July 15, 2018 / 8:44 PM / 8 months ago

Bogaerts slugs BoSox past Blue Jays to end MLB's best first half

Xander Bogaerts provided an encore to Saturday’s walk-off grand slam with a solo home run and two RBIs to help the host Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 in the finale of a four-game series Sunday.

Bogaerts’ 10th-inning slam gave the Red Sox a 6-2 win Saturday and secured at least a series split. Boston won Thursday’s opener 6-4, but lost to Toronto 13-7 Friday to snap its major league-best 10-game win streak.

Brock Holt drove in two runs and Jackie Bradley Jr. added an RBI for the Red Sox, who enter the All-Star break with an MLB-best 68-30 record. Boston won 12 of its last 13 and 19 of 23 games before the break.

The Red Sox lead the AL East by 4 1/2 games over the New York Yankees.

Teoscar Hernandez slugged a two-run homer for Toronto, which has lost six of eight going into the break. The Blue Jays are 23 1/2 games behind Boston and were 14 back in the AL wild-card race coming into Sunday.

Red Sox starter Brian Johnson lasted only 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks with five strikeouts. Johnson was activated from the disabled list Sunday after missing 15 games with left hip inflammation.

Brandon Workman (2-0) recorded the last out of the fifth to earn the win. Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel fanned two in the ninth to record his 30th save.

Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (2-7) gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts over five innings.

Bogaerts’ 16th homer run of the season cleared the Green Monster in left to highlight Boston’s two-run first. Hernandez hit a Monster shot (his 15th) in the third to tie it, but Bradley put the Red Sox ahead for good with his double in the fifth.

Toronto begins its second half with a three-game series against Baltimore starting Friday. Boston also resumes play Friday when it begins a three-game set at Detroit.

—Field Level Media

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