TORONTO — Resilience in the face of adversity has been a theme for the Boston Red Sox all season. Tuesday night was no exception.
Mike Lowell hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning and the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 despite blowing two leads.
“It was like our whole season,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “It wasn’t perfect but we kept playing.”
“We did a lot of things that weren’t really conducive to winning a close game but we found ways to come back and win,” Francona added.
J.D. Drew hit a solo shot as the Red Sox improved to 8-2 against the Blue Jays this year. Boston has won eight of its past 11 on the road.
Lowell, who returned to the lineup Aug. 3 after missing 34 games with a sore right hip; infielder Jed Lowrie, who missed 94 games with mononucleosis, and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, absent for 58 games with fractured ribs, were key figures in this one, driving in five of the seven Boston runs.
“We’ve kind of been relentless the whole year with injuries and trying to piece things together,” Lowell said. “That was a really nice win. Winning the first game of the series is always pretty good but the way we did it tonight was extra satisfying.”
Catcher Victor Martinez said the Red Sox are happy to have extra reinforcements in their injury-ravaged lineup.
“It’s good. Any help that we can get is good,” Martinez said. “We just want to stay together and keep pushing.”
Third-place Boston is still without infielders Kevin Youkilis (right thumb) and Dustin Pedroia (left foot), catcher Jason Varitek (right foot) and left-hander Hideki Okajima (right hamstring).
Jose Bautista hit his major-league-leading 35th home run for the Blue Jays, while Travis Snider hit a three-run shot and Adam Lind added a solo blast. Toronto leads the majors with 178 homers this season, 29 more than Boston, who are second with 149.
Felix Doubront (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win while Shawn Camp (3-2) took the loss.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched around a one-out double in the ninth for his 29th save in 34 chances. Papelbon has never blown a save in 24 opportunities against Toronto.
Scott Downs got one out in the eighth for the Blue Jays before Camp came on to face Adrian Beltre, who grounded out. Lowell followed with a homer to left-center, his fourth.
“We had our chances,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “We just didn’t hold them in the end.”
Pinch hitter Ryan Kalish singled and Lowrie made it 7-5 with an RBI double to center. Lowrie went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
“That’s why we’ve been talking about getting him healthy, because he can help you win,” Francona said.
Boston opened the scoring with three in the second. Beltre and Lowrie hit RBI doubles and Ellsbury added an RBI single.
Lind homered in the bottom half, his 16th, making it 3-1, but Boston added one more in the third on Lowell’s sacrifice fly.
Toronto promptly tied it in the bottom of the inning when Snider hit a three-run homer off the facing of the second deck in right, his eighth
The Red Sox reclaimed the lead in the fifth on a solo homer by Drew, his 13th, but Bautista tied it again with a solo drive to left off Doubront in the seventh.
Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed four runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out seven.
Blue Jays lefty Ricky Romero allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings. He walked two, one intentional, and struck out four.
NOTES: Boston is 6-1 in Toronto this season. … Pedroia ran at full speed before the game. He could begin a rehab assignment this weekend and hopes to return to the lineup Aug. 17. Varitek is about seven to 10 days behind Pedroia, Francona said. … Toronto OF Vernon Wells did not play after dislocating the big toe on his right foot when he crashed into the outfield wall Sunday. He could return Wednesday. … Blue Jays SS Yunel Escobar (right knee) was a late scratch. He was replaced by McDonald.