Brian Johnson Gets First Major League Win as Sox Hold Off Jays in Toronto
TORONTO — Brian Johnson earned his first major league win after being called up from the minors earlier in the day, Mookie Betts hit his first home run of the season and the Boston Red Sox hung on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7 on Tuesday night for their season-high fourth straight victory.
Johnson (1-0), promoted Tuesday morning from Triple-A Pawtucket, gave up four runs and seven hits and struck out six in five innings. He lost his only other start, at Houston on July 21, 2015.
Betts, who was 3 for 5 and got the Red Sox rolling with an RBI single in the third inning, hit a drive into the second deck to lead off the seventh.
Mitch Moreland, who reached based for the 12th straight game and hit his league-leading 10th double, was 3 for 5 and drove in three runs.
Russell Martin, Justin Smoak and Ezequiel Carrera had home runs for the Blue Jays, off to a franchise-worst 2-11 start. Toronto went just 3 of 12 with runners in scoring position.
Facing an 8-4 deficit in the bottom of the ninth, the Blue Jays rallied with two outs. Steve Pearce drove Martin in with a single. Carrera then hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot into the Blue Jays’ bullpen in left field, to make the score 8-7. But Devon Travis popped out to shortstop to end the game.
Marcus Stroman (1-2) had his shortest outing of the season, surrendering six earned runs and 11 hits before being removed in the fourth inning with two outs.
Kendrys Morales started the scoring in the first with an RBI single, and came home on Justin Smoak’s drive to the outfield fence two batters later, giving Toronto a quick 2-0 lead.
The Red Sox came right back in the third to take a 3-2 lead, before Smoak tied it at 3 with his second home run of the season.
Boston got to Stroman in the fifth, as both Hanley Ramirez and Moreland drove in runs. After Stroman left, Pablo Sandoval brought another runner home.
Martin’s first home run of the season, in the bottom of the fifth, brought the Blue Jays to within two, before Betts restored Boston’s three-run lead two innings later with a shot beyond the left-field wall.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia was given the night off. … LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (paternity) could rejoin the team as soon as Wednesday. … OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (right knee) and 3B Josh Rutledge (left hamstring) made their first rehab appearances on Tuesday in Triple-A. Bradley was 0 for 2, while Rutledge went 1 for 3 with a home run.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez, on the 10-day DL because of a blister on his middle finger, underwent a procedure Monday to remove a portion of his nail. He will try playing catch in the next few days. … RHP Danny Barnes was recalled from Triple-A. He takes the roster spot of LHP Matt Dermody, who was optioned to Buffalo on Monday.
The Blue Jays placed left-hander J.A. Happ on the 10-day disabled list and recalled infielder Ty Kelly from Triple-A Buffalo.
Happ, who won 20 games for the first time last year, left Sunday’s start against Baltimore in the fifth inning with a sore elbow. On Monday, he had an MRI that revealed no structural damage.
Manager John Gibbons says he’s optimistic Happ will be ready to return at the end of his DL stint, or shortly after. Happ is 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA.
The Blue Jays traded catcher Juan Graterol to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The 28-year-old Graterol had been designated for assignment on Friday to make room for utilityman Chris Coughlin on the 40-man roster.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (1-1, 7.56 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner was 3-0 in five starts against Toronto last season.
Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (0-1, 9.00 ERA) is 2/3 with 5.97 ERA against Boston in six career starts.