TORONTO -- Xander Bogaerts wasn't in the starting lineup Friday night for the first time in 63 games. He ended up driving in the go-ahead run anyway.Bogaerts delivered the go-ahead single in the top of the 11th inning as the Red Sox came from behind to beat the Blue Jays,
TORONTO -- Xander Bogaerts wasn't in the starting lineup Friday night for the first time in 63 games. He ended up driving in the go-ahead run anyway.
Bogaerts delivered the go-ahead single in the top of the 11th inning as the Red Sox came from behind to beat the Blue Jays, 7-4, at Rogers Centre. Boston's win was its fourth over the club's last five games and enabled the Red Sox to maintain their one-game lead over the second-place Yankees, who defeated the Astros, 13-4, on Friday, in the American League East.
"Who would have thought the game would end like this?" said Bogaerts. "It was good. I didn't do anything [before the game] -- no BP, nothing. I didn't even go out. Just trying to get my body fresh and look forward to tomorrow. My manager needed me and he put me in there, and I'm glad I did my part to help us win."
Boston's rally in the 11th began when Hanley Ramirez opened the inning with a double to center. Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and two batters later, Bogaerts came through with the single to right. Bogaerts entered the game in the 10th inning as a defensive replacement, and he only ended up with one at-bat, but made it count.
"We're trying to do everything to give him the full day down, but we had to tap into everybody," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He put a great swing on a pitch to push one through the right side for another RBI, so it was timely, obviously, but to get him involved in the game, that's what it took. It took a lot of guys for this one to be finished off."
No. 9 hitter Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and three RBIs for the Red Sox. Bradley finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Dustin Pedroia reached base four times in the victory. Toronto received a three-run homer from Justin Smoak and Josh Donaldson had a double for a team that finished 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and hasn't scored more than four runs since Sunday.
The Red Sox left 17 runners on base, but they still did enough to win a game that took four hours and 44 minutes.
"Any time you win, it doesn't matter how long it takes," said Farrell, who willmiss Saturday's game because he'll be in Kansas City to watch his son Luke make his Major League debut. "That was a hard-fought game."
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. Toronto right-hander Marco Estrada allowed just two hits over 4 1/3 frames, but he battled control problems all night long and finished with a career-high seven walks. Estrada allowed two runs, but because he had to throw a lot of pitches early in the game, he also could not pitch his way out of the fifth inning. Boston's Doug Fister allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings.
"We hung in there. We got the big home run from [Troy Tulowitzki] to tie it," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They just got us late."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Lefty on lefty: Last season, Bradley had better numbers against right-handed pitchers, but this season, he has become a bit of a lefty masher. Bradley entered play on Friday hitting .378/.472/.689 vs. lefties, and another prime opportunity to come through presented itself in the 11th inning. Following a leadoff double by Ramirez, Bradley came through with a single to right field off left-hander Aaron Loup, which put runners on the corners and eventually set up the go-ahead hit by Bogaerts.
"He's in such a good place right now. He's hitting .380 or .390 against lefties," said Farrell. "It's great to see that. That's kind of reminiscent of what he did in the Minor Leagues and how well he handled left-handed pitching on the way up. It's been a little bit of the reverse for the past year or so and a big member of this offense currently."
Lost in the lights:Ezequiel Carrera helped gift wrap a scoring opportunity for the Red Sox in the top of the sixth inning when he lost a ball in the lights. Bradley hit a shallow fly ball to left that according to Statcast™ had a hit probability of just one percent. Despite that, the ball bounced before Carrera could find it and Bradley ended up on second with a double. Boston took advantage later in the inning when Marrero hit an RBI single and Andrew Benintendi added an RBI double to temporarily put the Red Sox in front, 4-3.
"I'll tell you what, being part of this team has one been a humbling experience and just a blessing. These guys here as a team have welcomed me with open arms, and it's something I enjoy coming to the ballpark. We've got a high expectation of winning here. For me, I thoroughly enjoy it. We've got a great club." -- Fister, who has made two solid starts since being claimed off waivers by the Red Sox
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Smoak's three-run shot was the 1,070th home run in the Major Leagues for June, which set the all-time record for the most homers hit in a single month in history.
The Blue Jays walked at least 14 batters for the fourth time in franchise history. Prior to Friday night, the last time it happened was on May 9, 2002, at Seattle.
"That's unacceptable," said Estrada. "Just have to work on it. Not sure what really happened, to be honest with you. Just a bad outing."
Gibbons lost his challenge in the bottom of the second inning. Fister threw an inside pitch to backup catcher Luke Maile, and Gibbons thought it hit Maile's uniform. Gibbons asked the umpires for a review, and following a brief delay, the call on the field stood. Maile's at-bat continued and he later grounded out to third base.
Red Sox: Lefty ace Chris Sale (10-3, 2.77 ERA) takes the ball for the Red Sox in the middle game of this three-game series. Sale has gone six innings or more in all but one of his 16 starts this season and leads the Major Leagues with 155 strikeouts. First pitch on Canada Day is scheduled for 1:07 p.m. ET.
Blue Jays: Left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-3, 5.46 ERA) will take the mound when this series continues on Saturday afternoon's matinee for Canada Day. Liriano has allowed three earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts, but only two of those were for six or more innings.
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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.