed after a two-minute, two-second review.
Blue Jays: Left-hander Francisco Liriano (5-4, 5.56 ERA) will take the mound for Toronto when the four-game series wraps up Thursday at 1:35 p.m. ET. Liriano left his last start after just two-plus innings because of a sore neck and was considered questionable for this outing but has since been cleared to pitch. He threw a bullpen session Tuesday and declared himself ready to go.
Red Sox: Seeking his first win with Boston, right-hander Doug Fister (0-3. 6.75 ERA) gets the ball in Thursday's finale as the club eyes a series victory. This also wraps up a seven-game homestand for Boston. Fister was needed for an emergency relief performance Saturday, taking the loss as the Red Sox fell, 4-1, in 16 innings to the Yankees.
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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.