Koji the Closer
By HOWARD ULMAN AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) _ Jonny Gomes broke a tie with a seventh-inning single and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 after squandering a five-run lead Friday night.
The Red Sox had 15 hits, giving them at least 10 for the sixth time in seven games. They have 93 hits over that span.
Andrew Miller (1-2) got the win with 1 1-3 scoreless innings. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his fourth save of the season and third in three days. He retired all nine batters he faced in that span, six on strikeouts.
The Red Sox won their fourth in a row and improved to 49-33, the best record in the AL. They’re 16 games over .500 for the first time since they finished the 2011 season at 90-72. Last season, the Red Sox won just 69 games.
With the score tied at 5, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia singled in the seventh off Neil Wagner (1-2). Brett Cecil relieved and both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Mike Napoli walked, loading the bases.
Gomes, pinch hitting for Daniel Nava, then lined a single past third baseman Maicer Izturis for the go-ahead run. Darren Oliver came in and walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia, forcing in the second run of the inning.
Toronto lost its second game of the series after coming to Boston with 12 wins in its previous 14 games.
Boston had led 5-0 through four innings against Josh Johnson, who had no decision for the sixth time in his nine starts this year. Then Toronto scored four runs in the next two innings and tied it in the seventh on a solo homer by Edwin Encarnacion, his 23rd of the year, off Andrew Bailey.
The Red Sox went ahead 2-0 in the second on a walk to Napoli, a single by Nava and Stephen Drew’s sixth triple of the season and third in four games. Napoli singled in a run in the third before the Red Sox scored two in the fourth when Drew started the rally with a one-out double.
He left the game with a tight right hamstring and Brandon Snyder pinch ran. Jose Iglesias then singled and both runners scored on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury.
After four shutout innings, Red Sox rookie Allen Webster struggled in the fifth when he allowed RBI singles to Jose Bautista and Encarnacion and a sacrifice fly to Adam Lind.
Rajai Davis then led off the sixth with a single, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Izturis.
Notes: Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to nine games and increased his AL-high total to 22 hits leading off an inning. … Toronto SS Jose Reyes singled in the third, his first hit since he returned Wednesday after missing 66 games with a severely sprained left ankle. … Boston rookie SS Iglesias went 2 for 4 and has 52 hits in 124 at bats. … Johnson, who came to Toronto from Miami after last season, got his only win with the Blue Jays in his previous start, a 13-5 victory over Baltimore. … Esmil Rogers (3-3) pitches for Toronto on Saturday against Felix Doubront (4-3) in the third game of the four-game series.
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