TORONTO (AP) — George Springer hit a two-run homer to force extra innings, Raimel Taipa hit a game-ending sacrifice fly in the 10th, and the Toronto Blue Jays handed the slumping Boston Red Sox their fourth straight loss, 6-5 on Tuesday night.
The Blue Jays have six come-from-behind wins this season.
“There’s no real panic,” said Springer, whose homer was the 200th of his career. “There’s always a belief that we’re one at bat away, one big play in the field, one pitch away from being back in the ballgame. It makes it fun every day.”
Matt Barnes (0-1) intentionally walked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to begin the bottom of the 10th, and Alejandro Kirk walked to load the bases. Matt Chapman struck out looking before left-hander Matt Strahm replaced Barnes. Tapia hit a flyball to left on the ninth pitch of his at-bat, scoring automatic runner Bo Bichette.
“It’s huge,” Springer said. “For us to understand what it takes to come out on top in these games is big, especially for a stretch run, potentially.”
Toronto trailed 5-2 in the ninth before Tapia and Santiago Espinal opened the inning with back-to-back doubles off Jake Diekman.
Diekman struck out pinch-hitter Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and fanned Bradley Zimmer, but left after giving up Springer’s fourth home run this season.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Diekman was frustrated after failing to lock down a win for his struggling team.
“Nick (Pivetta) pitched great, everyone pitched great, the hitters scored when they had to,” Diekman said. “I should be able to hold a three-run lead.”
Automatic runner Trevor Story advanced from second to third on Alex Verdugo’s groundout to begin the 10th. Xander Bogaerts followed with a line drive that struck Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano (1-1) in the leg, but the right-hander looked Story back to third before getting the out at first. Romano escaped the jam by striking out J.D. Martinez.
“Tough one tonight but you know we’re going to turn the page,” said Red Sox bench coach Will Venable, who has guided the team to one win in five games with manager Alex Cora sidelined by COVID-19.
The Red Sox overturned a 2-1 deficit against right-hander Yimi Garcia in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Rafael Devers led off with a single and advanced on a base hit by Christian Vázquez. Story tied it with an RBI double, and Verdugo put Boston in front with a sacrifice fly.
Bogaerts chased Garcia with an RBI double before Kiké Hernández made it 5-2 with an infield single off David Phelps.
Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman allowed one unearned run and four hits in six innings. He walked none and matched his season high with nine strikeouts.
Red Sox starter Pivetta allowed two runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out six.
Venable brought Hernández in from center field to be an extra infielder after Toronto loaded the bases in the 10th.
Boston is 0-3 in extra innings. The Red Sox lost 3-2 in 10 innings at Tampa Bay last Saturday.
The Red Sox are 3-8 against AL East opponents.
Red Sox: Devers was held out of the starting lineup after starting the first 17 games of the season.
Blue Jays: OF Teoscar Hernández (strained left oblique) fielded balls and took batting practice before the game. Hernández has missed the past 12 games.
Red Sox RHP Michael Wacha (1-0, 1.88 ERA) starts Wednesday against Blue Jays RHP Ross Stripling (0-0, 4.50). Stripling went 0-2 with a 14.90 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox last season.
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