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Red Sox explode offensively, hold on late to beat Jays
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - A.J. Pierzynski's grand slam fueled a six- run third inning, and the Boston Red Sox survived a late charge from the Toronto Blue Jays to post a 7-6 victory in the second edition of a three-game series.
Grady Sizemore drove in two runs and Will Middlebrooks added a solo homer for the Red Sox, who have won the first two in the set and five of eight overall.
Clay Buchholz (1-2) permitted three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and as many walks over seven innings.
"We are hard workers and we are going to grind things out," said Middlebrooks. "It's not always going to go our way. A couple innings were rough, but we really have a good and resilient group here."
Jose Bautista finished 3-for-5 with a solo shot, two runs scored and two RBI for the Blue Jays, who have lost four in a row and seven of 10. Dioner Navarro added three hits and drove in a run, Juan Francisco also homered, while Edwin Encarnacion added an RBI in defeat.
Brandon Morrow (1-2) didn't make it out of the third, charged with a bizarre line of no hits, four runs -- all earned -- and a career-high eight walks in 2 2/3 frames.
Buchholz exited after a scoreless seventh with a 7-3 lead, but the bullpen situation was dicey in the eighth. Francisco greeted Junichi Tazawa with a homer to the second deck in right center. Navarro and Colby Rasmus singled, a fielder's choice grounder put men on first and third, then pinch-hitter Encarnacion singled home a run. Chris Capuano was called on, fanning Jonathan Diaz but walking Jose Reyes to load the bases, and Koji Uehara retired Melky Cabrera on a fly to short left.
Bautista began the home ninth with his seventh homer of the season and the Red Sox edge was down to a single run. Navarro singled with one down, then Rasmus fanned and Brett Lawrie singled. Uehara recovered to get Encarnacion on a liner to center which preserved the winning margin and earned him his fifth save.
Toronto burst through with three runs in the opening frame, on an RBI single from Bautista, a wild pitch which plated Cabrera and a run-scoring hit by Navarro.
Boston countered with six in the third. Shane Victorino kept the inning alive with a two-out walk, then David Ortiz, Mike Carp and Sizemore followed suit to force in a run. Morrow was replaced by Chad Jenkins, who promptly gave up the go-ahead grand slam to Pierzynski. Middlebrooks followed with a solo shot.
"It's embarrassing to not be able to command your fastball," said Morrow, whose ERA ballooned to 6.04. "That's the number one thing you have to do, is command the fastball, to be successful."
Carp hit a ground-rule double to center with one down in the fifth and came in when Sizemore followed with a two-bagger for a 7-3 game.
Steve Adkins was the last starter to walk eight batters and allow no hits, for the Yankees against the Texas Rangers in a 5-4 loss on Sept. 12, 1990 ... Pierzynski recorded his eighth career grand slam ... Buchholz improved to 8-2 with a 1.72 ERA in 11 career starts in Toronto ... Jim Clancy, Jesse Jefferson, Pat Hentgen and Chris Carpenter share the Jays' record for walks in one start with nine.
04/26 18:55:16 ET