Toronto at Boston

W: A. Miller (1-2) L: N. Wagner (1-2) S: K. Uehara (4)
HR: TOR - E. Encarnacion (23)   BOS - None

Gomes puts Boston ahead to stay in win over Toronto wire reports

BOSTON -- Koji Uehara deserves a break after three perfect saves in three days as Boston's new closer.

So don't look for him coming out of the bullpen in the ninth inning of the next game.

"I'm going to tell them that I'm not available tomorrow," a laughing Uehara said through a translator after the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 despite squandering a five-run lead on Friday night.

Joel Hanrahan had blown four of his six save opportunities and had a 9.82 ERA before Tommy John elbow surgery ended his season. Andrew Bailey also struggled and blew two consecutive save chances before manager John Farrell turned to his third option, Uehara.

"After he went through his throwing program, he said he was good to go" for a third straight day, Farrell said. "So, we were in a save situation, he was going to be the guy."

Jonny Gomes put Uehara in that situation when he broke a tie with a bases-loaded, pinch-hit single in the two-run seventh.

"I'm a grinder," he said. "I'm willing to take one off the neck for the team. You've definitely got to be confident."

Gomes hadn't played in five of the previous six games, but is 4 for 12 with two homers and three RBI as a pinch hitter. He also is hitting .321 with runners in scoring position.

"With the bases loaded, as disciplined he is with the strike zone, one way or the other it felt like he was going to come through in that situation," Farrell said.

The Red Sox had 15 hits, giving them at least 10 for the sixth time in seven games. They have 93 hits over that span.

Andrew Miller (1-2) got the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Red Sox won their fourth in a row and improved to 49-33, the best record in the AL and 3 games over second-place Baltimore in the AL East. They're 16 games over .500 for the first time since they finished the 2011 season at 90-72. Last season, the Red Sox won just 69 games.

With the score tied at 5, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia singled in the seventh off Neil Wagner (1-2). Brett Cecil relieved and both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Mike Napoli walked, loading the bases.

Gomes, pinch hitting for Daniel Nava, then lined a single past third baseman Maicer Izturis for the go-ahead run. Darren Oliver came in and walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia, forcing in the second run of the inning.

Toronto lost its second game of the series after coming to Boston with 12 wins in its previous 14 games.

Boston had led 5-0 through four innings against Josh Johnson, who lasted just 3 1/3 innings and had no decision for the sixth time in his nine starts this year.

"It was one of those frustrating outings where I should have gotten deeper," he said. "They battled me. They made me throw a lot of pitches and ran up my pitch count."

But Toronto scored four runs in the next two innings and tied it in the seventh on a solo homer by Edwin Encarnacion, his 23rd of the year, off Bailey.

"We battled to come back and tie it and then they dropped two on us again real quick," Gibbons said, "but the bullpen can't be perfect every night."

Uehara has been.

He struck out two of the three batters he faced in each of the last three games -- one against Colorado and two against Toronto.

"He's got that change-up and he keeps you off balance and he's very durable and loose," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They've been trying to find that guy ever since Hanrahan went down and then Bailey struggled and he seems like the perfect guy for it."

The Red Sox went ahead 2-0 in the second on a walk to Napoli, a single by Nava and Stephen Drew's sixth triple of the season and third in four games. Napoli singled in a run in the third before the Red Sox scored two in the fourth when Drew started the rally with a one-out double.

He left the game with a tight right hamstring and Brandon Snyder pinch ran. Jose Iglesias then singled and both runners scored on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury.

After four shutout innings, Red Sox rookie Allen Webster struggled in the fifth when he allowed RBI singles to Jose Bautista and Encarnacion and a sacrifice fly to Adam Lind.

Rajai Davis then led off the sixth with a single, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Izturis.


  • Farrell said Drew is day-to-day.
  • Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to nine games and increased his AL-high total to 22 hits leading off an inning.
  • Toronto SS Jose Reyes singled in the third, his first hit since he returned Wednesday after missing 66 games with a severely sprained left ankle.
  • Boston rookie SS Iglesias went 2 for 4 and has 52 hits in 124 at-bats.
  • Johnson, who came to Toronto from Miami after last season, got his only win with the Blue Jays in his previous start, a 13-5 victory over Baltimore.
  • Esmil Rogers (3-3) pitches for Toronto on Saturday against Felix Doubront (4-3) in the third game of the four-game series.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Jonny Gomes singles home Shane Victorino in the seventh to put the Red Sox ahead to stay in a win over Toronto. (USATSI)
Jonny Gomes singles home Shane Victorino in the seventh to put the Red Sox ahead to stay in a win over Toronto. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

S. Drew
AB 2
R 0
H 2
HR 0

E. Encarnacion
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: Toronto Blue Jays (3:22)
Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Reyes, SS5110021 .327
Jose Bautista, RF4111021 .245
Edwin Encarnacion, DH3122100 .271
Adam Lind, 1B3011021 .321
Colby Rasmus, CF4000002 .238
Rajai Davis, LF4120002 .311
J.P. Arencibia, C4000005 .220
Maicer Izturis, 3B3111010 .237
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B3000110 .206
HR - Edwin Encarnacion (23, Bailey)
SF - Adam Lind (4), Maicer Izturis (1)
RBI - Jose Bautista (45), Edwin Encarnacion 2 (66), Adam Lind (32), Maicer Izturis (17)
2-OUT RBI - Edwin Encarnacion (36)
SB - Rajai Davis 2 (16, 2nd base off Webster/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Jose Bautista 1
DP - Arencibia, Arencibia-Reyes-Bonifacio-Lind
PB - J.P. Arencibia (10)
Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Johnson 3.1855250 5.21
Aaron Loup 2200010 1.79
Neil Wagner (L,1-2) 0.2322000 2.13
Brett Cecil 0.1100110 1.54
Darren Oliver 0.2000110 2.78
Casey Janssen 1100000 2.03
IBB - Ortiz by Josh Johnson
WP - Brett Cecil (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 90-54, Aaron Loup 23-15, Neil Wagner 17-15, Brett Cecil 14-7, Darren Oliver 15-7, Casey Janssen 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 1-3, Aaron Loup 1-2, Neil Wagner 1-1, Darren Oliver 1-0, Casey Janssen 2-1
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 19, Aaron Loup 6, Neil Wagner 5, Brett Cecil 3, Darren Oliver 3, Casey Janssen 4
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5122011 .294
Shane Victorino, RF5110032 .294
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5130001 .323
David Ortiz, DH4010113 .318
Mike Napoli, 1B2111202 .265
Daniel Nava, LF3120003 .285
    Jonny Gomes, PH-LF1011000 .217
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C3001122 .258
Stephen Drew, SS2022000 .233
    Brandon Snyder, PR-3B2100013 .000
Jose Iglesias, 3B-SS4120004 .419
a-singled for Nava in the 7th
2B - Stephen Drew (14, Johnson)
3B - Dustin Pedroia (1, Janssen), Stephen Drew (6, Johnson)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (29), Mike Napoli (54), Jonny Gomes (19), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (31), Stephen Drew 2 (31)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Napoli (15), Stephen Drew 2 (21)
SB - Jose Iglesias (2, 2nd base off Johnson/Arencibia)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Iglesias-Pedroia-Napoli
E - Stephen Drew (3, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
Allen Webster 6644230 9.50
Andrew Bailey (BS,5) 0.2111021 4.63
Andrew Miller (W,1-2) 1.1100010 2.79
Koji Uehara (S,4) 1000020 1.91
WP - Allen Webster (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Allen Webster 100-57, Andrew Bailey 11-8, Andrew Miller 20-14, Koji Uehara 15-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Allen Webster 11-5, Andrew Miller 1-1, Koji Uehara 1-0
Batters Faced - Allen Webster 27, Andrew Bailey 3, Andrew Miller 4, Koji Uehara 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36383
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Mike Everitt