TORONTO (AP)George Springer hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Boston Red Sox 9-8 on Sunday.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added a two-run drive to help the Blue Jays finish 9-2 on their first homestand in Canada since September 2019. Guerrero’s homer was his 35th.
”A huge win for us today, for sure,” Springer said. ”We just fought and battled and scratched and clawed all day.”
The Blue Jays returned home July 30 and swept a three-game series against Kansas City before winning three of four against Cleveland and Boston.
”The energy that this place gives us, it’s huge,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. ”We haven’t had that.”
J.D. Martinez had four hits and three RBIs in his return to the Boston lineup after being reinstated from the COVID-19 list. Kevin Plawecki had three hits and three RBI, but the bullpen couldn’t hold on for the Red Sox.
Rafael Dolis (2-3) pitched 1 1/2 innings for the win and Jordan Romano finished for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Despite ending a 15-game streak in which they failed to score more than five runs in a game, the struggling Red Sox lost for the ninth time in their past 11.
”It’s a tough one,” manager Alex Cora said. ”Offensively we did a lot of good things. We had a chance to put them away and we didn’t.”
The Red Sox still hold an AL wild-card spot, but lost the AL East lead during their 2-8 road trip.
”We’re still in a good spot, let’s be honest,” Cora said. ”It was a tough road trip but we’ll go home and dominate at home.”
Boston has gone 33-22 at Fenway Park.
Red Sox closer Matt Barnes (6-4) replaced Adam Ottavino with Boston leading 8-6 with two outs in the eighth and a runner on. No. 9 hitter Reese McGuire drew a nine-pitch walk before Springer delighted the crowd of 14,766 with his 14th homer.
”I thought we had the right pitch and obviously didn’t execute it well,” Barnes said.
The Blue Jays have hit at least one home run in 20 of 21 games. Springer’s blast pushed Toronto’s AL-leading total to 168.
MORE COVID ISSUES
Cora said bench coach Will Venable, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, will have to remain in Toronto for a minimum of 14 days before he can cross the border. First base coach Tom Goodwin, who was a close contact of Venable, will have to remain for four or five days depending on his test results. … OF Jarren Duran also was activated off the COVID-19 and started in left.
BOSTON ROSTER UPDATE
Cora said left-hander Chris Sale will rejoin the team next Saturday to start against Baltimore. Sale allowed two hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Worcester on Saturday. … OF Alex Verdugo was placed on the paternity list, C Connor Wang was sent to Triple-A.
Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette was held out of the starting lineup. Bichette fouled a ball of his left shin Saturday, the second time in the series he’s done so. He’s day-to-day.
Red Sox: RHP Hirokazu Sawamura was removed in the seventh because of a sore right elbow. His final seven pitches were all balls, including two wild pitches. . OF/1B Kyle Schwarber, already sidelined by a strained right hamstring, is dealing with soreness in his left groin, Cora said, but the issue is not considered serious. Schwarber is expected to work out in Boston on Monday.
Blue Jays: Toronto returns Tuesday for a doubleheader at the Los Angeles Angels. LHP Steven Matz (9-6, 4.30 ERA) faces Angels RHP Chris Rodriguez (2-1, 3.86) in the opener. In the nightcap, Blue Jays RHP Ross Stripling (5-6, 4.43) starts against LHP Jose Suarez (5-4, 3.60).
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (8-6, 5.33) starts Tuesday as the Red Sox return home for a three-game series against Tampa Bay. RHP Luis Patino (2-3, 4.42) starts for the Rays.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports