BOSTON—The Toronto Blue Jays are trying to slug their way to an AL East title.
They’ll need better pitching than this, though.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had four hits and four RBIs, and Rick Porcello pitched into the eighth inning, as the Boston Red Sox beat the East-leading Blue Jays 11-4 yesterday afternoon.
The Jays lost for just the fourth time in 16 games but had their lead atop the East sliced to a half-game over the N.Y. Yankees, who beat Baltimore 8-6 later yesterday.
Working on seven days’ rest after complaining of fatigue, Mark Buerhle (14-7) gave up five runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
The bullpen wasn’t much better, giving up six runs on eight hits.
The Jays lost the opener of their last series in Baltimore 10-2 but responded to win the next two games.
Toronto manager John Gibbons said he has “some concerns” about Buehrle, who has had a couple of tough outings recently.
The veteran left-hander said he felt fine.
“I felt better today than I have in the last couple,” he remarked.
“It’s pretty much September is what it was,” he added. “It was just one of those days where their offence was there.
“I’ll take today—besides the results—just about any day,” Buehrle said.
Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak each hit solo homers for Toronto, who lead the majors with 191 homers and 750 runs scored.
Bradley added a two-run homer, two singles, and a double while Travis Shaw also hit a two-run homer for Boston, which posted its fourth-straight win and eighth in 11 games.
“I’m not trying to force anything,” Bradley said of his recent offensive surge.
“I’m trying to swing at strikes.”
Porcello (7-12) had his third-consecutive strong start since coming off the disabled list following a right triceps strain.
He allowed four runs (three earned) and eight hits over 7 1/3 innings.
David Ortiz had a pair of doubles and an RBI.
The second was high off the Green Monster—below a sign with the white numbers “497” that signify his chase to become the 27th player to hit 500 career homers.
Elsewhere in the AL, Minnesota beat Kansas City 6-2, Detroit edged Tampa Bay 5-4, Cleveland nipped Chicago 3-2, Oakland topped Houston 10-9, and Texas blanked Seattle 3-0.