Boston Red Sox
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Sunday, June 30, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4
By Gordon Edes
BOSTON -- Fifty wins by the end of June is a point of pride, a confidence booster, a selling point, a justification for walking out of Fenway Park with a little more swagger than usual.
Beyond that? Well, check back with us in October.
The Sox reached that number by June 30 for only the fourth time in franchise history in dramatic fashion Sunday afternoon with a walk-off 5-4 win over the
Toronto Blue Jays
, sending the Jays home for Monday's Canada Day observances 8.5 games behind in the AL East, after they'd crept to within five games exactly a week ago.
The Sox have lost just once in six games since then, taking two straight from the Rockies before thwarting Toronto's designs of tightening the division race any further.
, signed to a minor league deal the day before the season started and called up to the majors on Tuesday, started the winning rally with a one-out single off Jays left-handed reliever
, who then walked
Jays manager John Gibbons went to his closer,
, an unusual move in a tie game on the road. Janssen induced what might have been an inning-ending double-play ball from
, but the ball squirted past Jays backup
, who was playing just his second big-league game at first after starting first baseman
left with tightness in his back.
The walk-off win was Boston's seventh this season.
had tied the score in the top of the ninth with his third home run in two games, this one off
, who was given the day off, the Sox took a 3-0 lead in the second on a pop-fly RBI double by
and a two-run gap double by Brandon Snyder, his first Sox hit in his first Sox start.
, hitting in Ortiz's cleanup spot, drove in Boston's fourth run with a Fenway double in the fifth.
That was just enough for the Sox, some splendid work by lefty relievers
supplementing a serviceable start by
blew the save, which would have been his fourth in the last five days, but he was credited with the win.
Breslow replaced Dempster with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth and induced a popup and strikeout. Breslow gave up a home run to
that made it 4-3 in the seventh, then gave way to Andrew Miller, who left Bautista (single) stranded at first by striking out Thole and