TORONTO -- Mookie Betts was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday afternoon, belting two homers and tying a career high with eight RBIs while leading the Red Sox to a 15-1 romp over the Blue Jays to complete a three-game sweep at Rogers Centre.Betts, who went 4-for-6 with 3 runs,
TORONTO -- Mookie Betts was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday afternoon, belting two homers and tying a career high with eight RBIs while leading the Red Sox to a 15-1 romp over the Blue Jays to complete a three-game sweep at Rogers Centre.
Betts, who went 4-for-6 with 3 runs, became the first leadoff hitter in Red Sox history to amass eight RBIs, and the first in MLB since Ronnie Belliard for the Rockies in 2003. Only five players including Betts have accumulated eight RBIs while batting first.
"It's pretty cool to have your name mentioned like that," said Betts. "Have to get ready for tomorrow, though."
Betts become the second player in history to accumulate at least four hits, two homers, eight RBIs and a stolen base in the same game. Carl Reynolds accomplished the feat in 1930 for the White Sox. In the zone? Of course he was.
"Today I felt pretty good," said Betts. "I got some good pitches to hit and tried to put a good swing on it and hope for the best at that point."
Mookie's mashing started in the second inning with an RBI single to left. In the fourth, he roped a three-run homer to left. Betts walloped his second homer of the day to left in the sixth, a two-run shot that had an exit velocity of 109.3 mph, per Statcast™, the fourth-hardest ball Betts has hit this season.
He wasn't done there. Betts went up the middle for a two-run single in the seventh.
Thomas Pomeranz was solid for a fourth straight start, earning the win. The left-hander went six innings and threw 104 pitches, allowing just the one run on five hits while walking two and striking out three.
"Drew's been strong, he's been very consistent and on a really good run in his own right," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Blue Jays starter Joe Biagini struggled over 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits and a pair of walks to push his ERA up to 5.03. The big right-hander filled the zone, throwing 71 of his 105 pitches for strikes, but couldn't stay away from the hard contact.
"He was making some good pitches along the way," said manager John Gibbons. "Just consistently, he couldn't do it enough and he wasn't putting guys away when he had everything in his favor a lot of times."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Small ball meets long ball: Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero dropped a pair of perfect bunt singles to open the fourth inning. Lin placed his to the left side of the infield in a dead zone between the pitcher, catcher and first baseman, while Marrero pushed his right up the first-base line. This set up Betts' first home run of the day, a three-run shot measured by Statcast™ at 418 feet. Good thing Betts didn't follow up on his thought of trying to make it three straight bunt hits.
"First thought was, 'Should I bunt again?' But then I decided to go ahead and swing it," said Betts. "That's one of the couple times I'll think about bunting. Three bunts in a row, nobody is going to expect that."
Pomeranz escapes an early jam:The Blue Jays had an opportunity to get back into the game with the score still 2-1 in the second, but Pomeranz escaped with a big double play. Darwin Barney opened that inning with a drive to left field that should have been caught, but an Andrew Benintendi error landed him on second base. Jose Bautista walked to put runners on first and second, but Pomeranz kept Boston's lead intact by forcing Russell Martin to fly out and Josh Donaldson to ground into the inning-ending double play.
"Early in the ballgame, he made a key pitch to Donaldson, it's a 2-1 count, we're up just a run in a 2-1 ballgame, he gets a ground-ball double play -- that was a big momentum shift I thought," said Farrell.
"I think things should just stay the way they are. I think guys thrive or do well in certain situations due to where they are in the order and to continue to put those guys in those situations, you leave them where they are."
-- Betts, saying he would prefer to keep leading off despite his production capability
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The eight runs allowed by the Blue Jays in the seventh were the most they've allowed in one inning since Oct. 4, 2015, where they allowed nine in the first inning against the Rays.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello, who has looked a bit sharper in his last two starts, opens a three-game series for the Red Sox on Monday night in Texas. Porcello is 4-2 with a 3.19 ERA in six career road games against the Rangers. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman (8-4, 3.41 ERA) will open the Blue Jays' series in New York on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET. After a tough outing against the Rangers on June 22, Stroman bounced back with seven shutout innings versus the Orioles his last time out.
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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.
Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.