Martin's homer runs Blue Jays' streak to 10
BOSTON -- With one swing, Russell Martin smacked a fastball into the Green Monster seats and lifted the Blue Jays to a 5-4 extra-innings win over the Red Sox on Saturday at Fenway Park.
Martin's 11th-inning homer off reliever Matt Barnes ended a stalemate that had lasted since the sixth. The go-ahead blast facilitated the 10th consecutive victory for Toronto (33-30), which has been on a torrid run since the calendar flipped to June.
"We're confident that we have a good team," Martin said. "It's always been that way, I don't think there was ever any doubt in our ability. It's just nice that we're now kind of working on all cylinders. I feel like every single facet of the game, we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're being fundamentally sound and that's what it takes."
The Red Sox (27-36) have dropped five games in a row and now sit a season-high nine games below the .500 mark.
The Blue Jays took an early lead after tagging Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz for four runs on eight hits. Kevin Pillar and Ryan Goins contributed three of those runs, while combining for four hits.
The Red Sox almost got on the board in the third inning, but Jose Bautista made a highlight-reel grab to steal a home run from Rusney Castillo.
But Boston's lineup finally broke through, scoring three runs in the fourth inning before David Ortiz blasted a game-tying solo shot in the sixth. Boston missed a chance to take the lead in the seventh, as it was unable to cash in on a pair of chances with the bases loaded.
"Everybody in here knows we're not playing like we want to play," Buchholz said. "To be down, 4-0, and to rally back to tie game, we have to find a way to win."
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. Over six innings, Blue Jays right-hander R.A. Dickey gave up four runs (three earned) and six hits. Buchholz fanned seven and walked one over six innings. Jose Reyes also extended his hit streak to 10 games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Russell's rollin': Martin's go-ahead shot in the 11th inning was his 10th home run of the season, which is one shy of the total he had all of last year with the Pirates. He entered the game ranked first among American League catchers in doubles (11), walks (23), extra-base hits (22) and second in hits (49), on-base percentage (.362) and total bases (91). More >
Hendriks escapes his own mess: Blue Jays right-hander Liam Hendriks loaded the bases in the seventh inning but somehow escaped with the tie game still intact. With one out, Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt and Hanley Ramirez each singled. But Hendriks responded by striking out Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts to end the threat. Hendriks came back out and pitched a scoreless eighth, as well, to give the Blue Jays' lineup another chance to win a game late at Fenway Park. More >
Blue Jays pick up where they left off: Toronto made plenty of headlines on Friday night with a nine-run inning to steal a victory away from the Red Sox. That powerful lineup was back at it again on Saturday. The Blue Jays registered three consecutive hits to open the second inning and scored three runs before Buchholz was able to get out of the jam.
Sox strike back: Boston has typically struggled to overcome early deficits this season, but the team cut a four-run deficit to one -- thanks to a few timely hits in the fourth. Ramirez sparked the rally by pushing a single up the middle on an eight-pitch at-bat. After that, Ortiz drew a walk, Bogaerts roped a run-scoring single to right and Pablo Sandoval drove in two more runs to cap off the inning.
"If you look at the team on paper, we're probably one of the best in the game. But we haven't showed that on the field, so that's all that matters. Performance on the field." -- Bogaerts on the Red Sox
"Challenge fastball and it was right down the middle. I think there were two other at-bats where I got a 3-0 fastball, another 2-0 fastball and didn't do anything with it. Fortunately, fool me once, fool me twice, but the third time I'm going to get you -- and that's what happened." -- Martin on his go-ahead homer in the 11th inning.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Blue Jays are now tied with the Astros for the longest winning streak in the American League this season at 10 games. It's the fifth time in franchise history that Toronto has won at least 10 games in a row. The last time it happened was when the Blue Jays won 11 straight in June of 2013.
SANDOVAL'S EARLY EXIT
Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was pulled from the game in the seventh inning due to right quad tightness, which Farrell said worsened as the game continued. He struck out swinging in the previous inning after recording a double and a two-RBI single in his first two at-bats. Infielder Jeff Bianchi assumed Sandoval's spot at third base.
"We had to get him off his feet," Farrell said. "He's day to day. We'll check him when he gets in tomorrow. It's undecided if he'll be in the lineup then." More >
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada will take the mound when the Blue Jays close out their three-game series at Fenway Park on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET. Estrada has settled into a nice little groove in the rotation and has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts. During his last outing against the Marlins, Estrada picked up the win after being charged with three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
Red Sox: The Red Sox turn to sensational rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez when they face Toronto at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday. Rodriguez has allowed just one run over his first three Major League starts, striking out seven and going at least six innings in each outing. This will be his first time pitching against the righty-heavy Blue Jays lineup.
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