Martinez homers, has 3 RBIs as Red Sox beat Blue Jays 5-3
TORONTO (AP) J.D. Martinez and the Boston Red Sox wrapped up their longest road trip of the season so far the same way they’ve finished off almost every series: with a win.
Boston is 12-1 in series finales this season, winning its past six. The Red Sox went 6-4 on a trip to Texas and AL East rivals New York and Toronto.
”Overall, I think we had a really good road trip,” Martinez said.
Boston also maintained a share of the best record in the majors with the Yankees, who beat Oakland on Sunday.
”To come out of a road trip like that is definitely something to be proud of,” said reliever Joe Kelly, who needed four pitches to record his second save in three opportunities.
Boston, which has already had two three-city trips, plays 13 of its next 16 and 19 of its next 26 at Fenway Park.
”It’s nice to go home, play in front of our own fans and sleep in our own beds,” Martinez said.
Martinez’s 10th homer was a two-run shot in the first inning off right-hander Joe Biagini (0-2). John Axford came on to face Martinez in the fifth, and Martinez greeted him with an RBI single, scoring Betts.
Betts, who had two singles and two stolen bases, ended the fourth by sliding into foul territory down the right-field line to catch Richard Urena’s sinking liner.
”He’s becoming a force, not only the field but in the clubhouse, in the dugout,” manager Alex Cora said. ”He’s becoming a leader. It’s fun to watch. On a daily basis you’re expecting something great and he’ll do it.”
Russell Martin had three hits for the Blue Jays, who lost for the eighth time in 11 home games. Toronto is 11-11 at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays chased left-hander Drew Pomeranz during a three-run fifth. Justin Smoak hit a two-run double and Yangervis Solarte walked before Hector Velazquez replaced Pomeranz. One out later, Martin added an RBI single to get Toronto within 4-3.
Pomeranz allowed three runs and five hits in four-plus innings, failing to complete six innings for the first time in three starts.
”Nothing felt good coming out of my hand,” Pomeranz said.
Velazquez (5-0) worked two scoreless innings. Barnes and Heath Hembree each pitched one inning, and Kelly finished.
Solarte singled off Matt Barnes in the seventh and tried to score from first on Martin’s two-out double, but was thrown out at home plate to end the inning. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts fielded the throw from left fielder Andrew Benintendi and fired it to catcher Christian Vazquez, who tagged Solarte to preserve Boston’s narrow lead.
”Pretty solid,” Cora said. ”Under control. Nobody panicked.”
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he had no problem with third base coach Luis Rivera’s decision to send Solarte.
”When the team’s struggling, you try to score some runs,” Gibbons said. ”Those kind of things happen.”
Making his third start of the season and pitching in place of the injured Marcus Stroman, Biagini allowed four runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Boston’s Brock Holt was thrown out trying to steal third in the ninth, the second Red Sox player in as many days to be caught stealing at third. Cora said it’s something he’ll talk to the team about.
”We need to address that,” Cora said. ”If we’re going to go, we’d better be safe. When we make decisions like that, it can’t be a gamble. We have to be 100 percent sure we make it.”
At 3 hours, 42 minutes, this was Toronto’s longest nine-inning game of the season by 15 minutes.
Blue Jays: Toronto selected RHP Deck McGuire from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned INF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to Triple-A. Minor league RHP Carlos Ramirez was designated for assignment to make room for McGuire on the 40-man roster. … Following the game, the Blue Jays optioned OF Anthony Alford to Triple-A. A corresponding move will be made before Toronto’s next game, Tuesday at New York against the Mets.
Red Sox: Boston returns home Monday to begin a three-game series against Oakland. RHP Rick Porcello (5-0, 2.79) starts for the Red Sox. LHP Sean Manaea (4-4, 2.11) starts for the Athletics. Manaea threw a no-hitter against Boston on April 21.
Blue Jays: Toronto is off Monday before beginning a two-game road series against the Mets on Tuesday night. LHP Jaime Garcia (2-2, 5.40) starts for the Blue Jays against RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 3.09).
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