Josh Donaldson hits two home runs as Blue Jays power past Red Sox | iNFOnews

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Josh Donaldson hits two home runs as Blue Jays power past Red Sox

May 27, 2016 - 8:59 PM

TORONTO - Josh Donaldson was in MVP form Friday night.

The Blue Jays third baseman hit two home runs and drove in five runs as Toronto opened a six-game home stand with a 7-5 victory over the American League East-leading Boston Red Sox.

After Ezequiel Carrera led off the eighth inning with a bunt single, Donaldson delivered a two-run homer off Koji Uehera — his 13th of the season — after the Blue Jays squandered a 5-2 lead in the sixth and seventh innings.

The 2015 American League most valuable player finished the game with four hits — falling just short of the cycle — after entering the game in a 1-for-13 slide.

"It feels nice. I've putting in a lot of work, and I've been feeling like I've been getting right where I'm about to get that feeling where I'm about to start producing," said Donaldson. "Tonight was just a result of the process that's going on."

Toronto (25-25), which won its first home game at Rogers Centre in three weeks, returned to the .500 mark and have now won six of its past eight games.

"We've put a couple good wins together, obviously our last road trip was huge for us," said Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez. "You can see confidence in these guys when they get to the yard, so that's a huge plus."

Sanchez allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out six over 6 2/3 innings. Joe Biagini (2-1) came on in relief and blew the lead, although earned the win after Donaldson's home run put the Jays ahead. Roberto Osuna earned his 11th save of the season with a perfect ninth.

Red Sox (29-19) right-hander Joe Kelly allowed five runs and nine hits over 4 2/3 innings. Uehara was tagged with the loss.

Donaldson opened the scoring with a solo shot in the first inning over the right-centre field wall.

Boston capitalized on Troy Tulowitzki's seventh error of the season to leadoff the second inning and tie the game 1-1. Travis Shaw reached on the shortstop's errant throw to first base, and eventually came around on a ground ball by Jackie Bradley Jr.

Donaldson answered in the third with an RBI double in the right-centre field gap that scored Carrera, who was batting leadoff for the suspended Jose Bautista.

After facing just one over the minimum in the first three innings, Sanchez ran into trouble in the fourth, when he allowed three one-out singles to Xander Bogaerts, Shaw and Hanley Ramirez, which tied the game 2-2. The 23-year-old avoided a much bigger inning after Marco Hernandez lined into a double play with the bases loaded, thanks to a great heads-up play by Donaldson and Devon Travis.

"(Donaldson)'s a special player, he can beat you so many ways, with the bat, with the glove," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "He takes a lot of pride in that too, a lot of guys that are big hitters in the game, they may not be as talented as him defensively, but some of them just want to hit, hit, hit.

"He wants to be just as good defensively as he is offensively."

Donaldson responded with a bases-loaded RBI single scoring Russell Martin in the fourth giving the Jays the 3-2 lead back. Edwin Encarnacion drove in Toronto's fourth run later in the inning on a sacrifice fly.

Justin Smoak stretched the lead to three runs with a mammoth home run to the second deck in right field to lead off the fifth.

Sanchez ran into trouble once again in the seventh allowing a walk to Ramirez to start the inning, followed by a Bradley single. After Hernandez moved the runners over with a groundout, Boston's Christian Vasquez delivered an RBI single up the middle, driving in Ramirez and Bradley and cutting the lead to one.

Dustin Pedroia led off the eighth with what should have been a routine fly out off Biagini, but a miscommunication by Kevin Pillar and Michael Saunders allowed the ball to drop in for a double. Pedroia later scored after Shaw hit a hard ground ball to the right side, which couldn't be retrieved by Smoak or Travis. Shaw was credited with an RBI single.

NOTES: Bautista served his one-game suspension that was upheld by Major League Baseball earlier Friday. Bautista was one of seven Blue Jays players and coaches penalized after a bench-clearing brawl at Texas on May 15. . . . Bautista made a brief appearance as the public address announcer in the bottom of the fourth, introducing Pillar prior to his at bat. . . . Bautista later attended Game 6 of the NBA's Eastern Conference final between the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers. . . Tulowitzki struck out four times in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a right quad issue.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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