Hernandez hits tiebreaking HR, Red Sox beat Jays 8-7
TORONTO (AP) — The first pinch-hit home run of Marco Hernandez’s career gave the Boston Red Sox another winning getaway day.
Hernandez hit a tiebreaking home run in the ninth inning and Boston beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7 on Thursday night. The Red Sox have won 13 times in 16 games when they’re on the move afterward.
Batting for Sandy Leon, Hernandez connected off Blue Jays closer Ken Giles (1-2), his second homer of the season.
“I tried to look for something that I could handle, something that I could put in play,” Hernandez said. “I put a good swing on it and everybody saw the results.”
The left-handed hitting Hernandez lined a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left and into the Toronto bullpen.
“When he’s driving the ball the other way, it’s a good sign,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
Giles was pitching for the third straight game, the first time he’s done that this year. Giles missed 10 games last month because of a sore elbow.
“He just gave up a home run,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Other than that, he was good.”
Michael Chavis hit a three-run homer and Rafael Devers added a solo shot as the Red Sox extended their streak of games with at least one home run to eight. Boston won its sixth straight on the Fourth of July.
J.D. Martinez had three hits and Devers reached base four times as the Red Sox took two of three from the Blue Jays and improved to 5-2 north of the border this season.
“We found a way to win and we won two out of three,” Cora said. “That’s the most important thing, regardless of how we did it.”
Brandon Workman (8-1) pitched the final two innings for the the win despite giving up the tying run in the eighth.
Danny Jansen homered twice for the Blue Jays, the first multihomer game of his career, and Freddy Galvis added a two-run shot. Even so, Toronto failed to win consecutive home series for the first time this season.
The Blue Jays led 6-1 through four innings but Boston reclaimed the lead with a six-run sixth.
“We never felt like we were out of it,” Chavis said
Blue Jays left-hander Thomas Pannone was replaced after four straight Red Sox batters reached to begin the inning. Left-hander Tim Mayza came on and retired pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez, but Christian Vazquez walked and Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in a run with a fielder’s choice. Chavis followed with a go-ahead drive to left, his 15th.
“The ball was flying today,” Cora said. “That was London-esque.”
Boston allowed 29 runs over two games against the Yankees in London last weekend, while scoring 17 of its own.
Toronto tied it on Eric Sogard’s two-out RBI double off Workman in the eighth, but Giles couldn’t keep it tied in the ninth.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jays needed to promote a pitcher from Triple-A to fill a vacant starter’s spot. Right-hander Marcus Stroman, who left Saturday’s against Kansas City after four innings because of a strained left pectoral muscle, was scratched Thursday.
Pannone was promoted and came on in relief of opener Derek Law, who allowed one run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Pannone allowed four runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Devers homered off Law in the first, his third of the series and 15th of the season, but Rowdy Tellez answered with a two-run single in the bottom half.
Jansen hit a leadoff homer in the third, then went deep again to begin the fourth. He has homered in three straight games and has six homers in his past seven. The home runs were his seventh and eighth.
Red Sox: Boston activated RHP Heath Hembree (right elbow) off the injured list and optioned RHP Trevor Kelley to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Blue Jays: Manager Charlie Montoyo said Stroman remains day to day, but did not say whether the first-time All-Star will pitch again before the break. ... OF Teoscar Hernández returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games because of a sore right shoulder. ... OF Dalton Pompey (concussion) started in center field and went 2 for 3 with an RBI for the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays on Thursday, his first rehab game. Pompey was injured during spring training when he bumped his head on a bat wedged into his locker.
All eight of Jansen’s home runs this season have travelled 400 feet or more.
RUN WITH IT
Toronto has scored six or more runs in eight straight games, the second-longest streak in team history. The Blue Jays did it in 11 consecutive games in April, 2000.
Blue Jays: RHP Jacob Waguespack, who earned his first career win Wednesday, was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Pannone.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (8-4, 4.79) starts the opener of a three-game series at Detroit. LHP Gregory Soto (0-2, 8.44) is expected to start for the Tigers.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-11, 6.31) seeks to end a streak of 10 straight losing decisions as the Blue Jays begin a three-game series against Baltimore. RHP Dylan Bundy (3-10, 4.91) starts for the Orioles.
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