BOSTON -- They didn't make it easy on themselves, but the Red Sox walked off with a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays in the finale of their four-game set at Fenway Park.
Koji Uehara, who had recorded saves in three consecutive appearances, recorded his first blown save of the season in the top of the ninth inning after giving up a game-tying solo home run to Jose Bautista. It was the 13th blown save recorded by Sox relievers this season, matching the Indians for fifth-most in the majors, behind the Orioles who lead with 16.
Uehara got the win, though, as the Sox pulled out their seventh walk-off win of the season.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Brandon Snyder singled off of Juan Perez and Jacoby Ellsbury walked, ending Perez’s outing. Shane Victorino needed just two pitches from Casey Janssen to give the Sox the win as his grounder went through the legs of Jays first baseman Josh Thole.
It was the first walk-off win for the Sox on an error since Aug. 1, 2010, against the Tigers.
Ryan Dempster went 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts. His ERA improved to 4.11.
Left-hander Mark Buehrle started for the Jays and went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
The Red Sox got three runs off Buehrle in the second, sending eight batters to the plate. Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava led off with back-to-back singles. Ryan Lavarnway reached on a ground-rule double, scoring Napoli. After Jose Iglesias struck out, Snyder’s double scored Nava and Lavarnway. It was Snyder’s first hit as a member of the Red Sox.
The Jays got two runs off Dempster in the fourth. Edwin Encarnacion led off with a single, going to second on Rajai Davis’ one-out base hit. Colby Rasmus’ single to right scored Encarnacion, with Davis going to second. With JP Arencibia batting, Davis stole third without drawing a throw from catcher Ryan Lavarnway. It was his fifth stolen base of the series and 19th of the season. Arencibia walked to load the bases, and Davis scored on Maicer Izturis’ fielder’s choice.
The Sox added a run in the fifth when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single to left, scoring on Jonny Gomes’ two-out double, giving the Sox a 4-2 lead.
The Jays threatened in the sixth, loading the bases with no outs. After Dempster got Arencibia to pop out, his outing was done, with left-hander Craig Breslow relieving him. Breslow got Izturis to pop out and pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio struck out.
But, Jose Reyes led off the seventh with a home run off Breslow, ending the left-hander’s outing, setting up the ninth inning dramatics.
STAR OF THE GAME: Brandon Snyder
Making his first start for the Sox since being called up June 25, Snyder went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Jonathan Diaz, who pinch-ran for him in the ninth inning after Snyder singled with one out, scored the winning run.
His two-run double in the second inning was his first hit and RBI’s as a member of the Sox. It was his sixth career two-hit game and just his second career game with multiple RBI’s, both on May 7, 2012, at Baltimore while with Texas.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jose Bautista
Bautista went 3-for-5 with a home run, a run scored, and an RBI. His solo home run in the ninth inning tied the game. It was his third home run in the last two days, and his eighth game-tying home run of his career in the seventh inning or later and fourth this season.
Bautista now has 19 home runs this season, and 17 career home runs at Fenway, all since 2008, his most at any park as a visitor. He is averaging a home run every 8.06 at-bats in his career at Fenway, with 17 home runs in 137 at-bats, the highest ratio among hitters with at least 120 plate appearances since 1921. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson is next at 9.86.
THE GOAT: Josh Thole
Thole’s error in the ninth, allowing Shane Victorino's grounder to go through his legs and scoring the winning run. It was the Sox’ seventh walk-off win of the season, and the first on an error since Aug. 1, 2010, against the Tigers.
THE TURNING POINT
The Blue Jays loaded the bases against Dempster with no out in the sixth inning. But, although they drove Dempster from the game, could not score. Dempster left with one out, giving way to Craig Breslow, who got the final out on a strikeout to end the threat.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7
It was the Sox’ seventh walk-off win of the season. The last time they recorded that many walk-off wins through June was 1964.
QUOTE OF NOTE
"That ain't the game right there. We had plenty of chances, all day long. We just didn't get the production from the bottom of the lineup. We had plenty of opportunities. Buehrle pitched great. I think the one pitch he'd like to have back was the one to Snyder for the double. Then he kept us right there.” -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons on Josh Thole’s ninth-inning error