Boston Red Sox

Fister sharp again as Red Sox beat Blue Jays, 6-1

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Fister sharp again as Red Sox beat Blue Jays, 6-1

BOSTON -- Doug Fister has quickly gone from a pitcher looking for a big league job right into being a key starter for a team chasing a division title.

Fister gave up one run over seven innings, Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 on Wednesday night, a day after the teams played a 19-inning marathon.

The Red Sox claimed the 33-year-old Fister in June after he opted out of a Triple-A contract and was released by the Los Angeles Angels. In the last couple weeks, he's clearly been Boston's best starter.

"To say that when we got him from the Angels that he would be running a streak of starts consecutively like he is, no - he's surpassed the initial expectation," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He's doing a great job."

It was the second straight win for the AL East-leading Red Sox, who moved four games ahead of the second-place Yankees. New York's game at Baltimore was rained out.

Playing just 18 hours after completing a 3-2 victory that lasted six hours and ended on Hanley Ramirez's bloop single, the Red Sox took charge with a four-run fourth that was capped by Bradley's homer.

Fister (5-7) allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked three, improving to 3-1 in his last four starts with a 1.50 ERA.

"It's definitely a fun time of year, being anxious for what might come," he said. "I just continually work hard each and every day."

Joe Biagini (3-10) was tagged for five runs in 3 1/3 innings.

With rain starting to fall when the Red Sox came to the plate in the fourth, Xander Bogaerts halted a 3-for-33 stretch by lining an opposite field RBI triple and scored on Rafael Devers' single. Bradley then belted his homer into Boston's bullpen, making it 5-1.

"I thought he threw the ball pretty good early under these conditions," Blue Jays acting manager DeMarlo Hale said of Biagini. "You think about the fourth inning, really the big blow was the home run. He left a changeup up to Bradley and I thought that was really the big blow of the game."

Biagini didn't waste time analyzing his outing.

"Bad. That's a short answer for you," he said. "It's a search for consistency, consistency of release point. Just aggressiveness and all that good stuff."

Both teams scored a run in the first.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) threw his fourth bullpen session of the week and Farrell said he's expected to pitch a simulated game Saturday. ... Farrell decided to DH 2B Dustin Pedroia with the forecast of showers to limit playing on his left knee that landed him on the DL with inflammation for nearly three weeks last month.

LET ME SEE, TOO

Fister stood on the edge of the mound and joined in, looking at an iPad that Red Sox head groundskeeper Dave Mellor brought out to show the umpires the radar before the sixth.

SLOW STARTS

During his strong four-start stretch, Fister has allowed all five of his runs in the opening inning.

Miguel Montero drew a bases-loaded walk after Fister gave up a leadoff single to Ezequiel Carrera, a double to Justin Smoak and a walk to Michael Saunders.

"He gets into the rhythm of the game. It takes him an inning," Farrell said. "It's been uncanny how similar the beginning of games are and how he finishes out."

EASY THEFTS

The Red Sox were 4 for 4 in stolen base attempts, and improved to 29 for 32 this season against Toronto, the most steals by any club in the majors against an opponent this season.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Off Thursday. They open a three-game series at Rogers Centre on Friday against Detroit. RHP Marcus Stroman (11-6, 3.08 ERA) is scheduled to start after leaving his last one when he was hit on the right elbow with a line drive.

Red Sox: Off Thursday. LHP Drew Pomeranz (14-5, 3.36) looks to rebound after his career-best eight-game winning streak was halted in his last start when Boston opens a three-game series against Tampa Bay at Fenway Park on Friday.

Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

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Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

CINCINNATI - Mitch Moreland ended his long slump with a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox took another step toward a second straight AL East title, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Saturday.

Boston has won 13 of 16, holding off the Yankees as it tries to win back-to-back East titles for the first time since divisional realignment in 1969. The Red Sox have their best record of the season at 90-64, reaching 90 wins for the second year in a row.

They remain four games in front of the Yankees, who beat Toronto 5-1.

Moreland was in an 0-for-19 slump when he connected off Robert Stephenson (5-6) in the sixth inning, his 20th homer of the season but only his second in September. The Red Sox are last in the AL with 160 homers.

Rodriguez (6-6) has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts, the best stretch of his career. The left-hander gave up three singles and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since May 21.

The Red Sox have shutout victories in three of their last four games, including two at Baltimore. They are 7-1 on a trip that ends Sunday. Boston wraps up the regular season at Fenway Park with three games against Toronto and four against Houston.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grew up in suburban Madeira and had hundreds of relatives and friends in the stands for the series, singled home a run in the seventh at the ballpark where he regularly attended games as a youth.

CSNNE SCHEDULE

Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

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Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

Mookie Betts, who fouled a ball off his left foot Friday night, and Dustin Pedroia, who has been bothered by a knee injury almost all season, were out of the Red Sox lineup Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.

Chris Young started in right field for Betts and Brock Holt at second base for Pedroia.

Betts was scratched from the original lineup but was a late scratch. Pedroia, who had been getting intermittent days off to rest his knee was originally expected to play but needed treatement and hopes to be able to play Sunday, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN. 

Manager John Farrell told reporters, including Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, that Betts "was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game. [He] woke up a little bit more sore. Went through treatment. But felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment."

The manager added that Betts was available to pinch hit Saturday and did not have X-rays, but that step could be taken if there's no improvement in the next 24 hours.