Hernandez homers twice, Jays win 9th straight over Red Sox
Sun, Oct 2, 2022
MLB News (AP)
TORONTO (AP) - Teoscar Hernandez hit two home runs, Whit Merrifield also connected and the Toronto Blue Jays edged closer to clinching home-field advantage in the wild-card round by beating the Boston Red Sox 6-3 Sunday.
The Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep with their 16th win in 19 games against Boston this season. That's the most victories by any major league team against a division opponent this season.
Sixteen wins is also the most victories the Blue Jays have had against an opponent in a single season. Toronto went 15-4 against Baltimore in 2002 and again in 2010.
Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman left after three innings because of a cut on his right middle finger. Gausman allowed two runs and four hits, struck out four and walked none.
Merrifield went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and scored twice. He's 10 for 19 over his past six games. Needing a triple to complete the cycle, Merrifield grounded into a fielder's choice to end the eighth inning.
Bobby Dalbec hit a solo home run and had three RBIs for the Red Sox, who lost their final nine meetings with Toronto. Boston didn't beat the Blue Jays again after a 6-5 win in Toronto on June 29.
After Gausman left, right-hander Zach Pop (4-0) pitched two perfect innings. Adam Cimber worked the sixth, and Anthony Bass gave up Dalbec's homer in the seventh. The home run was Dalbec's 12th.
Yimi Garcia pitched the eighth inning and Jordan Romano finished for his 36th save in 42 chances.
Hernandez homered to begin the second, then hit a two-run drive off the left field foul screen in the fourth, his 14th career multi-homer game. The home runs were his 24th and 25th.
Merrifield hit a leadoff blast in the third, his 11th.
All three homers came off Boston right-hander Michael Wacha (11-2), who gave up three home runs for the second straight start. Wacha allowed five runs and six hits in four innings, losing for the first time since May 31 against Cincinnati.
The Red Sox are 23-50 against AL East opponents with three games against Tampa Bay remaining.
After Dalbec's homer cut it to 5-3, George Springer restored Toronto's three-run lead with an RBI fielder's choice against right-hander Kaleb Ort in the bottom of the seventh.
Pop made a behind-the-back stab on Abraham Almonte's comebacker in the fourth, then knocked down Enrique Hernandez's 106.4 mph liner and got the out at first to end the fifth.
Red Sox: 1B Eric Hosmer (back) is expected to be activated off the injured list Monday, manager Alex Cora said.
Toronto drew 43,877 for its final regular season home game. The Blue Jays drew 2,653,830 fans across 81 home games this season, an average of 32,763 per game. It's their highest total since drawing 3,203,886 in 2017. The Blue Jays didn't play in Toronto at all in 2020, and had just 36 games at Rogers Centre last year.
Red Sox: LHP Rich Hill (8-7, 4.41 ERA) starts Monday as Boston hosts Tampa Bay. RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 3.00 ERA) starts for the Rays.
Blue Jays: RHP Jose Berrios (11-7, 5.37 ERA) starts Monday as Toronto visits Baltimore RHP Dean Kremer (8-6, 3.17 ERA) goes for the Orioles.
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