The Boston Red Sox have been piling up hits of late.
They'll look to keep turning them into wins as they go for a fifth straight victory Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Boston (49-33) has posted double-digit hit totals in six of its last seven games, batting .365 with 25 extra-base hits. The Red Sox have been particularly impressive during the current four-game win streak, hitting .436 with runners in scoring position while averaging 7.5 runs.
They continued the hit parade Friday night with 15 in a 7-5 victory over the Blue Jays.
Boston might have to carry on without Stephen Drew , who has three triples and two doubles over the last four games. The shortstop left Friday's game with a tight right hamstring and is day-to-day, according to manager John Farrell .
Boston has been particularly hot at home, winning 14 of 18 while batting .319. Ellsbury has hit .414 over his last 13 home games, Pedroia has batted .374 at Fenway Park this season and David Ortiz is batting .351 during a nine-game hitting streak there.
Esmil Rogers (3-3, 3.46 ERA) likely isn't looking forward to facing this Boston lineup. The right-hander has made four appearances against the Red Sox in 2013, all out of the bullpen, and has posted a 23.14 ERA against them. Boston is hitting .462 off Rogers this season with two home runs in 2 1-3 innings.
Rogers, who joined Toronto's starting rotation at the end of May, had surrendered three home runs in his first 50 innings of the season entering Monday. That's when he gave up three straight in the second inning against Tampa Bay, ultimately yielding four runs in six innings of a 4-1 loss.
"I think I lost a little bit of my confidence out there, a little scared to throw my breaking pitch," Rogers told the team's official website. "I don't know why something like that was coming out of my mind. I'll learn about that moment and say it's not going to happen again."
Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.33), meanwhile, hopes the Red Sox's success at the plate carries over for one more day. The left-hander has only one win since April, due in part to an offense that has provided him with 16 runs of support over his last eight starts - he has a 2.89 ERA in that span. Doubront did not get a decision Sunday, allowing three runs - two earned - in five innings of a 7-5 loss at Detroit.
He has not fared well in his last three starts against the Blue Jays, going 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA. Doubront was tagged for nine hits in five innings at Toronto on April 5, yielding three runs in a 6-4 win.
Colby Rasmus has a .385 average against Doubront, including a double, two triples and a home run in 13 at-bats.
Toronto (39-40) has lost four of five while batting .187, but could take some encouragement after coming from five runs down to briefly tie Friday's game.
"What makes it tough is we came back and tied it," manager John Gibbons said, "but it's never easy playing catch-up and that's what we've had to do."
Jose Reyes recorded his first hit since returning from a sprained left ankle. Adam Lind , previously mired in a 6-for-35 slump, recorded an RBI single. Edwin Encarnacion hit his fifth home run in 10 games and is now third in the majors with 23.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 27, 2013||Melky Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||60-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|June 01, 2013||Brandon Morrow||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Left ankle sprain|
|Boston Red Sox|
|June 28, 2013||Stephen Drew||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hamstring tightness|
|June 23, 2013||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Left game - back|
|June 23, 2013||Franklin Morales||15-Day DL||Strained left pectoral|
|June 22, 2013||Franklin Morales||Day-to-Day||Back|
|June 15, 2013||David Ross||60-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 11, 2013||Clayton Mortensen||15-Day DL||Right hip impingement|
BOSTON (AP) -- Toronto manager John Gibbons was most impressed by the power. Jose Bautista enjoyed his throw to the plate a bit more.
Either way, Bautista helped the Blue Jays bounce back with a win over the Red Sox.
Bautista hit a pair of long homers over the Green Monster, starting with the 200th of his career and following with a tiebreaking, two-run drive off Junichi Tazawa in the eighth inning that led the Blue Jays over Boston 6-2 Saturday.
His sixth-inning throw to the plate cut down Shane Victorino on Dustin Pedroia 's single to medium-deep right.
Gibbons could only pause, lean back in his chair and smile when asked what impressed him most - the two homers or throw.
"Any time you hit two home runs in close ballgames I have to give it to that," he said. "Homers win."
Bautista put Toronto ahead 2-0 with a solo homer in the sixth, a drive that cleared a billboard at the back of the Monster seats in straightaway left and had the crowd buzzing for several batters. He stood at the plate briefly, admiring the ball's flight.
"I knew I was one away, so when I was in the dugout I did enjoy it," he said, adding a Red Sox parking lot employee retrieved the ball for him.
But it was his throw that made the slugger happiest.
"It's more difficult and more rare to throw people out on the bases," he said. "Anytime I do that I enjoy it a lot more."
After Victorino's two-run single against Steve Delabar (5-1) tied the score in the seventh, Bautista followed Jose Reyes ' leadoff single in the eighth with a drive off Tazawa (4-3) that went off the base of a light-tower in left-center. Bautista has 18 home runs this season and 21 career multihomer games.
The Red Sox had another runner cut down in the seventh. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was out at the plate, when pitcher Darren Oliver 's throw home beat him on Jonathan Diaz's squeeze bunt.
Boston manager John Farrell knows how much Bautista can affect a game, having managed the Blue Jays the past two seasons.
"Very good player. Obviously capable of hitting balls out of the ballpark every time he steps in the box," he said. "He gets a 2-0 cutter from (Felix) Doubront for the first solo home run, and then as I mentioned on the split the other way from Tazawa. We looked to put pressure on the defense in that situation. Bautista is ranging to his right, comes up and throws about a 260-foot strike to cut down Victorino."
Victorino knew it was an accurate throw, but didn't feel like it should be the main focus.
"Plays like that change scenarios," he said. "But we were able to come back and tie the game. Let's look at that on the positive side of things."
Toronto, which lost the opening two games of the four-game series, stopped Boston's four-game winning streak. The Red Sox had 10 or more hits for the seventh time in eight games.
Reyes boosted the lead with an RBI single in the ninth against Craig Breslow and scored from first on a fielding error by Diaz at third.
Delabar struck out four in 1 2-3 innings. Blue Jays starter Esmil Rogers allowed six hits in six scoreless innings.
Boston's Felix Doubront gave up two runs, five hit and three walks in 6 1-3 innings.
Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus made a run-saving diving catch of Diaz's liner in the fifth.
"Two great plays," Rogers said of Rasmus' and Bautista's gems. "I'm going to owe them something. I don't know what."
Adam Lind 's RBI had put the Blue Jays ahead in the first.
NOTES: Farrell doesn't expect SS Stephen Drew , who left Friday's game after aggravating his right hamstring, to go on the DL. ... Reyes is 3 for 17 since coming off the DL. ... Diaz was promoted to the 40-man roster before the game, when RHP Clayton Mortensen was designated for assignment. Diaz batted ninth and was 0 for 3 with a run scored in his major league debut. ... There was a fairly loud contingent of Toronto fans, chanting `Let's Go Blue Jays' at various times, with many blue jerseys sprinkled behind Toronto's bullpen. ... Bautista and Rajai Davis each stole off Doubront without an attempted throw from Saltalamacchia. Davis stole twice for the second straight game. ... Toronto LHP Mark Buehrle (4-5, 4.73 ERA), who took a shutout into the eighth inning his last time pitching in Fenway, is slated to face RHP Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.15 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday. After that, the teams don't meet at Fenway again until Boston's final three home games.