TORONTO — The Blue Jays have been dealt their share of extra-inning defeats in recent days.
This one stung a little harder than the rest.
Mike Napoli and Allen Craig both connected in a seven-run 11th inning, Dustin Pedroia homered and had four RBIs and the Boston Red Sox beat up slumping Toronto 11-7 Tuesday night.
Toronto fell to 6-16 in August and, at 66-66, dropped to .500 for the first time since May 15. The Blue Jays have played four straight extra-inning games, losing three.
“It’s tough,” Toronto’s Casey Janssen said. “We lost another tough game in extra innings.”
Boosted by a fifth deck homer from Napoli, the first at Rogers Centre in more than three years, Boston broke away from a 4-all tie for its second straight victory following an eight-game losing streak.
“Standing at home plate, it’s hard to imagine hitting a ball that far, but he did,” Craig said.
Toronto beat Tampa Bay 5-4 in 10 innings Saturday on a walkoff hit by Jose Reyes, but has come up empty in three other extended affairs.
“We’ve had plenty of chances to win those games but just haven’t had the big hit except that one,” manager John Gibbons said.
Mookie Betts singled off Janssen (3-2) to begin the 11th and was called out at second on Christian Vazquez’s sacrifice, with the call overturned after a challenge by Red Sox manager John Farrell. Janssen was charged with an error when he bobbled Brock Holt’s bunt, loading the bases for Pedroia, who singled through the drawn-in infield to score a pair.
Sergio Santos came on and struck out Yoenis Cespedes before Napoli, who was hit on the helmet by a pitch earlier in the game, crushed with a towering three-run homer into the fifth deck. It’s the 17th upper deck homer in the 25-year history of Rogers Centre, and the seventh by an opponent.
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere, trying to get a single with a runner in scoring position,” Napoli said. “I guess it’s pretty cool.”
Daniel Nava doubled before Craig homered, his first with Boston.
Gibbons, who’d already used all his available relievers, responded by calling designated hitter Steve Tolleson out of the dugout to take the mound. Tolleson struck out Will Middlebrooks and got Betts to fly out to the warning track.
Junichi Tazawa (3-3) worked one inning for the win. Heath Hembree allowed three runs in the 11th, but Boston held on.
Pedroia homered off R.A. Dickey in the first and Middlebrooks made it 3-0 with a two-out double, but Toronto tied with single runs in the third, fourth and fifth.
The Red Sox reclaimed the lead against Dustin McGowan in the seventh on an RBI single by Cespedes, but Jose Bautista led off the bottom half with a tying homer off Alex Wilson, snapping an 0 for 17 slump.
Napoli was hit on the brim of the helmet by a wayward knuckleball from Dickey in the fifth, knocking it off his head. His face showing concern, Dickey held his hands up in apology.