Red Sox-Blue Jays Live: Danny Valencia’s Pinch-Hit Blast Propels Jays To 5-2 Win

Dustin PedroiaFinal, Blue Jays 5-2: Brett Cecil struck out the side in the ninth inning.

Mike Napoli, Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig all went down swinging. Cespedes pinch-hit for Daniel Nava.

The Blue Jays used a four-run seventh inning to avoid a three-game sweep. Danny Valencia’s three-run, pinch-hit home run off Junichi Tazawa was the game’s big blow.

Joe Kelly exited in the seventh after surrendering a leadoff double to Edwin Encarnacion with Boston leading 2-1. Dioner Navarro, benefiting from David Ross’ botched pop-up in foul territory, singled off Tommy Layne to set the table for Valencia’s clutch, go-ahead homer.

Kelly still is searching for his first win in a Red Sox uniform after five starts. He really only has had one bad outing, too.

End 8th, Blue Jays 5-2: Edwin Escobar pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning in his major league debut.

Escobar, who was acquired from the Giants in the Jake Peavy trade, was recalled before the game with Heath Hembree being shipped back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Escobar retired Steve Tolleson, Edwin Encarnacion and Dioner Navarro in order. Tolleson, who pinch-hit for Adam Lind, grounded out. Encarnacion flied out and Navarro popped out.

Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Allen Craig are due up in the ninth inning for the Red Sox.

Mid 8th, Blue Jays 5-2: Marcus Stroman wasn’t too thrilled about coming out in the eighth inning. He should be happy with the overall result, though.

Stroman again was excellent against the Red Sox. He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits before exiting with two outs in the eighth inning. He struck out six and walked one.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons turned to Brett Cecil after Dustin Pedroia’s two-out single in the eighth. Cecil retired David Ortiz on a hot shot to second baseman Munenori Kawasaki.

Edwin Escobar, who was called up before the game, will pitch the bottom of the eighth inning for Boston. It marks his major league debut.

End 7th, Blue Jays 5-2: Joe Kelly will enter his next start still looking for his first win in a Red Sox uniform.

Kelly surrendered a leadoff double to Edwin Encarnacion in the seventh inning. John Farrell then turned to his bullpen, which immediately collapsed.

Tommy Layne entered, forcing Dioner Navarro to bat right-handed. Navarro ripped a single into left field, though he benefited from David Ross dropping a pop-up in foul territory before delivering the knock.

Danny Valencia was called upon to pinch-hit for Juan Francisco. Farrell countered with Junichi Tazawa, who, for whatever reason, hasn’t been very good against the Blue Jays in his career.

Valenica crushed a 2-0 fastball over the left field fence to give the Blue Jays a 4-2 lead. Eight of the 20 home runs Tazawa has allowed in his career have come against the Blue Jays. Taz entered the contest with a 6.87 ERA in 19 career appearances against the Jays. That mark his risen.

Kevin Pillar kept his foot on the gas with a hustle double. He took third on Munenori Kawasaki’s sacrifice bunt and scored when Jose Reyes hit a ball at shortstop Brock Holt. Pillar dived in safely.

Kelly and Tazawa both were charged with two runs in this game. Layne was charged with one and currently is on the hook.

Kelly threw only 86 pitches before departing. Evidently, the Red Sox wanted to be cautious with him given that he left his last start after feeling a tweak in his shoulder.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-1: Marcus Stroman bounced back in the seventh inning after a lackluster sixth.

Stroman retired Allen Craig, Mookie Betts and Will Middlebrooks.

Stroman struck out Betts for his fifth K of the contest.

Joe Kelly will come back out to begin the seventh inning for Boston. There’s still action in the Red Sox’s bullpen, though.

End 6th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox have played very good defense in this series.

Will Middlebrooks capped the sixth inning with a nice-looking stop down at third base. Mike Napoli helped with yet another beautiful pick at first.

Joe Kelly has retired eight in a row. Jose Bautista’s first-inning homer still is his only blemish.

Tommy Layne has been warming up in the Red Sox’s bullpen, which is interesting given how well Kelly has pitched. Perhaps Boston will be cautious with the right-hander, as he left his last start with a tweak in his shoulder.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox’s offense woke up in the sixth inning with a little help from the Blue Jays’ defense.

David Ross reached with one out on an error by third baseman Juan Francisco. It was a borderline hit/error call given that it wasn’t exactly an easy play, but the correct ruling was made.

Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia produced back-to-back singles to load the bases for David Ortiz. Ortiz hit a line drive into right-center field to tie the game at one apiece.

Two runs probably should have scored on Ortiz’s single, as it was fairly obvious the ball was going to drop for a hit. Nevertheless, Holt was held up at third, reloading the bases for Mike Napoli.

Marcus Stroman uncorked a pitch that traveled to the backstop, allowing the Red Sox to take a 2-1 lead. Stroman was charged with a wild pitch, but catcher Dioner Navarro didn’t help out his battery mate too much. Navarro tried to backhand the pitch in the dirt to no avail.

Napoli ended up hitting a chopper back to the mound. Daniel Nava struck out swinging to end the inning.

End 5th, Blue Jays 1-0: Both starters are rolling along.

Joe Kelly tossed a 1-2-3 fifth inning. The highlight involved Brock Holt, who just keeps doing his thing.

Munenori Kawasaki, who has made a couple of nice defensive plays in this game, received a taste of his own medicine. He hit a chopper that Holt barehanded in the middle of the infield.

Holt’s throw to first was in the dirt, but Mike Napoli dug it out.

Mid 5th, Blue Jays 1-0: Marcus Stroman is putting together another strong start against the Red Sox.

Stroman has allowed one hit through the first five innings. Daniel Nava, Allen Craig and Mookie Betts went down consecutively in the fifth.

Jose Bautista’s first-inning homer remains the difference in this game.

End 4th, Blue Jays 1-0: Joe Kelly used a double play to push through a leadoff walk in the fourth inning.

Kelly walked Edwin Encarnacion on six pitches after jumping ahead in the count 0-2. Encarnacion has been hobbled, but his power makes him an instant threat, so you obviously have to be careful with him.

Dioner Navarro followed with a ground ball to third that the Red Sox turned into a 5-4-3 double play.

Juan Francisco struck out swinging.

Mid 4th, Blue Jays 1-0: David Ortiz singled into center field in the fourth inning.

Munenori Kawasaki started the inning with an excellent defensive play to rob his second base counterpart, Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia hit a ground ball up the middle that Kawasaki tracked down before delivering a strong, off-balance throw to first.

Ortiz’s single didn’t hurt Marcus Stroman. Mike Napoli grounded into an inning-ending double play.

End 3rd, Blue Jays 1-0: Joe Kelly has been sharp since putting two guys on in the second inning.

Kelly struck out Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera to begin the third inning, giving him three straight K’s.

Kelly dialed it up to 98 mph to strike out Reyes looking. He then fanned Cabrera with a curveball, showing an ability to mix speeds effectively.

Jose Bautista, who homered in his first at-bat, grounded out to end the inning. The Red Sox had the perfect defensive alignment to combat Bautista’s ground ball up the middle.

Mid 3rd, Blue Jays 1-0: The Red Sox produced their first baserunner in the third inning.

David Ross walked with two outs after Marcus Stroman struck out Mookie Betts and Will Middlebrooks.

Betts was way, way, way too late on a 93 mph fastball. Stroman set him up with three straight curveballs before turning back to the heater.

Middlebrooks fanned on a deuce from the rookie right-hander.

Brock Holt grounded to first base to end the inning.

End 2nd, Blue Jays 1-0: Joe Kelly avoided some self-inflicted damage in the second inning.

Kelly stumbled into trouble after recording two quick outs. The right-hander walked Juan Francisco and plunked Kevin Pillar.

Kelly rebounded to strike out Munenori Kawasaki. He set him down looking with a 94 mph fastball.

Mid 2nd, Blue Jays 1-0: Marcus Stroman has induced six straight groundouts to begin this game.

Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Allen Craig tested the Blue Jays’ infield in the second inning. Juan Francisco, Munenori Kawasaki and Jose Reyes took care of business.

Reyes was forced to use his bare hand on a chopper that took a high hop.

End 1st, Blue Jays 1-0: Jose Bautista homered for the second straight night.

Bautista, whose seventh-inning homer Tuesday temporarily tied the game 4-4, drilled a first-inning blast Wednesday to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

Bautista’s homer — his 26th of the season — followed two very nice defensive plays by the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli both ranged to their left while hitting the turf to help record a couple of outs.

Adam Lind made a bid for back-to-back jacks. Daniel Nava flagged down his deep drive to left field at the warning track.

Mid 1st, 0-0: David Ortiz grounded out in his first at-bat.

Ortiz, who has missed the last two games with a foot ailment, chopped a 1-1 pitch to second baseman Munenori Kawasaki.

Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia also grounded out in the first inning.

7:08 p.m.: Marcus Stroman misses up high with his first pitch.

5:40 p.m.: David Ortiz will return Wednesday.

Ortiz has missed the last two games after fouling a ball off his foot in Sunday’s series finale against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. The slugger has been in pain, but he’ll give it a go with Thursday being an off day.

Yoenis Cespedes will sit Wednesday. The Red Sox’s outfield will consist of Daniel Nava (left field), Mookie Betts (center field) and Allen Craig (right field). Craig played first base the last two games with Ortiz sidelined, but Mike Napoli, who served as the designated hitter in Ortiz’s absence, will return to his usual position.

Brock Holt will continue to play shortstop with Xander Bogaerts on the seven-day concussion disabled list. David Ross will give Christian Vazquez a breather behind the dish.

Wednesday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (58-74)
Brock Holt, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Allen Craig, RF
Mookie Betts, CF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
David Ross, C

Joe Kelly, RHP (0-1, 4.09 ERA)

Toronto Blue Jays (66-66)
Jose Reyes, SS
Melky Cabrera, LF
Jose Bautista, RF
Adam Lind, 1B
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Dioner Navarro, C
Juan Francisco, 3B
Kevin Pillar, CF
Munenori Kawasaki, 2B

Marcus Stroman, RHP (7-5, 4.11 ERA)

5:15 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox have supplied notice through the first two games of their series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre that they have every intention of playing the role of spoilers down the stretch.

The Red Sox, who exploded for seven runs in the 11th inning Tuesday en route to an 11-7 win, enter Wednesday’s series finale on the heels of back-to-back extra-inning wins. It’s the first time since 1986 that Boston has won two straight extra-inning games on the road.

Joe Kelly will take the ball Wednesday as the Red Sox eye a three-game sweep. The Red Sox, who have completed seven sweeps amid their difficult 2014 season, haven’t swept a team on the road in a series of at least three games since May 17-19, 2013, in Minnesota.

Kelly, who was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals just before the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline, still is searching for his first win in a Red Sox uniform. The right-hander has pitched well in three of his four starts with Boston, though he left his last outing Friday against the Seattle Mariners after feeling a tweak in his shoulder. The Red Sox took him out of that start for “precautionary reasons.”

Kelly will face Marcus Stroman, who has had his way with the Red Sox this season. Stroman allowed only one hit over seven shutout innings July 24. The rookie then held the Sox to one run on six hits over seven innings while striking out eight in his next start July 29. He earned the win in both contests.

Wednesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Tune in on NESN and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.

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