BOSTON — Doug Fister gave Boston another strong outing, and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered to lead the Red Sox to a rain-soaked 6-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
Fister, a veteran right-hander plucked from the scrap heap earlier this season, picked up his fifth win in his past seven starts with seven strong innings.
A night after the Red Sox drained their bullpen by using 12 pitchers in a 19-inning win, Fister (5-7) walked in a run in the first but yielded only two hits after the opening inning. He has gone at least seven innings in four consecutive starts.
Fister wound up allowing a run and four hits and three walks with nine strikeouts.
The win raised the Red Sox’s lead over the rained-out New York Yankees to four games atop the American League East.
Bradley’s 15th homer of the season capped a four-run fourth inning that chased starter Joe Biagini (3-10).
Eduardo Nunez had two singles and two of the four Boston stolen bases in the first three innings in his third straight multi-hit game, the 23rd in his plast 44.
Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes worked a perfect inning apiece to finish off the win.
Boston was 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts against Toronto catcher Miguel Montero and is 29-for-32 while going 12-4 against Toronto this season.
Just as they had done in each of the first two games of the series, the Jays scored first as Fister walked two straight batters to force in a run with two outs after runners had reached second and third.
Nunez stole that run right back by hitting a single, stealing second, reaching third on a Dustin Pedroia lineout and scoring on Andrew Benintendi’s groundout.
The game stayed 1-1 until Mitch Moreland walked to start the fourth and scored on Xander Bogaerts’ triple into the right field corner. Rafael Devers dumped an RBI single into left to make it 3-1, and with one out, Bradley connected on a two-run shot to make it 5-1.
A walk to Nunez later in the fourth ended Biagini’s night one start after he struck out a career-high 10 batters in seven shutout innings at Baltimore. Biagini yielded five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings.
NOTES: Red Sox manager John Farrell, speaking on WEEI radio, said if he would have been aware of electronic sign-stealing against the Yankees he would have shut it down. ... The Blue Jays played their fifth straight game without manager John Gibbons, who was in Texas on personal business. He could be back Friday. ... Red Sox LHP David Price (inflamed left elbow) threw 30 pitches in the bullpen before the game and the plan is for him to throw a simulated game Saturday. ... Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia, still nursing his left knee problem, was slotted in as the DH with the threat of rain. He left for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning ... Both teams are off Thursday. The Blue Jays open a six-game homestand Friday against the Detroit Tigers. The Red Sox continue their nine-game homestand Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays. ... Jays RHP Marcus Stroman, hit on the right elbow by a comebacker in his last start, is tentatively scheduled to start Friday.