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Red Sox beat Blue Jays, 7-3, to complete sweep, win fifth in a row

Mac Cerullo, Boston Herald on

Published in Baseball

It seemed like Brayan Bello was dodging traffic all night long.

The Red Sox right-hander did not have his best stuff and struggled to keep the Blue Jays at bay his entire outing. He allowed two men on with one or fewer outs in each of the first four innings, yet somehow Bello found a way to avoid the knockout blow.

Surviving was all the Red Sox needed Bello to do, and that was enough on Wednesday.

The Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays, beating their AL East rivals, 7-3, in the series finale for their fifth straight win. Bello ultimately allowed just two runs over six innings, a number that could have been much worse had Toronto not gone 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position while stranding eight men when Bello was on the mound.

Enmanuel Valdez and Jarren Duran each hit solo home runs, and the Red Sox also benefitted from four Toronto errors.

For Bello the trouble started right away. The right-hander, who has posted a 6.44 ERA since coming off the 15-day IL on May 12, allowed a leadoff single and hit a batter to put two men on right out of the gate. He got three straight outs to escape the jam, but the second inning played out almost identically after Addison Barger doubled and Isiah Kiner-Falefa was hit by a pitch with one out, forcing Bello to get two more outs under pressure to keep the game scoreless.

The Red Sox took the lead in the third after the Blue Jays committed two errors and David Hamilton delivered an RBI single, but Toronto immediately threatened again in the bottom of the inning. This time Justin Turner singled and Daulton Varsho walked to put two on again with one out, and Bello escaped again by striking out Danny Jansen and George Springer.

After Enmanuel Valdez extended the lead with his solo home run in the fourth inning, Toronto finally made Bello pay for his sloppiness — kind of. The Blue Jays opened the fourth with three straight singles, including an RBI knock by Kevin Kiermaier, and then loaded the bases with no outs after Spencer Horwitz walked.

 

Toronto easily could have blown the game open, but Bello was able to draw a double play from Turner, which tied the game at 2-2 but immediately took the pressure off. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lined out to center to end the inning, and the Red Sox quickly retook the lead when Duran homered in the top of the fifth.

Bello finally settled down after that, allowing a two-out double in a scoreless fifth before finishing with a perfect sixth inning. Justin Slaten followed with one run allowed over two innings and Chris Martin pitched a scoreless ninth in his first game back since being activated off the IL following a bout with anxiety.

Boston tacked on a couple insurance runs in the top of the sixth on RBI singles by Romy Gonzalez and Duran, and after the Blue Jays got a run back in the seventh after Turner scored on a wild pitch, the Red Sox scored twice more in the eighth on a Dom Smith RBI double and on another Blue Jays error. The Red Sox also continued their aggressive baserunning by stealing five bags as a team, including one by rookie shortstop David Hamilton, who now has 20 stolen bases in his first 50 games of the season.

Hamilton is only the second Red Sox player in franchise history to accomplish that feat, joining Jacoby Ellsbury, who did it in both 2008 and 2009.

The Red Sox and Blue Jays have now played eight consecutive series that have ended in a sweep for one of the teams, a streak dating back to July 22-24, 2022. This one broke Boston’s way, and as a result the Red Sox are now 40-35 and have won eight of their last 10 games.

Boston will now get an off-day Thursday before opening a three-game series in Cincinnati over the weekend.


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