Toronto rookie pitcher Trent Thornton tried a different grip on his curveball last night for his first big-league relief appearance.
The switch paid immediate dividends.
Thornton threw five no-hit innings to anchor a combined two-hit shutout as the Blue Jays dumped the Boston Red Sox 8-0 at Rogers Centre.
Rowdy Tellez and Teoscar Hernandez homered and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in three runs for the Blue Jays, who turned the game into a rout with a six-run fifth inning.
Toronto (57-89) has won two in a row after ending a seven-game skid. The Blue Jays will go for a sweep of the slumping Red Sox (76-70)—losers of five straight— tonight.
Both teams used openers for the first two frames. Thornton (5-9), who relieved Wilmer Font, issued one walk and had seven strikeouts.
Thornton said veteran teammate Clay Buchholz helped him with a couple different grips on his curveball and he first tried it out last Monday.
Boston lefty Bobby Poyner made his first big-league start before he was replaced by Trevor Kelley (0-1). The Blue Jays took advantage of some weak defence in the fourth inning to open the scoring.
Rafael Devers couldn't squeeze a Cavan Biggio fly ball in shallow left field, allowing the rookie to reach on a play generously ruled a two-base hit. Biggio stole third without a throw and scored on a sacrifice fly by Guerrero.
Tellez followed with a solo shot for his 19th homer of the season and second blast in as many nights.
Toronto loaded the bases in the fifth after singles by Danny Jansen, Bo Bichette and Biggio. Guerrero lashed a Ryan Weber curveball into left field to bring two runs home.
Travis Lakins came on and Randal Grichuk belted the reliever's first pitch off the wall for a two-run double. Hernandez then brought Grichuk home with his 22nd homer of the year.
Relievers Jason Adam and Ryan Tepera threw one inning apiece for the Blue Jays, who outhit Boston 11-2. Devers and Brock Holt had singles for the Red Sox.
Announced attendance was 14,463 and the game took two hours 49 minutes to play.
In other AL action, Texas shaded Tampa Bay 10-9; Cleveland nipped the L.A. Angels 4-3; Kansas City downed the Chicago White Sox 8-6; and Oakland dumped Houston 5-3. The N.Y. Yankees at Detroit game was postponed.
Baltimore defeated the L.A. Dodgers 7-3, Washington dispatched Minnesota 6-2, and Seattle beat Cincinnati 5-3 in interleague play.
Over in the NL, Atlanta got past Philadelphia 3-1; the N.Y. Mets blanked Arizona 9-0; Milwaukee topped Miami 7-5; Colorado eked by St. Louis 2-1; Pittsburgh doubled San Francisco 6-3; and San Diego shut out the Chicago Cubs 4-0.