BOSTON (AP) — Justin Smoak hit a pair of homers and Steve Pearce drove in two runs when Boston second baseman Brock Holt lost his popup in the sun, and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to beat the Red Sox 8-6 on Thursday.
The teams split the four-game series. Including the 15-inning game on Tuesday with Toronto, the AL East-leading Red Sox played 76 innings in about 144 hours — the equivalent of 8 1/2 games in six days.
Dominic Leone (2-0) earned the win. Starter Francisco Liriano got just five outs, allowing three runs in the second, but Toronto came back with four in the third to take a 5-3 lead against Doug Fister (0-4).
Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 24th save.
Smoak has 26 homers this season. His previous career high was 20, in 2013.
It was 7-3 in the seventh when Dustin Pedroia, in the lineup at designated hitter after the long week, hit a three-run homer — his third hit of the day and his fourth homer in 11 games.
Smoak, who also had an RBI single, added his second homer of the game in the ninth.
Mookie Betts had two hits and a pair of RBIs for Boston.
Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon hit back-to-back doubles, and Betts scored two with a single to give Boston a 3-1 lead in the second.
But the Blue Jays came back with four in the third, when Fister walked four batters and also gave up run-scoring singles to Pearce and Ryan Goins.
The bright sun bothered the right fielders all game, but it really cost the Red Sox in the fourth when Holt lost Pearce’s two-out popup on the edge of the outfield grass that turned into a two-run single.
Fister allowed six runs on seven hits and four walks, striking out three in 4 1/3 innings. Liriano gave up three runs — two earned — on five hits and a walk, striking out one.
Goins ended the fifth inning when he raised his bat to protect himself from an inside pitch and wound up grounding it back to reliever Fernando Abad. Home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman signaled a fair ball, Abad made the casual throw to first, and Hanley Ramirez, seemingly confused, paused before stepping on the base. Goins remained on his knees in the batter’s box, smiling, long after the rest of the players cleared the field.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez left Wednesday night’s game with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Red Sox: Leon was hit in the left foot by Russell Martin’s foul tip in the fourth inning. The training staff came out to look at it, and the Boston catcher remained in the game.
Blue Jays: Marco Estrada (4-6) faces Trevor Bauer (7-8) in the opener of a three-game series against Cleveland.
Red Sox: Chris Sale (11-4) will start the opener of a three game series against the Angels, facing Ricky Nolasco (4-10).
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