TORONTO — Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle may have been bending, but the Boston Red Sox could not break him over seven innings Wednesday.
“That’s who he is,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He gave up a lot of hits and got the big outs when he had to. That’s how he survives. He’s not going to overpower you.”
As a result, the Blue Jays defeated the Red Sox, 2-1, on a two-run seventh inning with pinch hitter Mark DeRosa delivering the go-ahead sacrifice fly against left-handed reliever Craig Breslow.
Buehrle (9-7) allowed 10 hits and two walks but only a fourth-inning run as he stranded 10 runners to win his fourth straight decision.
“That’s typical Mark Buehrle,” losing pitcher Jake Peavy said. “You know what you’re going to get. Not a lot of people can do it that way, leave 10 guys out there over seven innings. He’s a competitor.”
The Blue Jays did not have two runners on base in the same inning until the seventh when they scored twice. Jose Bautista led off with a single past third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Edwin Encarnacion followed with a single to center. Brett Lawrie then singled to center to tie the game at one and leave runners at the corners.
DeRosa batted for first baseman Adam Lind and put the Blue Jays into a 2-1 lead with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
“I got away from the game-plan just a little bit, maybe over-emphasized getting a ground ball there, trying to get a double play,” said Peavy, who was a teammate of Buehrle on the Chicago White Sox for a couple of seasons. “I’m OK with Encarnacion getting a hit, just a bad pitch up to Lawrie. Got to execute better there with him, I know he’s been hot. Just a tough one tonight, they made the most of that inning. Tough way to lose. I’ve got to be better, there’s no other way to say it.”
Buehrle was hit on the foot by on Daniel Nava’s infield single in the second inning. X-rays were negative and although the foot was sore, Buehrle said he did not expect it to be a problem. He worked out of that inning, leaving the bases loaded.
“I’m not the type of pitcher to usually get myself out of jams,” Buehrle said. “I get myself in a lot of them and they seem to score some runs. I just made some good pitches.”
Toronto left fielder Kevin Pillar picked up his first assist in his second major league game in the first inning. He threw out Dustin Pedroia at home as he tried to score from second with two out on a single by Jonny Gomes.
It was the major league leading 23rd time this season that a Red Sox player has been thrown out at home.
“I was trying to let the ball hit me,” Pedroia said. “It was kind of an awkward deal. I should have tried to slide or go through him or something.”
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Nava led off with a double and Middlebrooks singled him to third. Nava scored when Jacoby Ellsbury forced Middlebrooks at second.
The Blue Jays have won two in a row to take the three-game series 2-1 from the Red Sox, who completed a 10-game road trip 4-6.
Peavy (9-5) allowed five hits and two runs to lose for the first time in six career outings against the Blue Jays.
The Red Sox had 11 hits and stranded 12 runners in the game.
“Tonight, the story is left on base,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “We created a number of opportunities. I thought we had a very good approach against Buehrle to build those opportunities, and then he made a number of quality pitches with men in scoring position.”
“A couple of situations he had that guy sitting on third base and he got the big strikeouts,” Gibbons said. “He’s not known as a strikeout guy at this stage of his career. Basically he lives off contact. He bends but he just doesn’t break. Seven strong innings against a strong lineup, a very close ball game, pretty good.”
NOTES: The Blue Jays will open a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Friday. RHP R.A. Dickey (9-11, 4.46 ERA) will start the opener against the Rays’ RHP Jeremy Hellickson (10-6, .93 ERA). …The Red Sox open a three-game series at Fenway Park against the New York Yankees with LHP Felix Doubront (8-5, 3.66 ERA) starting against LHP Andy Pettitte (7-9, 4.62 ERA). …The Red Sox are 6-3 against the Yankees this season.
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.
RAYS 7, MARINERS 1: Alex Cobb made a successful return from the disabled list exactly two months after being struck in the head with a line drive, and Wil Myers knocked in four runs as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Seattle Mariners 7-1 Thursday at Tropicana Field.
Cobb (7-2), who suffered a concussion after being struck behind the ear by a liner hit by Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer on June 15, was sharp in allowing just one run on three hits in five innings. He struck out six, fanning Nick Franklin to escape bases-loaded peril in his final inning with the scored tied 1-1.
Three Rays relievers limited Seattle to two hits over four scoreless innings as Tampa Bay took two of the three games in the series.
In winning their second in a row and their 16th home game in their past 20, the Rays (68-51) pulled within two games of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. Tampa Bay leads the American League wild-card race.
Seattle (55-65) lost for the sixth time in nine games.
Myers finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, and Evan Longoria went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer. Sean Rodriguez and Yunel Escobar added two hits apiece for the Rays.
Tampa Bay took a 5-1 lead off Seattle starter Joe Saunders with a four-run fifth inning powered by Longoria’s 23rd homer of the season and a double by Myers.
Sam Fuld led off with a single and took second when a Rodriguez pop to center fell between three fielders. Myers knocked in his third run of the game with a two-run double to left, and Longoria mashed the next pitch into the left field stands for a 5-1 advantage.
Saunders (10-12) was charged with five runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Raul Ibanez launched his 25th homer of the season into the right field bleachers.
Tampa Bay tied the game at 1 in the third. Fuld, on second after reaching on a fielder’s choice and advancing on a bloop single by Rodriguez, scored on Myers’ base hit to left.
TIGERS 4, ROYALS 1: Prince Fielder belted a two-run home run in the first inning Thursday night, and the Detroit Tigers earned a 4-1 win over the Kansas City Royals in the opener of a five-game series.
Kansas City lost its third in a row. Detroit won its second consecutive game after losing four out of five.
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez gave up a run on three hits in the first, then pitched four-hit shutout ball over the next 6 1/3 innings. Sanchez (11-7) walked one and struck out five.
A one-out single by Eric Hosmer chased Sanchez in the eighth, but rookie Bruce Rondon quieted the Royals with two quick outs.
Joaquin Benoit, who got the final five outs Wednesday, pitched the ninth and got his 16th save in 16 tries. If manager Jim Leyland sticks to his policy of not working this closer three straight days, Benoit will not be available to pitch either game of Friday’s doubleheader.
Fielder’s 18th homer of the season gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead, and Detroit pushed the advantage to 4-1 in the fifth.
Brayan Pena singled and was forced at second on a sacrifice attempt by Jose Iglesias. Andy Dirks doubled, his third of four straight hits as the sub for Austin Jackson in the leadoff spot, putting runners on second and third with one out. Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera (115th RBI) followed with run-scoring singles.
The Royals slapped Sanchez with three singles in the opening inning, with Alex Gordon driving in the run. Billy Butler hit into a double play just before the RBI single, limiting the damage.
Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie (12-9) allowed four runs on 13 hits in seven innings.