Red Sox-Blue Jays Live: Mike Napoli Helps Stage Dramatic Rally, But Sox Fall 4-3 in 10 Innings

Shane VictorinoFinal (10 innings), Blue Jays 4-3: It was a valiant effort by the Red Sox, but the Blue Jays walked off with a 4-3 win.

Rajai Davis, who continues to be a thorn in Boston’s side, led off the 10th inning with a double. He then moved up to third base when Jose Bautista grounded out to short.

With one out, the Red Sox opted to intentionally walk Edwin Encarnacion, who subsequently stole second base.

The game ended when Brett Lawrie smoked a ground ball to the left side. Stephen Drew made a diving attempt, but the ball kicked off his glove and the winning run scored.

The Blue Jays appeared to have the game locked up in the ninth inning, but Mike Napoli, who has been struggling mightily, tied the game with a two-out, two-run homer.

The Red Sox then loaded the bases after Napoli’s blast. They couldn’t grab a lead, though, as Shane Victorino flied out to left field to end the ninth.

Brad Lincoln receives the win for Toronto, while Brandon Workman suffers the loss for Boston. Workman pitched very well in his three innings of work, though, so he’s definitely a hard-luck loser in this one.

Jon Lester started Wednesday’s game, and he lasted 6 1/3 innings before Workman took over. Lester gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out three and walking two.

The Red Sox and Blue Jays have needed extra innings in each of the first two games of their series. They’ll close out their exciting three-game set on Thursday, with veterans Jake Peavy and Mark Buehrle set to square off. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m.

Good night, everyone.

Mid 10th, 3-3: The stage was set for more Mike Napoli heroics. It wasn’t meant to be this time around.

Dustin Pedroia led off the 10th with a rocket down to third base. The ball ricocheted off Brett Lawrie’s glove and into left field. Lawrie was charged with an error, although the scoring might eventually change on that.

David Ortiz, who tried to bunt his way on in the ninth inning, lifted a high fly ball to deep left-center field. Kevin Pillar sized it up and made the grab, although Rajai Davis nearly threw a wrench into Pillar’s plans by failing to yield to the rookie left fielder.

Pedroia advanced to second base as Jonny Gomes struck out looking. The ball popped out of J.P. Arencibia’s mitt, and Pedroia scooted up into scoring position.

Stephen Drew walked on four pitches to bring up Napoli with runners at first and second and two outs. Napoli put up a good at-bat — during which he fouled off a number of pitches — but he ended up grounding to third base to end the inning.

Brandon Workman will come out for another inning.

End 9th, 3-3: We’ll have free baseball in Toronto for the second straight night.

Brandon Workman tossed a perfect ninth inning, and he’s now responsible for 2 2/3 scoreless frames.

Workman started the ninth by striking out Kevin Pillar, who is making his big league debut. Pillar was frozen by a nasty curveball on the outside corner.

Munenori Kawasaki flied out to shallow left field for the second out, and Dustin Pedroia made a nice diving stop to record the final out.

Pedroia will lead off the 10th inning, with David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes set to follow.

Ryan Lavarnway took over behind the plate in the ninth inning, as Brock Holt pinch ran for Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the top half of the inning.

Mid 9th, 3-3: The Red Sox couldn’t grab the lead, but we’ve got a whole new ballgame.

Shane Victorino flied out with the bases loaded to end the top of the ninth inning. It wasn’t before Mike Napoli tied the game with a two-out, two-run homer to right field.

Jonny Gomes, who has been so clutch this season, helped set the stage for Napoli’s improbable blast by working a six-pitch walk with one out.

It’s also worth noting that David Ortiz actually tried to bunt his way aboard before Gomes walked with one down in the inning.

After Napoli’s home run — which was a towering fly ball that cleared the right field fence — Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled down the left field line. Will Middlebrooks was then hit by a pitch, and Jacoby Ellsbury hit an infield single over the second base bag to load the bases.

Victorino lifted the second pitch from the new pitcher, Brad Lincoln, to left field for the third out.

Brandon Workman will come back out to begin the bottom of the ninth inning for Boston.

9:56 p.m., 3-3: Baseball is funny.

The Red Sox were down to their final out. And who takes it upon himself to smack a game-tying, two-run homer?

Mike Napoli.

A lot of talk before the game centered on Napoli, who was dropped to seventh in the order amid his struggles. It’s the lowest he has hit in the lineup all season, and after starting his night 0-for-3, Napoli was hitless in his last 15 at-bats before the ninth-inning blast.

The Red Sox are now threatening to grab the lead. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled, Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch and Jacoby Ellsbury hit an infield single up the middle.

Brad Lincoln is coming in with the bases loaded and two outs.

End 8th, Blue Jays 3-1: Brandon Workman worked a scoreless eighth inning, and the Red Sox will face a two-run deficit in the ninth.

Workman made quick work — really, these puns aren’t intentional — of Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie in the eighth. Encarnacion, who has doubled twice in this game, struck out swinging, and Lawrie flied out to right field.

Adam Lind then pinch-hit for Mark DeRosa and walked on five pitches before Workman bounced back to strike out J.P. Arencibia.

Brett Cecil will be the new Toronto pitcher in the ninth inning. He’s scheduled to face David Ortiz, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew.

Mid 8th, Blue Jays 3-1: The Red Sox haven’t been able to generate any offense beyond David Ortiz’s solo home run.

The Blue Jays turned to Neil Wagner for a second inning of work in the eighth inning. He was perfect again.

Jacoby Ellsbury struck out for the first out, and Shane Victorino grounded to short for out No. 2. Dustin Pedroia ended the inning by grounding down to Edwin Encarnacion, who took it to the first base bag himself.

Brandon Workman will start the bottom of the eighth inning for Boston after recording the final two outs of the seventh.

David Ortiz, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew are scheduled to bat in the ninth inning, and they’ll face at least a two-run deficit.

End 7th, Blue Jays 3-1: Brandon Workman successfully finished off the seventh inning.

Workman began his night by striking out Rajai Davis. Workman got ahead of Davis with two fastballs before pulling the string on a nasty curveball in the dirt.

Jose Bautista got into a hitter-friendly count after Workman missed with three straight pitches. Bautista just got under a 3-1 fastball, though, and Jonny Gomes hauled in the fly ball in left field.

Lester gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits in his 6 1/3 innings of work. He struck out three and walked two while throwing 114 pitches (72 strikes). Lester also made two errors.

9:20 p.m., Blue Jays 3-1: Jon Lester made an error and then struck out Jose Reyes. He’ll now exit the game.

John Farrell is calling upon Brandon Workman after 6 1/3 innings from Lester.

Mid 7th, Blue Jays 3-1: Neil Wagner brought the heat for Toronto in the seventh inning.

Wagner took over after Esmil Rogers went the first six innings, and he retired the side in order.

Wagner, who throws in the mid- to high 90s, struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks to cap the perfect frame.

Salty fouled a 96 mph fastball into J.P. Arencibia’s mitt, and Middlebrooks went down looking at a 97 mph heater.

Rogers gave up one run on five hits over his six innings of work. He struck out six and walked one while throwing 98 pitches (66 strikes).

End 6th, Blue Jays 3-1: The Blue Jays have their two-run lead back.

Jon Lester nearly escaped the sixth inning unharmed, but J.P. Arencibia came up with a two-out RBI double to give Toronto a 3-1 edge.

Edwin Encarnacion led off the inning with his second double of the game, and Lester then hit Brett Lawrie to put runners at first and second with no outs. Lester benefited from a double play, though, and the left-hander looked poised to wiggle his way out of the jam.

Mark DeRosa grounded into the double play. He actually tried to bunt before hitting a ground ball to Mike Napoli. Napoli fired to second base for the first out, and Lester covered the bag and received Stephen Drew’s throw for the second out.

Arencibia made sure the Blue Jays came away with something by lifting a fly ball to deep left field. The ball landed near the base of the wall, and Encarnacion trotted in from third base.

Mid 6th, Blue Jays 2-1: The Red Sox haven’t been able to capitalize when they’ve had baserunners. So why not just jack the ball out of the park?

That’s exactly what David Ortiz did in the sixth inning. Esmil Rogers tried to put Ortiz away with a breaking ball down in the zone, and Big Papi ripped it into the right field seats. The ball shot off Ortiz’s bat, and it left the yard in a hurry.

Dustin Pedroia struck out prior to Ortiz’s home run. Jonny Gomes flied out to left field and Stephen Drew lined back to Rogers following the big blast.

End 5th, Blue Jays 2-0: Rajai Davis tends to make life difficult for the Red Sox.

Davis was responsible for creating Toronto’s first run in the third inning, and he tried to get something going with two outs in the fifth inning.

Munenori Kawasaki grounded back to the mound for the first out of the fifth, and Mike Napoli made a great sliding catch for the second out.

Jose Reyes hit a popup near the seats in foul territory with one down, and Napoli raced over. Napoli went into the slide and made the grab a few feet in front of the wall.

Davis then doubled into right-center field, but Jon Lester got out of the inning by getting Jose Bautista to pop out to Stephen Drew.

Mid 5th, Blue Jays 2-0: The Red Sox keep getting baserunners, but Esmil Rogers keeps buckling down when he needs to.

Will Middlebrooks lifted a fly ball to right field with one out. Jose Bautista looked to have it sized up, but he appeared to lose it in the twilight with the roof open at Rogers Centre. The ball dropped behind Bautista, and Middlebrooks cruised into second base with a double.

Middlebrooks moved to third base when Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to the right side. But again, the Red Sox couldn’t push across the run.

Shane Victorino lined out to center field to end the threat.

End 4th, Blue Jays 2-0: The breaks are going Toronto’s way.

Edwin Encarnacion led off the inning with a double down the left field line. It was his 23rd double of the season.

Brett Lawrie then lined out to Mike Napoli at first base, and Mark DeRosa almost did the same. DeRosa’s blooper sailed just out of Napoli’s reach, though, and it landed in fair territory up along the right field line. Encarnacion came around from second base with Toronto’s second run, while DeRosa cruised into second base with a double.

J.P. Arencibia and Kevin Pillar each flied out to end the inning.

Mid 4th, Blue Jays 1-0: Munenori Kawasaki had a very impressive inning defensively.

Kawasaki first made an excellent play on a ground ball off the bat of Jonny Gomes. The Blue Jays second baseman ranged up the middle to make a nice backhanded play, although Gomes beat out his throw for an infield hit.

The Jays quickly wiped Gomes off the bases on a double play. Stephen Drew grounded to Kawasaki, who flipped to Jose Reyes to kick off the twin killing.

The inning ended with Kawasaki robbing Mike Napoli. Napoli lined what had the potential to be a two-out single, but Kawasaki leaped into the air and made the catch.

End 3rd, Blue Jays 1-0: The Blue Jays grabbed the lead on a Little League home run.

Jon Lester recorded two quick outs in the third inning, and he looked poised to record the final out. Rajai Davis hit a sharp liner back to the mound that Lester knocked down with his leg.

All hell broke loose from there.

Lester tried to flip underhanded to Mike Napoli at first base, but the ball got away and traveled up the right field line. Davis, who runs very well, tossed on the jets, rounded second and headed for third. Shane Victorino, who has a team-high eight outfield assists, tried to throw out Davis at third, but the ball shot past Will Middlebrooks. Davis popped up and headed home with Toronto’s first run.

The play was certainly unique, and it was something that you typically only see in Little League or even T-Ball. It still counts the same as a 500-foot blast, though.

Mid 3rd, 0-0: The shift worked perfectly against David Ortiz in the third inning.

Esmil Rogers got two quick outs in the third. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a little dribbler back to the mound, and Shane Victorino struck out swinging.

Dustin Pedroia made sure he didn’t go down quietly, though. Pedroia lined a single into left field after initially falling behind in the count, 0-2.

Ortiz ended the inning by grounding to the right side, where Brett Lawrie — Toronto’s third baseman — was shifted over. Lawrie made the play and tossed to first to complete the out.

End 2nd, 0-0: Jon Lester walked his second hitter of the game. He also enjoyed his second scoreless inning.

Brett Lawrie began the bottom of the second with a ground ball back to the mound. Lester, who also made a play in the first inning, took care of it without any issues.

Mark DeRosa was the lone Blue Jays hitter to reach in the second inning. He walked on four pitches.

Lester responded well to the free pass. He struck out J.P. Arencibia swinging on a high fastball, and he got rookie Kevin Pillar — not to be confused with Kevin Millar — to fly out to right field.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled with two outs in the second inning, but Esmil Rogers again avoided any damage.

Stephen Drew, who is looking to start a new hitting streak, popped out to his counterpart in his first at-bat of the evening. Shortstop Jose Reyes hauled it in behind the second base bag.

Mike Napoli, who was dropped to seventh in the order, broke his bat while grounding into the hole. Reyes fielded the grounder on the back hand and fired to first to throw out the struggling slugger.

Saltalamacchia doubled into the right-center field gap with two down. Saltalamacchia now has 31 doubles this season, which is a career high. He also moves ahead of Yadier Molina for the major league lead in doubles as a catcher.

Salty might be a doubles machine this season, but he has a long way to go to catch Carl Yastrzemski, who is the Red Sox’ all-time doubles leader with 646. For more on Yaz’s illustrious career, check out BostonFanFavorites.com.

The Red Sox couldn’t cash in on Salty’s double, though. Will Middlebrooks flied out to right field for the third out.

End 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester issued a two-out walk. But that was all.

Jose Reyes began the Toronto offense’s night with a ground ball back to the mound. Lester nabbed it and flipped over to first base for the first out.

Rajai Davis and Edwin Encarnacion then sandwiched a Jose Bautista strikeout with a pair of flyouts to Shane Victorino in right field.

Stephen Drew, who had his season-high 12-game hitting streak snapped in Tuesday’s series opener, will lead off the second inning for Boston.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Esmil Rogers found himself in some trouble in the first inning after Jacoby Ellsbury reached in unconventional fashion.

Ellsbury struck out, but the ball got away from catcher J.P. Arencibia. Thus, Ellsbury reached base as a result of the wild pitch.

Shane Victorino then walked on four pitches to put two on with no outs before Rogers settled down.

Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz both struck out swinging for the first two outs. Pedroia got tied up by a fastball on the inner half of the plate, and Ortiz couldn’t check his swing on a pitch low and inside.

Jonny Gomes ended the inning by flying out to Jose Bautista in right field.

7:09 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury takes a first-pitch strike, and we’re underway.

6:48 p.m.: Sticking with the Clay Buchholz theme, how about an update on the injured right-hander?

Buchholz threw 50 pitches over three simulated innings in the bullpen at Rogers Centre on Wednesday. He called it his “best day so far.”

“It’s the best I’ve felt as far as intensity and everything. It felt like a pretty standard bullpen for me. … The last 30 pitches I didn’t feel anything,” Buchholz told reporters. “That’s the best thing I could take out of it.”

Buchholz is slated to throw three more simulated innings in the bullpen on Saturday.

6:05 p.m.: Happy birthday to Clay Buchholz, who turned 29 today.

5:50 p.m.: Mike Napoli has been bad — to put it lightly — of late. Entering Wednesday’s game in Toronto, the slugger is 0-for-12 with nine strikeouts over his last three games.

Napoli had already been dropped to sixth in the order after batting fifth most of the season, and he’ll now be dropped to seventh. Napoli will bat seventh Wednesday as Jonny Gomes bats fifth and Stephen Drew bats sixth.

“We moved him down to the seven hole today, and we wanted him to know that we recognize he’s grinding and he’s going through a stretch where things haven’t gone his way,” manager John Farrell said Wednesday on WEEI’s Salk & Holley. “We haven’t lost confidence in him, and yet we feel like there have been opportunities that have presented themselves where he’s come up in some big spots.”

Click here for more on Napoli’s struggles >>

Wednesday’s complete lineups are below.

Red Sox (72-49)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Jon Lester, LHP (10-7, 4.37 ERA)

Blue Jays (54-65)
Jose Reyes, SS
Rajai Davis, CF
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
Brett Lawrie, 3B
Mark DeRosa, DH
J.P. Arencibia, C
Kevin Pillar, LF
Munenori Kawasaki, 2B

Esmil Rogers, RHP (3-7, 5.12 ERA)

8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox’ love for late-inning heroics continued Tuesday in Toronto.

The Red Sox grabbed a 4-2 lead in the top of the 11th inning when Shane Victorino singled into center field with two outs. Koji Uehara then shut the door, continuing an impressive stretch of performances by the Red Sox closer.

Boston’s win on Tuesday wasn’t a walk-off, but the Red Sox have had their share of dramatic victories on the road as well. Of the Red Sox’ 72 wins this season, 19 have come in their final at-bat. That’s 26 percent of their total victories, which is amazing.

The Red Sox, who are tied with the Royals for tops in the AL with eight extra-inning wins, have 28 come-from-behind wins this season. In fact, seven of their last nine victories dating back to July 30 have been of the come-from-behind variety.

The optimist will look at these wins and say that there’s something special brewing in the Red Sox’ clubhouse, while the pessimist will say that such hard-fought wins might eventually catch up to Boston. In any event, it’s clear that it’s been an eventful season, and we shouldn’t expect anything less in Boston’s final 41 games.

The Red Sox will take on the Blue Jays in Game No. 122 on Wednesday. Jon Lester will go up against Esmil Rogers, and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. As always, tune in and keep it right here with NESN.com.