TORONTO — Rajai Davis’ game is his running.
And he used his speed to score the first and final runs of the Toronto Blue Jays’ 4-3 win in 10 innings over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.
“He gets on and you can’t stop him really,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
After Boston’s Mike Napoli tied the game in the ninth on a two-run, two-out homer, Davis hustled a ball to left center into a double to start the 10th against Brandon Workman (3-2) who entered the game with one out in the seventh.
Davis scored the winning run from third on a one-out single that was deflected in the infield by Brett Lawrie.
“He’s a force when he gets on the base paths,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s disruptive.”
“He hits the ball in the gap, you can cut it off but he makes second base easy,” Gibbons said. “Of course he had that Little League home run in that one inning.”
The Little League play Gibbons referred to came in the third when Davis, came all the way around to score on his own infield hit helped by throwing errors by Red Sox starter Jon Lester and right-fielder Shane Victorino.
“Maybe Little League,” Davis said when asked if he had done that before. “I was hoping I could just get to first, It was an errant throw and after that I just went around.”
“Obviously his speed makes you rush a little bit,” Lester said.
The Blue Jays’ victory before a crowd of 31,695 at Rogers Centre snapped a three-game losing streak. The teams will play the rubber match in the three-game series on Thursday.
After his double, Davis took third on a slow ground out to third by Jose Bautista. Edwin Encarnacion was intentionally walked to set up Lawrie’s hit.
Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew said that Lawrie’s hit was knuckling on him.
“Oh yeah,100 percent,” Drew said. “Just trying to get a good read because (Davis) on third can really run. Kind of unfortunate, I thought I had a bead on it and at the very end it started taking off on me.
“It hit the very end of the web. At first off the bat, I thought I might be able to catch it out of the air real quick, but there was no shot.”
Napoli’s homer deprived Toronto right-hander Esmil Rogers of his first win since June 18 after he held the Red Sox to one run on a home run by David Ortiz over six innings. He allowed five hits and one walk and struck out six. Right-hander Neil Wagner took over in the seventh inning and retired six batters in a row. That set up left-hander Brett Cecil to pitch the ninth, and he allowed a walk to Jonny Gomes with one out and Napoli’s 15th homer of the season with two out to tie the game at 3.
The Red Sox then loaded the bases when Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled, Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch and Jacoby Ellsbury hit an infield single. But right-hander Brad Lincoln (1-1) came in to retire Victorino. Lincoln stayed in to get the win.
Lester allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) in 6 1/3 innings.
Ortiz lined a 3-2 slider to right center for his 23rd homer of the season in the sixth to cut Toronto’s lead to 2-1.The Blue Jays regained their two-run lead in the bottom of the sixth when Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia hit doubles.
Davis went all the way around the bases to score on the Blue Jays’ first hit of the game, a one-hopper off Lester’s leg. The pitcher retrieved the ball and threw errantly to first. Davis kept churning to third and Victorino threw wildly and Davis romped home.
“It would have been nice to keep him on third right there,” Lester said. “The ball takes a bad hop and hits off him and scores the run.”
“Honesty I didn’t know where the ball was,” Davis said. “I heard our third base coach Luis Rivera saying go-go-go. OK, I’m gone. Of course I had to catch my breath, trying to, stumbling. It worked out for us.”
The Blue Jays led 2-0 after Encarnacion and Mark DeRosa hit doubles in the fourth.
NOTES: The Blue Jays traded INF-OF Emilio Bonifacio to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named or cash considerations on Wednesday. … CF Colby Rasmus (left oblique strain) was put on the15-day disabled list. … INF Munenori Kawasaki and OF Kevin Pillar were called up from Triple-A Buffalo. … Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (shoulder) was encouraged by the results of Wednesday’s bullpen session of about 50 pitches and is scheduled for another session on Saturday. … LHP Mark Buehrle (8-7, 4.43 ERA) will pitch the series finale on Thursday for Toronto against Boston RHP Jake Peavy (9-4,4.50 ERA).
ANGELS 8, YANKEES 4: Chris Nelson homered twice, including his first career grand slam in the eighth inning, and had five RBIs as visiting Los Angeles averted a four-game sweep.
Nelson, who played 10 games for New York earlier this season, clubbed a solo homer in the fourth inning before hammering a breaking ball from Boone Logan into the left-field seats for a 7-1 lead. It marked the first career multi-homer game for Nelson and helped the Angels halt both New York’s four-game win streak and their own four-game skid.
C.J. Wilson (13-6) labored through 6 2/3 innings to win his fifth straight decision, allowing one run on a season high-tying 11 hits. Josh Hamilton and J.B. Shuck added two hits and an RBI single apiece to lift Los Angeles to only its third win in 11 games.
Red-hot Alfonso Soriano continued his torrid stretch, going 4-for-5 with a run-scoring single to give him 10 hits and 14 RBIs in the last three games. Robinson Cano had three hits and an RBI single and Vernon Wells had a two-run double in a three-run ninth for New York, which 5 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot despite collecting 15 hits.
Yankees starter Phil Hughes (4-12) turned in a quality start, allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out five and walked one but fell to 0-5 in his last seven starts overall and 1-9 at Yankee Stadium this season.