TORONTO – This was one comeback the Boston Red Sox couldn’t complete.
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 leaders their fourth loss in six games.
Brad Lincoln (1-1) worked 11/3 innings as the Blue Jays recovered to win after Boston’s Mike Napoli hit a tying, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth.
The Red Sox rallied for a 4-2 win Tuesday, their seventh comeback victory in nine wins and their 28th comeback of the season.
“I don’t really feel like we’re ever out of a game,” Red Sox starter Jon Lester said. “I feel like we’ve always got that opportunity, as long as the pitchers keep us within reach.”
On Wednesday, however, Boston left the bases loaded in the ninth and stranded runners at first and second in the 10th.
“Late in the game, we continue to put up good at-bats,” Manager John Farrell said. “Unfortunately that two-out hit that can make the difference was elusive in both innings.”
Toronto won it when 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.
“Kind of unfortunate. I thought I had a bead on it and at the very end it started taking off on me,” Drew said. “It hit the very end of the web. At first, off the bat, I thought I might be able to catch it out of the air real quick, but there was no shot.”
Toronto’s sixth walk-off win of the season snapped a five-game losing streak against AL East opponents.
David Ortiz also homered for Boston with 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.
“Something out of the norm for him, certainly, but given the way he felt and the way (Cecil) pitched him last night, even though he got a base hit up the middle, he knew he was going to attack him with some hard stuff running in,” Farrell said.
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.
“Hopefully that puts him in a good frame of mind,” Lester said. “He should be pumped about that; he should be excited.”
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.