TORONTO (AP) — J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer, Chris Sale won for the first time in three starts and the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Thursday night.
Andrew Benitendi had two hits and an RBI for the Red Sox, who returned home after a 6-3 trip. The Red Sox are a major league-best 19-5, including 7-1 in one-run games.
Justin Smoak and Devon Travis hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays, who have lost five of seven.
Red Sox infielder Brock Holt was replaced after injuring his left hamstring while running during a third-inning double. Holt slowed between first and second and reached for the back of his leg. Holt has four doubles in four games and is hitting 16 for 34 (.471) during a nine-game hitting streak.
.Sale (2-1) allowed three runs and four hits in six innings to improve to 5-1 in eight games at Toronto, where his ERA rose from 0.96 to 1.36. He struck out 35 over 22 scoreless innings at Rogers Centre last year.
Carson Smith got two outs, Matt Barnes worked 1 1/3 innings hitless innings and Craig Kimbrel got three straight outs for his seventh save in as many chances, finishing a six-hitter.
Ken Pillar’s first-inning sacrifice fly ended Sale’s 23-inning scoreless streak and Travis made it 2-0 in the second with his first home run this season.
Benintendi’s RBI double in the third cut the deficit, but Smoak boosted the lead to 3-1 in the bottom half with his first home run since April 1.
Rafael Devers hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Martinez put Boston ahead 5-3 with a two-out drive in the fifth off Marco Estrada (2-2), who allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings. Estrada has given up 14 earned runs in his past three starts, raising his ERA from 2.77 to 6.00.
Teoscar Hernandez chased Smith with a two-out RBI double in the seventh, and Barnes struck out Smoak to strand the potential tying run at second.
Red Sox: Mookie Betts made his first appearance in center field since 2015. … Manager Alex Cora said SS Xander Bogaerts (left ankle) remains on track to rejoin the Red Sox on Friday. “I talked to him today and he was very upbeat,” Cora said. “Looking forward to having him back at shortstop and the middle of the lineup.”
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 7.36) starts the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay on Friday. It will be the second start of the season for Pomeranz, who missed the first 18 games with a forearm injury. LHP Blake Snell (3-1, 2.54) starts for the Rays.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (0-2, 8.55) will be on the mound for the opener of a three-game series against Texas. Stroman has allowed at least four earned runs in all four starts this season. LHP Mike Minor (1-1, 3.86) starts for the Rangers.
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