TORONTO — Save for a one-inning outburst, this was more of the same from the Blue Jays offense: not enough.
Yoenis Cespedes singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th and the Boston Red Sox survived a ninth-inning collapse to beat Toronto 4-3 on Monday night, snapping their losing streak at eight games.
Built to slug, the Blue Jays have been sluggish of late, failing to score more than three runs in 13 of 21 August games. Their record in that span is an ugly 6-15.
“We have run into some good pitching, but still we’re a team that should score runs and we haven’t been doing that,” manager John Gibbons lamented.
Toronto lost for the ninth time in 12 games and saw a six-game winning streak over Boston ended.
“Disappointing, definitely disappointing,” Gibbons said.
Cespedes has 19 RBIs in 22 games since being traded to Boston on July 31. Seven of those 19 RBIs have given the Red Sox a lead.
“Cespy has been so good since coming over to us, getting RBIs in key moments, late-inning situations,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Whether it’s been with a base hit or a long ball, he’s been big for us late in games.”
Brock Holt hit a one-out single off Aaron Sanchez (2-1) in the 10th and stole second as Dustin Pedroia struck out, with the steal confirmed by video review. Holt stole third before Cespedes drove him in with a single past diving second baseman Munenori Kawasaki.
“I thought for a second I’d fooled him,” Sanchez said. “He just got the bat on the ball and hit it right back up the middle.
Boston won for the first time since August 16 against Houston.
“It’s nice to win, no matter what, no matter how many you’ve lost in a row or won in a row,” Holt said.
Koji Uehara (6-4) got the win despite blowing his fourth save in 30 chances, and Craig Breslow finished for his first save in two chances.
Toronto managed just two singles against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz through the first eight innings, but rallied in the ninth after Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera delivered back-to-back hits and Jose Bautista walked to load the bases.
Uehara came on and got Adam Lind to ground into a fielder’s choice as Reyes scored. Edwin Encarnacion followed with a two-run double beyond the reach of a leaping Cespedes in left, tying it at 3-3.
Mookie Betts hit a one-out drive into the second deck in the fifth, his first homer since July 2. Two batters later, Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run shot, his first since August 3.
Both homers came off Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, who allowed three runs and five hits in six innings.
“Happ was really good,” Gibbons said. “Just those two swings got him.”
Boston won despite playing without slugger David Ortiz, who sat out with of a bruised right foot. Ortiz left Sunday’s game against Seattle in the sixth, two innings after fouling a ball off his foot. Farrell said he’s “hopeful” that Ortiz will be able to return Tuesday.