TORONTO (AP)Bo Bichette broke an eighth-inning tie with his first career grand slam and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the slumping Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Monday night.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Matt Chapman also homered for the Blue Jays. Jose Berrios allowed two runs in a season-high seven-plus innings and Adam Cimber (4-0) got three outs for his major league-leading fourth win as Toronto won for the fifth time in six games.
”If we keep doing that, we’re going to be in every game,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Boston has lost three straight and five of six. The Red Sox have scored two runs or fewer in all five of those defeats.
Bichette snapped a 2-all tie with a two-out drive to right field off right-hander Tyler Danish in the eighth. The homer was Bichette’s second of the season.
Gurriel hit a leadoff homer to left in the fifth, his second, and Chapman made it 2-0 with a two-out shot to center in the seventh, his third.
The Blue Jays have 25 home runs this season, most in the majors. Toronto led all MLB teams with a franchise-record 262 homers in 2021.
Bichette came in batting .217 on the season and went 0 for 3 before homering, but said his confidence hasn’t wavered.
”I’m just trying to be a little bit more selective but aggressive at the same time in what I want,” Bichette said. ”I felt a lot better today.”
Montoyo hadn’t lost any faith in his slugging shortstop.
”Some people have slow starts, others have good starts,” Montoyo said. ”I knew it was going to be fine. He made the adjustment today and that was good to see.”
The long balls by Gurriel and Chapman came off Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed two runs and five hits in a season-high seven innings.
”He was amazing, in total control,” acting Boston manager Will Venable said.
Eovaldi has served up seven home runs in 21 2/3 innings this season. He gave up 15 in 182 1/3 innings last season.
”I’m trying to attack the zone, I’m going after the hitters, I’m trying to get the batters out three pitches or less,” Eovaldi said. ”The home runs are going to happen, but as long as I can keep them to solo shots, I’m OK with it.”
Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez returned to the lineup as the designated hitter. Martinez left last Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays because of left adductor tightness and had not played since.
Martinez doubled in the second, flied out to the warning track in right field in the fourth, and struck out in his final two at-bats.
Boston loaded the bases with one out in the second but Christian Arroyo grounded into a 1-2-3 double play on the first pitch he saw from Berrios.
”We’re just kind of running into some tough luck,” Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo said. ”We’re hitting the ball hard, it’s going right at people. It seems like there’s really no holes at the moment.”
Berrios struck out six and allowed one run over six innings to beat Boston at Fenway Park last Wednesday for his first victory of the season.
This time, Berrios left after Bobby Dalbec and Arroyo singled to begin the eighth. Cimber came on to face Kevin Plawecki, who advanced the runners with a sacrifice before Kike Hernandez hit an RBI single and Verdugo tied it with a sacrifice fly. Boston’s runs ended a 15-inning scoreless drought.
”We’re kind of chasing results right now,” Verdugo said.
Left-hander Matt Strahm (1-1) replaced Eovaldi in the eighth and gave up hits to Santiago Espinal and Bradley Zimmer. Springer greeted Danish with a single to load the bases before Bichette’s big blast.
WHAT A CATCH!
Blue Jays center fielder George Springer made the defensive play of the game in the fifth, racing back to the edge of the warning track and ending the inning with a headlong, diving catch of Plawecki’s drive.
Gurriel, who also went deep in Sunday’s loss at Houston, homered in consecutive games for the 12th time in his career. He did it five times last season.
Boston put RHPs Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford on the restricted list. The Red Sox recalled Danish from Triple-A Worcester and selected RHP John Schrieber from Triple-A. . Plawecki was activated off the COVID-19 IL and C Connor Wong was optioned to Triple-A.
Red Sox: INF Trevor Story (rest) was held out of the starting lineup. . Venable filled in for Alex Cora for the fifth game. Cora is still sidelined by COVID-19.
Blue Jays: INF Cavan Biggio was placed on the COVID-19 IL and RHP Bowden Francis was recalled from Triple-A. . LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (forearm) will throw live batting practice later this week, GM Ross Atkins said. . OF Teoscar Hernandez (strained left oblique) has been hitting off a tee and will face live pitching later this week, Atkins said.
Red Sox RHP Nick Pivetta (0-3, 10.03 ERA) faces Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 2.89) on Tuesday.
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