Brett Lawrie singled home the winning run in the 10th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Boston 4-3 on Wednesday, handing the AL East-leading Red Sox their fourth loss in six games.
Rajai Davis doubled off Brandon Workman (3-2) to begin the 10th and went to third on Jose Bautista’s grounder. Edwin Encarnacion was intentionally walked to bring up Lawrie, who lined a two-strike pitch off the glove of shortstop Stephen Drew, bringing Davis home with the winning run.
Brad Lincoln (1-1) worked 1 1-3 innings as the Blue Jays recovered to win after Boston’s Mike Napoli hit a game-tying, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth.
David Ortiz also added a solo blast in the sixth, his 23rd.
Trailing 3-1 with two outs in the ninth, the Red Sox tied it with Napoli’s shot off Brett Cecil, who was pitching because closer Casey Janssen had worked the previous two days.
The ninth began with Ortiz thrown out by Cecil after trying for a bunt single. Jonny Gomes walked and Drew struck out before Napoli, dropped to seventh in the order, snapped a 0-for-16 slump by connecting for his first homer since July 24.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled, Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch and Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an infield single to load the bases before Lincoln replaced Cecil and got Shane Victorino to fly out.
Demoted to the bullpen last week after his ninth consecutive winless start, Blue Jays right-hander Esmil Rogers returned to the rotation in place of Josh Johnson, who’s sidelined with a sore right forearm.
Pitching on his 28th birthday, Rogers allowed one run and five hits in six innings, only to have Napoli’s late homer deny him his first win since June 18. He walked one and struck out six.
The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the third, when Davis took advantage of a pair of Boston throwing errors to circle the bases after hitting an infield single off Jon Lester’s leg. Davis advanced all the way to third when Lester’s errant throw ended up in foul territory, then scored when Victorino’s throw hit Davis and rolled behind third base.
Toronto added another run in the fourth. Encarnacion hit a leadoff double and scored when Mark DeRosa blooped a double just beyond the reach of first baseman Napoli.
Ortiz hit a one-out blast off Rogers in the sixth, but the Blue Jays answered in the bottom half when Encarnacion hit another leadoff double and scored on a two-out double by J.P. Arencibia.
Ortiz has 32 career home runs at Rogers Centre, his most at any stadium other then Fenway Park.
Lester came in 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in four starts against Toronto this season, but was unable to extend his run of success. He allowed three runs, two earned, and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, walked two and struck out three.
NOTES: Boston RHP Clay Buchholz threw almost 50 pitches in a bullpen session before the game, calling it “probably the best day so far” in his recovery from neck and shoulder ailments that have kept him out since June 9. Wednesday was also Buchholz’s 29th birthday. … Toronto placed OF Colby Rasmus (left abdominal strain) on the 15-day DL, recalled INF Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo and selected OF Kevin Pillar from Triple-A. … The Blue Jays traded utilityman Emilio Bonifacio to Kansas City for a player to be named later. … Napoli, 0 for 13 with an ML-high 158 strikeouts coming in, was dropped to seventh, his lowest spot in the order this season.