Rollin’ Red Sox Complete Sweep of Blue Jays, Earn Sixth Straight Win Thursday
BY BRENDAN MCGAIR
BOSTON (AP) — Masataka Yoshida and Rafael Devers each homered, and the Boston Red Sox completed a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with an 11-5 victory Thursday night.
Boston won its sixth straight overall to jump over Toronto for third place in the AL East. It’s the first time the Sox have swept the Jays in a four-game series since 2002.
“Great series, great homestand,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We’re playing good baseball.”
Taking all four games also sent a strong message after Toronto won 16 of the 19 meetings against Boston last season. “Last year, we didn’t play well,” Devers said. “It feels really good to get one up on them. I’m not saying they’re not going to be able to win some games against us, but we’re just going to keep playing the way we know how.”
Devers finished with four RBIs and Yoshida three, and Jarren Duran had three hits and two of the Red Sox’s five stolen bases.
Brayan Bello (1-1) picked up his first win of the season after allowing four runs — two earned — and six hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked one.
“They did a lot of damage against him last year,” Cora said of Bello. “Today was a step in the right direction.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered and drove in two runs for Toronto, which has lost five straight.
Yoshida set the tone early for Boston when he jumped on the first pitch he saw from Toronto starter Kevin Gausman (2-3) in the first inning for his sixth home run.
“He’s an accomplished hitter and knows how to study and prepare,” Turner said of Yoshida. “When you mix talent and preparation, you’re going to get a lot of good results. It’s fun to be on deck behind him and watch him use the whole field.”
The Red Sox scored five more in the second on run-scoring hits by Reese McGuire, Ramiel Tapia and Yoshida before Devers’ two-run double that made it 6-0.
Toronto got a run back when Guerrero blasted his second home run in as many nights, a solo shot in the fourth.
But Gausman was chased with one out in the fourth after Duran and Devers had RBI singles to make it 8-1. Gausman allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings. His ERA soared from 2.33 to 3.86.
“Your tip your hat to them,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said of the Red Sox. “They’re firing on all cylinders offensively.”
Toronto finally got to Bello in the fifth with three runs, but Boston added three more runs of their own in the eighth on Turner’s RBI single and Devers’ AL-leading 11th home run. It was also the 150th homer of his career.
“I’m super proud of the new milestone,” Devers said, “but just keep hoping to hit home runs and drive in runs and help the team win.”
Yoshida’s homer in the first extended his hitting streak to an MLB-best 14 games.
The eight runs represented a single-game career high for Gausman, who has appeared in 274 career MLB games.
“The split wasn’t getting into the zone as it had been,” Schneider said. “A lack of command on some of the fastballs, but they were laying off of it.”
TRAINER’S ROOM Blue Jays: RHP Zach Pop needed the assistance of the trainer as he slowly walked off the field in the eighth inning.
Red Sox: RHP Kutter Crawford is day-to-day with hamstring tightness after leaving Wednesday’s game in the ninth inning. … RHP Joely Rodriguez (oblique strain) tossed a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance for Triple-A Worcester Thursday. … LHP James Paxton (hamstring strain) is scheduled to make a start for Worcester on Friday. His 30-day rehab clock expires next Monday. Paxton hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since 2021.
Blue Jays: At Pittsburgh on Friday with RHP Chris Bassitt (3-2, 5.18) opposing Pirates LHP Rich Hill (3-2, 4.18).
Red Sox: At Philadelphia on Friday night. Chris Sale (2-2, 6.75) is scheduled to start against Zack Wheeler (3-1, 3.86).