BOSTON -- Edwin Encarnacion hit one of Toronto’s three homers, Henderson Alvarez broke his six-game winless streak and the Toronto Blue Jays prolonged the misery of the Boston Red Sox with a 7-5 win on Friday night.
The Red Sox were hoping for a boost from their return home after going 1-8 on a West Coast trip that left them just one game ahead of the last-place Blue Jays in the AL East. Now Boston is clinging to fourth place by the very slim margin of .4532 to .4525.
The night began poorly as the start of the game was delayed by rain for one hour, 18 minutes.
When it began, Alvarez (8-12) found the right opponent to snap out of the six-game stretch in which he was 0-5 with a 7.67 ERA. He allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront (10-8) also was trying to stop a skid, but now he’s 0-4 in his past seven starts after giving up five runs and six hits before leaving with no outs in the fifth.
Moises Sierra and Colby Rasmus added two-run homers to help Toronto win its second game after four consecutive losses. Rasmus’ 22nd homer of the year in the ninth provided the winning margin when Mauro Gomez hit a two-run shot, his second, for Boston in the bottom of the inning.
Encarnacion drove in the first two runs with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and his 38th homer in the third. Sierra made it 4-0 in the fourth with his fourth homer, following a walk to Kelly Johnson.
After Rasmus led off the fifth with a triple, Doubront was replaced by Clayton Mortensen, who gave up a run-scoring single to Yunel Escobar. Then he retired five straight batters, four on strikeouts.
The Red Sox cut the lead to 5-1 in the fifth when Ryan Kalish reached on an infield single, took third on a single by Scott Podsednik and scored when Podsednik was forced out at second on a grounder by Dustin Pedroia.
Boston scored again in the seventh but wasted a chance to do better. With one out, Pedro Ciriaco walked, stole second and scored on a single by Gomez. Podsednik then drove the ball to deep left field where Rajai Davis made the catch. Gomez had rounded second by then and was easily doubled up as he ran back toward first base.
Pedroia added his 13th homer, a solo shot, in the eighth.