Red Sox

Vazquez helps Sox snap losing streak with 6-5 win over Jays

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Vazquez helps Sox snap losing streak with 6-5 win over Jays

TORONTO -- Even after Kevin Pillar turned in his latest highlight-worthy grab in center field, Christian Vazquez and the Boston Red Sox managed to put a painful weekend behind them with another win north of the border.

Vazquez had four hits, including a two-run home run, Eduardo Nunez added a solo shot and the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Monday night, snapping a four-game skid.

"Particularly after the four games we were coming off, to get back in the win column is big," manager John Farrell said. "That might have been the toughest four-game stretch we've had this season."

The Red Sox came into Toronto having lost their previous four by a combined score of 38-10.

Boston leads the second-place Yankees by 3 1/2 games after New York lost 6-2 against Cleveland. The Yankees and Red Sox begin a four-game series in New York on Thursday.

The Red Sox also overcame yet another crazy catch by Pillar, who dived to make a sensational play on the warning track and take a hit away from Mookie Betts in the sixth. The crowd of 35,630 gave Pillar a standing ovation.

"Kevin never ceases to amaze with what he does out there," manager John Gibbons said.

Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, who applauded the catch from the mound, was especially appreciative.

"I told him I think that's the best one I've seen live," Stroman said. "He has to get a Gold Glove at some point."

Toronto lost for the eighth time in 10 games and dropped to 1-6 at home against the Red Sox. They've been outscored 47-22 in those games. The Blue Jays are 3-8 overall against the Red Sox.

Vazquez singled in the second and fifth innings, homered in the seventh and doubled in the eighth to help the AL East-leading Red Sox avoid their first five-game losing streak of the season.

Since July 29, Vazquez is batting .439 (25 for 57) with eight extra-base hits.

"He's swinging the bat really well," Farrell said.

Drew Pomeranz (14-4) allowed three runs in six innings to win his eighth straight decision, extending his career-long stretch.

Pomeranz, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, stranded eight Blue Jays baserunners.

Addison Reed and Brandon Workman each worked one inning of relief, and Craig Kimbrel pitched around Justin Smoak's two-out, two-run homer in the ninth to earn for his 30th save in 34 chances.

Pomeranz entered with an 11 1/3-inning scoreless streak but couldn't add to it against Toronto, surrendering a two-run double to Kendrys Morales in the first.

Batting seventh in the order for the first time this season, Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez doubled in the second on a ball that outfielder Steve Pearce appeared to lose in the lights. Ramirez later scored on a throwing error by catcher Raffy Lopez.

Ramirez singled off Danny Barnes (2-5) to begin the seventh and Vazquez followed by homering on an 0-2 pitch.

"Always with two strikes, they pitch me up and in," Vazquez said. "I was looking for that."

Boston tacked on two more in the inning. Mitch Moreland hit an RBI single off Aaron Loup, and Xander Bogaerts drew a bases-loaded walk against Ryan Tepera.

Ramirez came in 1 for 15 with eight strikeouts in his past four games but finished 2 for 4, his first multihit game since Aug. 22.

FIVE SPOT

Boston is one of five teams not to lose five straight at any point this season. The others are Cleveland, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota and Washington.

BIG SWINGER

PGA golfer Jason Dufner took some swings in the cage before the Blue Jays took batting practice

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee) ran on the field and is expected to run the bases Wednesday. ... Farrell said OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (left thumb) is on track to return Saturday against the New York Yankees.

WORTH NOTING

Toronto designated OF Nori Aoki for assignment and recalled RHP Leonel Campos from Triple-A Buffalo.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (14-6, 2.88) has not allowed a run in 15 IP against Toronto this season, recording 24 strikeouts and just two walks. He gave up seven runs in three innings against Cleveland in his previous start.

Blue Jays: RHP Brett Anderson will be promoted from Triple-A to make his first Blue Jays start. The nine-year veteran was released by the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 1 after going 2-2 with an 8.08 ERA in six starts.

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Dodgers send Adrian Gonzalez to Braves, re-acquire Kemp

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Dodgers send Adrian Gonzalez to Braves, re-acquire Kemp

LOS ANGELES - Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that sent former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from L.A. to Atlanta.

The Dodgers sent Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp. Gonzalez then was designated for assignment by the Braves.

After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons. Click here for more

Martinez tells Red Sox he would DH, but others want him as outfielder

Martinez tells Red Sox he would DH, but others want him as outfielder

Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez has told the Red Sox he would DH and play the outfield for them, a baseball source said Friday.  The flipside: teams are offering Martinez a full-time outfield job, and he enjoys playing the outfield.

Martinez, the best bat available via free agency, visited with teams at the winter meetings this week.

Michael Silverman of the Herald wrote Friday that Martinez has been telling teams he prefers to play the outfield, and suggested the Sox will have to pay a bit more to land Martinez.

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“Martinez remains open to being a DH so his preference to play defense regularly does not eliminate the Red Sox from signing Martinez,” Silverman wrote. “It does, however, put them in a position of having to make an aggressive offer that would distance themselves from competing offers where teams can present a corner outfield position. 

“Just what defines aggressive is something only Martinez and his agent Scott Boras will ultimately determine.”

The market could start to move a bit now, although that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily imminent. Another baseball source on Friday night noted that the market has started to thaw with Carlos Santana off the board. He agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies.

The Red Sox made an offer for Santana, but the offer made clear that Santana was not their primary choice. In other words, it wasn't close to what Santana ended up with.

A scenario in which Jackie Bradley Jr. is traded to make room for Martinez in the outfield seems reasonable, even if the Red Sox and Boras, who represents Bradley, have both downplayed that possibility.

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