BOSTON—Andrew Benintendi has continued the hot hitting out of the lead-off spot for injured star Mookie Betts.
Benintendi hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run fourth inning, and J.D. Martinez added a solo homer, as the Boston Red Sox coasted to an 8-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday afternoon.
With regular lead-off hitter Betts missing his second-straight game because of tightness on his left side that he felt in batting practice Sunday, Benintendi added a triple and single, improving to 4-for-8 in the two days.
“I'm seeing it pretty well right now,” Benintendi said in his usually quiet voice.
Reminded that it was his first career homer over the “Green Monster," the 23-year-old replied: "I've hit a few over there in BP but not in a game.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. added an RBI double, scored twice, and made a spectacular catch in centrefield as Boston won for the seventh time in nine games.
It was the Blue Jays' 11th loss in 15 games, dropping them to 2-5 against the Red Sox this season.
Teoscar Hernandez had an RBI triple and double for Toronto.
David Price (5-4) laboured through five innings, allowing two runs and four hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
The lefty took a hard grounder from Yangervis Solarte that bounced off his glove and appeared to carom off his chest in the first inning before picking it up and throwing him out.
“You know me, I'm the softest guy in this clubhouse,” Price joked.
“If that had bothered me, I was coming out of the game.”
The Red Sox took charge with their big fourth inning, pulling ahead 6-1 against Aaron Sanchez (2-5).
Brock Holt had a sacrifice fly and Bradley his run-scoring double before Benintendi lofted a fly ball into the first row of “Monster” seats.
“They get a couple singles in that inning, a bloop, and then a blast,” Sanchez said.
Martinez then led off the fifth with his 17th homer—a drive that completely left Fenway Park over the “Monster”—to tie him with Betts for the team lead.
“They've got a tough lineup, they always have,” Jays' manager John Gibbons noted.
“It's tough to shut 'em down.”
Sanchez was tagged for seven runs and nine hits in five innings, falling to 0-3 in his past five starts with a 5.96 ERA.
Jays' third baseman Josh Donaldson left the game with left calf tightness after getting a single and walking twice.
“It's a little sore right now, still a little tight,” he noted.
“We're going to do some treatment and stuff on it and see,” Donaldson added.
“Just kind of play it by ear, see how it responds.”
Toronto's Russell Martin made his first career start in left field yesterday. In his 13th season in the big leagues, the 35-year-old has been primarily a catcher.
He was out playing caroms off the “Monster” before the game.
Elsewhere in the AL, Minnesota beat Kansas City 8-5, Houston downed New York 5-1, Tampa Bay nipped Oakland 1-0 (13 innings), Detroit dumped L.A. 9-3, Cleveland topped Chicago 9-6, and Seattle edged Texas 2-1.
Over in the NL, Chicago dumped Pittsburgh 7-0, Milwaukee beat St. Louis 8-3, Arizona bombed Cincinnati 12-5, Miami downed San Diego 7-2, Colorado topped San Francisco 6-5 (10 innings), and L.A. shaded Philadelphia 5-4.
Atlanta split a doubleheader with New York, winning the first game 4-3 before losing the nightcap 8-5.
Washington blanked Baltimore 6-0 in interleague play.