Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The Associated Press
TORONTO — With an eye-popping catch at a pivotal moment, Daniel Nava helped the Boston Red Sox avoid another dispiriting defeat.
Boston’s Pedro Ciriaco tags Toronto’s Brett Lawrie at third base in the eighth inning of an 8-5 win by the Red Sox at Toronto Friday. The Red Sox blew an early 5-3 lead, coming back to snap a six-game losing streak against Toronto.
The Associated Press
WHO: Red Sox (Buchholz 11-6) at Toronto Blue Jays (Villanueva 7-5)
WHEN: 1:07 p.m.
Mauro Gomez hit a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the ninth inning, Nava made a game-saving grab in the outfield, and Boston beat Toronto 8-5 on Friday night, snapping a six-game losing streak against the Blue Jays.
Boston had lost six of seven overall coming in, but bounced back after falling behind 3-0 and later blowing a 5-3 lead.
Ryan Lavarnway hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBI, but no one was more important than Nava, who hit a two-run single in the fifth, then left his feet to haul in a sinking line drive from Adam Lind in the eighth, keeping the go-ahead run rooted at second base.
“That was awesome,” Lavarnway said of Nava’s backhanded catch. “That’s one of the most spectacular catches I’ve seen all year, especially in a tie game. I’d say that was a game-saving catch.”
Nava said instinct took over as he raced into the gap to track down the ball.
“That one felt good, especially with what was on the line at the time,” he said. “It meant a lot for the team.”
Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine called Nava’s grab “spectacular.”
“Once it started slicing, I thought maybe he could intercept it,” Valentine said. “I didn’t know it would take a dive.”
Chris Carpenter (1-0) got two outs for his first major league win, and Andrew Bailey closed it out for his third save in four chances.
Darren Oliver (3-3) lost for the first time since May 23 at Tampa Bay, giving up one run and two hits in one-plus inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled off Oliver to begin the ninth, bringing Casey Janssen out of the bullpen. Mike Aviles flied out and Cody Ross singled before Gomez tripled to the wall in right-center. Lavarnway followed with a sacrifice fly.
“Mauro is a pretty good hitter,” Valentine said. “He’s been playing a lot against left-handers, but I left him in against a right-hander there and he didn’t try to do too much. He took a slider into right-center field that I thought was caught for a second. It’s a game of inches: Daniel makes the catch, Gose doesn’t.”
The Blue Jays took the lead by scoring three times off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the third, all without a hit. Moises Sierra was hit by a pitch and Anthony Gose and Colby Rasmus walked to load the bases. Sierra and Gose both scored on wild pitches before Rasmus came home on Lind’s groundout.
“It was a real waste that I gave up a few runs without giving up any hits,” Matsuzaka said through a translator. “It was really unfortunate that I wasn’t able to make a small adjustment during that inning and get out of it quicker.”
Boston tied it in the fourth on Lavarnway’s homer, his second, and took a 5-3 lead on Nava’s two-run single off Chad Jenkins in the fifth, snapping a stretch of 19 scoreless innings by Blue Jays relievers.