Red Sox slam Blue Jays

Five-run fourth in­ning costs Toronto, gives Bos­ton 10th straight win

The Beacon Herald - - SPORTS - STEVE BUFFERY

BOS­TON — A com­bi­na­tion of bad de­fence, bad luck and a bad pitch thrown by Toronto starter J.A. Happ sunk the Blue Jays at Fen­way Park on Thurs­day night.

The Bos­ton Red Sox scored five runs in the fourth to chase Happ out of the game, hold­ing on for a 6-4 vic­tory, their 10th straight win — the long­est ac­tive win streak in the Ma­jors.

Four of the runs Bos­ton scored in the fourth came via a Mookie Betts grand slam, though none of the five runs the Toronto lefty sur­ren­dered were earned.

The trou­ble started when Jays short­stop Lour­des Gur­riel Jr. at­tempted to start a dou­ble play by dish­ing a Brock Holt grounder to sec­ond. The Jays ini­tially got the run­ner out (Xan­der Bo­gaerts) but couldn’t dou­ble up Holt at first. Bos­ton chal­lenged the out and a re­view showed that Jays sec­ond base­man Devon Travis didn’t touch the bag on the play, so Bo­gaerts was ruled safe, putting two men on with one out. Travis was slapped with an er­ror. The next bat­ter, Ed­uardo Nunez, hit a weak grounder to the mound to load the bases. Sandy Leon fol­lowed that up with a grounder to short. Gur­riel fielded the ball and dished it to third from his glove, a great play, though Bo­gaerts scored on the play. Happ loaded the bases again by walk­ing Jackie Bradley Jr.. That brought up Betts, the MLB bat­ting leader, who de­posited the 13th pitch thrown to him by Happ right over the Green Mon­ster in left. Toronto first base­man Justin Smoak just missed mak­ing an over the shoul­der catch on a foul pop hit ear­lier in the count by Betts, which would have ended the in­ning. Happ threw 45 pitches in the in­ning and was re­placed by Joe Bi­agini. It was the sixth grand slam he has given up in his ca­reer and third this sea­son. Betts also hit an RBI sin­gle in the sev­enth.

Ru­mours have been swirling that the New York Yan­kees are in­ter­ested in trad­ing for Happ be­fore the dead­line, but Thurs­day’s out­ing rep­re­sented his third straight sub-par per­for­mance, so they may be hav­ing sec­ond thoughts.

Bos­ton starter David Price gave up two home runs to the Jays. Teoscar Her­nan­dez hit his 14th home run of the year in the first that went an es­ti­mated 434 feet to stake Happ to a 2-0 lead. It was his first homer since June 22, a span of 15 games. DH Kendrys Mo­rales hit his 11th homer of the sea­son to lead off the sev­enth, a smash that sailed over the wall in deep cen­tre. Justin Smoak smacked a dou­ble off the cen­tre field wall in the eighth to score Ran­dal Grichuk, Smoak’s sixth straight game with an ex­tra base hit and his 11th RBI in as many games.

Ex-Jay Steve Pearce, who was traded to the Red Sox on June 28, was hit just below the left shin by Happ in the first and left the game the next in­ning. He suf­fered a left shin con­tu­sion.

Travis went 4-for-4 on the night, all sin­gles, his first four-hit per­for­mance this sea­son. Gur­riel had a dou­ble and sin­gle. SBuffery@post­media.com

MICHAEL DWYER/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Toronto Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ re­acts while pitch­ing dur­ing the fourth in­ning of the game against the Bos­ton Red Sox in Bos­ton on Thurs­day. A grand slam in the fourth in­ning put the Red Sox over the Jays 6-4.

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