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(Thursday, June 27th)
Final Score: Boston 7, Toronto 4
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Jon Lester bounced back with an effective start and was aided by a seven-run second inning that propelled the Boston Red Sox to a 7-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a four-game series from Fenway Park.
The Red Sox pasted Chien-Ming Wang for six hits, capped by Dustin Pedroia's two-run homer, during their second-inning uprising. Jarrod Saltalamacchia added an RBI single in the frame and finished 2-for-4 to help the AL East leaders to their third straight win.
Lester (8-4), who had given up four runs or more in six of his last seven starts coming in, held Toronto to two runs over the first seven innings before issuing a pair of singles to begin the eighth. He was then removed after sustaining an undisclosed injury while pitching to the next batter, with Junichi Tazawa allowing both inherited runners to score as Toronto pulled within 7-4.
Koji Uehara set the Blue Jays down in order in the ninth, however, to register his third save of the season.
Maicer Izturis went 2-for-3 with a two-run double for the Blue Jays, losers of three of four since matching a club record with 11 straight wins from June 11-23. Rajai Davis also collected two hits while scoring twice.
Wang (1-1) lasted just 1 2/3 innings and was tagged for all seven runs on six hits and two walks.
Wang retired the Red Sox in order in the bottom of the opening inning, but walked the first two batters in the second before surrendering five consecutive hits as Boston broke the game open.
Daniel Nava singled off the Green Monster to knock in the first run and Saltalamacchia followed with a base hit up the middle for a 2-0 edge. A Stephen Drew double then plated Nava, right before Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury delivered run-scoring hits to extend the margin to five runs.
Wang was able to get Shane Victorino to ground into a double play, but Pedroia drilled a breaking ball over the Monster to push the lead to 7-0.
Lester, meanwhile, was cruising along. The left-hander permitted only a pair of walks, both of which were erased on double plays, through the first four innings until Toronto broke through with two runs in the fifth.
Melky Cabrera ended the no-hit bid with a one-out single and Davis dropped in a base hit two batters later in front of Izturis' double into the gap in left center that brought home both runners.
Relievers Aaron Loup, Juan Perez and Brett Cecil combined to record 15 consecutive outs after David Ortiz singled following Pedroia's homer, and Toronto inched closer by putting up two more runs in the eighth.
Davis and Izturis singled off Lester, who then doubled over after throwing a third straight ball to Emilio Bonifacio and walked off the mound under his own power. Bonifacio ended up walking to load the bases, with Jose Reyes driving in Davis with a sacrifice fly off Tazawa and Izturis scoring on Jose Bautista's groundout.
Uehara was able to shut the door in the ninth, finishing the Blue Jays off with back-to-back strikeouts of Cabrera and J.P. Arencibia.
Lester improved to 3-0 in four starts against Toronto this season, as well as 3-0 in six Fenway Park assignments in 2013 ... The Blue Jays had prevailed in eight of their last nine visits to Boston coming in ... Boston went 6-for-9 with runners in scoring position ... Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to eight games and is batting .356 in June ... Perez struck out three over three perfect innings in relief.
06/27 22:19:47 ET
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