TORONTO — Pitcher Rich Hill was dominant in his second MLB start since 2009 as the Boston Red Sox rallied past the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Pablo Sandoval with a sacrifice fly for the winning run in the eighth inning.
Dioner Navarro had a home run for Toronto (85-64), while Ben Revere had an RBI single. It was the Blue Jays second loss in a row.
Mark Buehrle pitched six solid innings, giving up eight hits and three runs. Relievers Liam Hendriks, Brett Cecil, Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins all came out of the Blue Jays’ bullpen.
Lowe allowed Sandoval’s decisive run for the Red Sox (71-77), but he had reached base with Cecil pitching. Cecil (3-5) earned the loss as a result.
Hill (1-0) struck out 10, giving up seven hits and three runs over seven innings for Boston. Noe Ramirez pitched an inning of scoreless relief before Robbie Ross Jr. came in for the save.
Navarro put the Blue Jays ahead 2-0 with a two-run shot just to the right of the left-field foul pole. He drove in Edwin Encarnacion who had led off the second inning with a single to left field.
Toronto continued to rally after Navarro’s homer, as Kevin Pillar reached base on a dribbler to first, sliding in to the base. Ryan Goins then hit a single and Revere made it 3-0 with a single that plated Pillar.
Xander Bogaerts’ smart base running chipped away at Toronto’s lead, scoring on an error charged to Buehrle. David Ortiz had grounded out to first baseman Chris Colabello, with Buehrle covering the bag. Bogaerts ran to third base when he realized none of the Blue Jays were covering it and Buehrle’s throw bounced past Donaldson into foul territory, allowing the Red Sox shortstop to score.
Travis Shaw tied it for Boston 3-3 with an RBI single in the fifth inning, driving in Mookie Betts and Bogaerts with a hit to shallow left field.
Bradley Jr. gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead on his sac fly to deep centre field. Pillar made an impressive throw to try to catch Sandoval out at home, but the ball skidded on the hop to Navarro and bounced away.
Russell Martin, pinch hitting for Goins in the ninth, brought the 46,743 in attendance to their feet with a two-out double, but that was as close as Toronto got to tying the game and forcing extra innings.
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John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press