TORONTO (AP) — Mookie Betts homered in the ninth inning to complete his first career cycle during the Toronto Blue Jays’ 8-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
Betts is the 21st Red Sox player to hit for the cycle. He singled and scored in the first inning, tripled in the second and doubled in the fourth against starter Ryan Borucki. After walking in the sixth, Betts hit a one-out drive off Ken Giles in the ninth for his 27th homer of the season.
Betts is the first Boston player to hit for the cycle since Brock Holt in 2015. Betts, Holt and Leon Culberson in 1943 are the only Red Sox to cycle from the leadoff spot.
The AL MVP candidate raised his average to .347 on the season with 59 RBIs and a 1.102 OPS. He celebrated his no-doubt homer by lifting a fist and smiling at Boston’s dugout.
Boston (81-35) lost for the first time in seven games but still has the best record in baseball.
Randal Grichuk hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth inning and Teoscar Hernandez added a solo shot to help Toronto avoid a three-game sweep.
Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez hit his major league-leading 35th home run, a solo drive in the fifth.
Boston starter Rick Porcello (14-5) allowed seven runs and six hits in four innings. Porcello lost for the first time since a July 13 home defeat to the Blue Jays, a game in which he allowed a season-worst eight earned runs. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 9.15 ERA in four starts against Toronto this season.
Borucki (2-2) allowed four runs and a career-worst nine hits in five innings but won his second straight start. Borucki pitched eight shutout innings to beat the Mariners for his first major league win in his previous outing.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (mild left shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session before the game and remains on track to come off the disabled list and start Sunday against Baltimore. … Boston moved struggling left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen and will keep LHP Brian Johnson as a starter after Sale’s return.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (right index finger) allowed four runs and five hits in three innings in a rehab start for Toronto’s rookie-level Gulf Coast League team. Sanchez walked two and struck out four. … Toronto promoted LHP Thomas Pannone from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned RHP Mike Hauschild to Triple-A. Pannone served an 80-game performance enhancing drug suspension earlier this season.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.38) starts the opener of a weekend series at Baltimore. Eovaldi has not allowed an earned run in either of his first two starts for Boston. RHP Dylan Bundy (7-10, 4.38) starts for the Orioles.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (5-8, 4.65) starts the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay. Estrada allowed one run in seven innings against Seattle in his previous outing, snapping a four-start winless streak. LHP Blake Snell (12-5, 2.27) starts for the Rays.
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