BOSTON — Rookie starter Tanner Houck struck out seven over four innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Wednesday night to a split a doubleheader.

The Jays won the opener by the same 4-1 score as Robbie Ray pitched six strong innings and Randal Grichuk homered and drove in three runs.

Houck gave up one run and two hits. Garrett Whitlock (4-1) followed with two scoreless innings and Matt Barnes closed for his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Rookie Jarren Duran hit his first major league triple, an RBI drive in the fourth. He scored on the play when center fielder George Springer bobbled the ball.

Duran also had a sacrifice fly. Kevin Plawecki had a season-high three hits for Boston.

Steven Matz (8-6) allowed four runs and nine hits in 31/3 innings.


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led off the Toronto fourth with a double and scored on Bo Bichette’s single to left. Guerrero tied Bichette for the AL with 78 runs scored.

Springer also homered as the Blue Jays topped the AL East leaders in the opener, a day after a rainout at Fenway Park forced the twinbill.

Ray (9-5) gave up one run on five hits, striking out eight. Jordan Romano earned his eighth save with a perfect seventh inning.

Grichuk’s 19th homer was a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the fourth inning off Garrett Richards (6-6) that landed in the first row of the bleachers in straightaway center field. Springer led off the fifth with his ninth homer.

Boston scored in the first when a single by Rafael Devers set up an RBI grounder by J.D. Martinez.

Bichette walked in the second, stole second and scored on Grichuk’s single back to the mound that Richards couldn’t handle.

Richards went four innings, allowing four runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts. It was his first loss in five starts since June 23 at Tampa Bay..


Red Sox: Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after being out since Sunday because a sore left wrist Right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura, out since July 23 because of right triceps inflammation, began a rehab assignment Wednesday, going one perfect inning with one strikeout against Buffalo. He is eligible to be activated Friday. … Infielder Marwin Gonzalez, out since July 13 because of a right hamstring strain, could begin a rehab assignment this weekend. … Infielder Christian Arroyo, out since July 19 because of a left hamstring strain, has not yet run and “is not close enough yet,” Cora said. … Cora is hopeful right-hander Ryan Brasier “at some point during the season is going to contribute,” but there is nothing definite.

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