Boston at Toronto

W: C. Buchholz (1-2) L: B. Morrow (1-2) S: K. Uehara (5)
HR: BOS - A. Pierzynski (2),W. Middlebrooks (2)   TOR - J. Francisco (2),J. Bautista (7)

Pierzynski hits slam, Red Sox hold off Blue Jays wire reports

TORONTO -- Boston's Clay Buchholz looked like he was heading for another forgettable outing. Instead, he found his form and picked up his first victory of the season.

A.J. Pierzynski hit his eighth career grand slam, Will Middlebrooks added a solo home run and the Red Sox held on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 on Saturday.

Buchholz (1-2) survived a shaky first inning to win for the first time in five starts. The right-hander allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, bouncing back from a bad start against Baltimore last Monday in which he allowed six runs in 2 1-3 innings.

After working on his delivery between starts, Buchholz was eager to try out the refinements. A little too eager, in fact.

''I was almost too amped up for the start today at the beginning,'' Buchholz said. ''Everything was up and I wasn't finishing many pitches.''

Once he settled down, Buchholz retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.

''The first couple of innings were rough and then he really got in a good groove,'' Middlebrooks said.

Buchholz, who walked three and struck out three, is 8-2 with a 1.72 ERA in 11 career starts at Toronto.

Jose Bautista and Juan Francisco hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays, who have lost a season-high four straight games.

Middlebrooks has five home runs and 10 extra base hits in 13 career games at Toronto's Rogers Centre. He had a three-homer game against the Blue Jays on April 7, 2013.

Junichi Tazawa replaced Buchholz to begin the eighth but gave up a leadoff homer to Francisco. Back-to-back singles and a fielder's choice put runners at the corners for pinch hitter Edwin Encarnacion, who hit an RBI single. Chris Capuano replaced Tazawa and struck out pinch hitter Jonathan Diaz before walking Jose Reyes to load the bases. Koji Uehara came on and ended the inning by getting Melky Cabrera to fly out.

Uehara gave up Bautista's leadoff homer in the ninth but got Encarnacion to fly out with men at first and second for his fifth save in as many chances.

''He had just enough to hang on for the four outs today,'' Farrell said.

Bautista was the last player to connect against Uehara, taking him deep on June 30, 2013.

Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow (1-2) issued a career-worst eight walks in 2 2/3 innings, allowing four runs without giving up a hit.

''I let down the team in a big way today,'' Morrow said. ''It's embarrassing to not be able to command your fastball.''

Morrow, who struck out one, became the first pitcher to allow four or more runs without a hit since Dontrelle Willis gave up five runs and no hits while pitching for Detroit on June 4, 2009.

''We've been walking way too many guys all year,'' manager John Gibbons said. ''That's unlike us.''

The Blue Jays jumped on Buchholz with three runs in the first. Bautista hit an RBI single and a second run scored on a wild pitch before Dioner Navarro drove in Bautista with a single off the wall.

Morrow walked two batters in each of the first and second innings, but got double play grounders to escape each time.

Morrow's luck ran out in the third, when he walked four straight after retiring the first two batters of the inning. Chad Jenkins, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo following Friday's game, came on for Morrow but Pierzynski hammered his second pitch over the wall for a grand slam. For Pierzynski, it was his first grand slam since May 2, 2009.

''We're sitting there with no hits on the board and then one hit with five runs on the board,'' Farrell said.

Five pitches later, Middlebrooks connected, the second time this season the Red Sox have hit back-to-back homers.


The Blue Jays record for walks in a game is nine, set four times. Jim Clancy, Chris Carpenter, Jesse Jefferson and Pat Hentgen all walked nine batters in one game. ... Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker was ejected for arguing during a coaching visit to the mound in the third. ... Boston LH Jon Lester (2-3) faces Toronto's R.A. Dickey (1-3) in Sunday's series finale.

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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Shane Victorino congratulates A.J. Pierzynski, who comes through with his eighth career grand slam. (USATSI)
Shane Victorino congratulates A.J. Pierzynski, who comes through with his eighth career grand slam. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

A. Pierzynski
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

J. Bautista
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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Shane Victorino, RF4100121 .133
David Ortiz, DH1100310 .253
Mike Carp, 1B3210102 .226
Grady Sizemore, LF2112211 .221
A.J. Pierzynski, C3114101 .277
Will Middlebrooks, 3B4111012 .286
Jonathan Herrera, SS4000001 .182
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF4000030 .225
Clay Buchholz, P0000000 .000
   Junichi Tazawa, P0000000 .000
   Chris Capuano, P0000000 .000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000 .000
2B - Mike Carp (3, Jenkins), Grady Sizemore (3, Jenkins)
HR - A.J. Pierzynski (2, Jenkins), Will Middlebrooks (2, Jenkins)
RBI - Grady Sizemore 2 (7), A.J. Pierzynski 4 (12), Will Middlebrooks (4)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore (1), A.J. Pierzynski 4 (6), Will Middlebrooks (2)
CS - Dustin Pedroia (2, 2nd base by Jenkins/Navarro)
Team LOB - 4
Boston Red Sox
Clay Buchholz (W,1-2) 7633330 6.66
Junichi Tazawa 0.1422001 1.74
Chris Capuano (H,3) 0.1000110 0.00
Koji Uehara (S,5) 1.1311021 0.96
WP - Clay Buchholz (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Clay Buchholz 105-67, Junichi Tazawa 18-14, Chris Capuano 16-9, Koji Uehara 25-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Buchholz 8-10, Junichi Tazawa 1-0
Batters Faced - Clay Buchholz 30, Junichi Tazawa 5, Chris Capuano 2, Koji Uehara 7
Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Reyes, SS3100201 .188
Melky Cabrera, LF5110014 .339
Jose Bautista, DH5232001 .296
Juan Francisco, 1B-3B4111122 .333
Dioner Navarro, C4131111 .309
Colby Rasmus, CF5010014 .188
Brett Lawrie, 3B-2B5020002 .165
Moises Sierra, RF3000001 .074
   a-Edwin Encarnacion, PH-1B2011002 .231
Ryan Goins, 2B3010001 .150
   b-Jonathan Diaz, PH-RF1000012 .194
Brandon Morrow, P0000000 .000
   Chad Jenkins, P0000000 .000
   Aaron Loup, P0000000 .000
   Brett Cecil, P0000000 .000
   Steve Delabar, P0000000 .000
   Sergio Santos, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Sierra in the 8th
b-struck out for Goins in the 8th
2B - Jose Bautista (4, Buchholz)
HR - Jose Bautista (7, Uehara), Juan Francisco (2, Tazawa)
RBI - Jose Bautista 2 (16), Juan Francisco (3), Dioner Navarro (14), Edwin Encarnacion (10)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Goins-Reyes-Francisco, Goins-Reyes-Francisco-Reyes-Francisco
PB - Dioner Navarro (3)
Toronto Blue Jays
Brandon Morrow (L,1-2) 2.2044810 6.04
Chad Jenkins 1.2533022 16.20
Aaron Loup 1.2000010 4.09
Brett Cecil 1000120 3.72
Steve Delabar 1000000 4.32
Sergio Santos 1000020 5.40
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 65-26, Chad Jenkins 37-26, Aaron Loup 14-10, Brett Cecil 14-8, Steve Delabar 11-8, Sergio Santos 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 2-3, Chad Jenkins 2-0, Aaron Loup 2-2, Steve Delabar 2-1, Sergio Santos 1-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 14, Chad Jenkins 9, Aaron Loup 5, Brett Cecil 4, Steve Delabar 3, Sergio Santos 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40322
Game Time - 3:23
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - Rob Drake