BOSTON—David Ortiz hit his 498th career home run, a three-run shot to cap a four-run third inning, as the Boston Red Sox dumped AL East-leading Toronto 10-4 last night, sending the Blue Jays to just their second series loss since late July.
Mookie Betts had a solo homer and drove in three runs while Ryan Hanigan had three hits and three RBIs for Boston, which posted its ninth win in 13 games by taking two of three from Toronto.
Despite the loss, the Jays maintained a 1.5 game lead over the N.Y. Yankees, who lost 5-3 to Baltimore.
Toronto heads to Yankee Stadium for a four-game series beginning tonight.
The Jays are 28-9 since July 30, going 9-2-1 in 12 series.
Joe Kelly (10-6) won his eighth-straight start—the longest stretch by a Boston pitcher since Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez won nine-straight back in 1999.
Ortiz drove a 2-0 fastball from Drew Hutchison (13-4) into the bleachers in centrefield.
It was his 32nd of the season and 59th in his career against the Jays—most by any opponent.
He’s looking to become just the 27th player all-time with 500 homers.
Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single and reached base for a club-record 39th-straight game, surpassing Carlos Delgado’s 38 in 1998.
Chris Colabello hit a three-run homer.
Kelly gave up one run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Hutchison, meanwhile, was tagged for six runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings for his second-straight rough outing.
He gave up six runs in five innings in a loss at Baltimore last Friday.
Betts and Hanigan had RBI doubles in the fourth. Hanigan’s two-run double keyed a four-run fifth.
Betts had an overturned replay review for his homer.
Left-hander David Price (14-5) is set to start the opener of the four-game series against New York tonight.
Price is 5-1 since being acquired from Detroit in late July.
On the injury front, Jays’ left-hander Mark Buehrle was back after travelling to Toronto for a cortisone shot in his pitching shoulder.
Elsewhere in the AL, Minnesota edged Kansas City 3-2 (12 innings), Tampa Bay dumped Detroit 8-0, Cleveland beat Chicago 6-4, Oakland blanked Houston 4-0, and Texas topped Seattle 9-6.
The L.A. Dodgers beat the L.A. Angels 6-4 in interleague play.