BOSTON — Shane Victorino’s hard grounder eluded first baseman Josh Thole for an error as Jonathan Diaz raced home with the winning run in the ninth inning, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 Sunday.
Jose Bautista tied the game in the ninth against Koji Uehara (1-0) with a solo homer, his 19th of the season and third in two games.
Brandon Snyder singled with one out in the bottom half against Juan Perez (1-1), Jacoby Ellsbury walked and Casey Janssen relieved. Diaz ran for Snyder and Thole, who had entered in the third when Adam Lind left with back tightness, couldn’t handle Victorino’s shot.
Boston won for the fifth time in six games and improved to an AL-best 50-34. Toronto has lost five of seven following an 11-game winning streak that tied the club record.
Jose Reyes homered for the Blue Jays, his second of the season and first since April 5. Reyes returned Wednesday after missing 66 games because of a severely sprained left ankle.
Boston starter Ryan Dempster allowed two runs, seven hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings. Toronto’s Mark Buehrle gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings.
Ryan Lavarnway’s RBI double and Snyder’s two-run double gave Boston a 3-0 lead in the second. It was the first big-league hit of the season for Snyder, brought up from Triple-A on Tuesday when struggling third baseman Will Middlebrooks was sent to Pawtucket.
Colby Rasmus’ RBI single and Maicer Izturis’ run-scoring forceout cut the gap to 3-2 in the fourth.
After Jonny Gomes’ RBI double boosted the margin in the fifth, the Blue Jays loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth on a walk to Thole and singles by Rajai Davis and Rasmus. Dempster got J.P. Arencibia to pop out, and Craig Breslow retired Maicer Izturis on a popout and then struck out pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio.
Reyes homered leading off the seventh.
NOTES: Davis’ stolen base in the fourth was his fifth in three days. … Boston SS Stephen Drew missed his second game with a right hamstring injury. … After a day off Monday, the Red Sox begin their last series of a nine-game homestand with the first of three against San Diego. Robbie Erlin (1-0) pitches for San Diego against John Lackey (5-5). … The Blue Jays open a four-game series at home against Detroit on Monday with R.A. Dickey (7-8) pitching against Jose Alvarez (1-1). Boston became the first AL team to reach 50 wins in a season for the first time since 2009.