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(Friday, April 5th)
Final Score: Boston 6, Toronto 4
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Mike Napoli hit a two-run shot and drove in three, as the Boston Red Sox ensured a positive result in manager John Farrell's return to Toronto, with a 6-4 decision over the Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series at Rogers Centre.
The 50-year-old Farrell led the Blue Jays to a 73-89 mark in 2012 and 154-170 record in two seasons at the helm, but bolted for the vacant BoSox post in late October.
Will Middlebrooks added an insurance homer, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedro Ciriaco each knocked in a run for the Red Sox, who had won two of three in the Bronx to begin 2013.
Junichi Tazawa (1-0) allowed a run in the seventh but picked up the win.
Jose Reyes finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with a solo homer and two RBI for the Blue Jays, losers in three of four to start the year. Mark DeRosa also went deep and knocked in the other two runs.
"I know I had a good game, but we lost," said Reyes. "We're here to win."
Esmil Rogers (0-1) was charged with the deciding run while recording just two outs in the eighth.
Rogers came on with one down in the deciding frame and walked pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes, then served up a double to Dustin Pedroia. Napoli then grounded to third, but Gomes scored the go-ahead run.
Andrew Bailey stranded runners on the corners in the home eighth, then Middlebrooks began the ninth with a shot to left off Jeremy Jeffress for a 6-4 game.
"It was just a well played game all the way around," said Farrell. "We had a number of opportunities, as did they. Hard fought ball game."
Joel Hanrahan walked Melky Cabrera with two down, but ended the game by inducing a groundout from Edwin Encarnacion to record his second save.
Ellsbury's second-inning single put the Sox on the board. Shane Victorino came home on the hit, after reaching on a one-out single, advancing on Jackie Bradley's hit and going to third after Jose Iglesias was plunked.
Rajai Davis singled in the home half, Colby Rasmus doubled and a DeRosa sacrifice fly evened the score.
Boston took a 2-1 lead in the fourth. A pair of throwing errors from Toronto second baseman Emilio Bonifacio put Victorino and Bradley on base, then pinch- hitter Ciriaco plated the former.
Napoli's two-run shot in the fifth upped the Red Sox edged to 4-1, but DeRosa countered with a solo homer to start the home half and after Maicer Izturis singled, Reyes doubled him home for a one-run margin.
Reyes, who came up favoring his groin after being tagged out trying to reach third, remained in the game, and his one-out blast to right tied the contest in the seventh.
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront gave up three runs on nine hits with six strikeouts over five-plus innings ... Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson was charged with nine hits and four runs -- three earned -- over six full frames ... The Jays played without outfielder Jose Bautista, who is listed as day-to- day with an injured ankle ... Boston shortstop Iglesias left the game in the third inning with a bruised right arm ... DeRosa's last homer came on Apr. 5, 2010, with San Francisco against Houston.
04/06 02:43:18 ET