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Vazquez's two-run homer leads Red Sox over Blue Jays to snap four-game slide


TORONTO — Christian Vazquez hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Monday to snap a four-game losing streak for the American East leaders.

Eduardo Nunez also homered for Boston (74-57) and Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland had an RBI apiece as the Red Sox extended their division lead to 3 1/2 games over the New York Yankees.

Justin Smoak's two-run home run in the ninth off closer Craig Kimbrel pulled the Blue Jays (61-70) to within one but the comeback stopped there.

Kendrys Morales had two RBI's and Ryan Goins drove in one. Toronto has dropped eight of its last 10.

Drew Pomeranz (14-4) went six innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits while walking five and striking out four. Kimbrel picked up his 30th save of the season.

Vazquez gave Boston a 4-3 lead, its first lead of the night, putting Danny Barnes' fastball into the second deck for a two-run home run. The Red Sox added to the lead five batters later as Moreland's single scored a run.

Boston took a 6-3 lead when Ryan Tepera issued a bases-loaded walk to Bogaerts.

Barnes (2-5) pitched 1/3 inning and was charged with three earned on two hits.

Marcus Stroman went six innings, allowing two runs — one earned — on seven hits while striking out four in the no-decision.

Toronto jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run double from Morales.

Boston responded with two out in the second when Hanley Ramirez doubled on a fly ball to left which Steve Pearce appeared to lose in the lights. Vazquez followed with a single and stole second base and Ramirez scored when Raffy Lopez's pick-off attempt wound up in centre field.

Nunez's leadoff home run in the third tied the game 2-2.

Toronto retook the lead in the fourth on a Goins RBI single, scoring Kevin Pillar from third. The single extended Goins' hit streak to seven games.

Pillar showed off his range in centre field in the sixth, tracking down a Mookie Betts liner and making a highlight-reel, leaping grab while sliding into the wall to rob the Red Sox right fielder of extra bases. According to Statcast, Pillar travelled 82 feet in 4.6 seconds to make the catch.

Note: The Blue Jays recalled RHP Leonel Campos and designated OF Nori Aoki for assignment before the game.

Dhiren Mahiban, The Canadian Press

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