By IAN HARRISON Associated Press=
TORONTO (AP) _ Christian Vazquez had four hits, including a two-run home run, Eduardo Nunez added a solo shot and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Monday night, snapping a four-game skid.
Boston also overcame the latest stellar defensive play from Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar, who dived to make a sensational catch 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.
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.
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.
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.
Drew Pomeranz (14-4) allowed three runs in six innings to win his eighth straight decision, extending his career-long stretch.
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.
Nunez tied it at 2 with a leadoff shot off Marcus Stroman in the third. Ryan Goins restored Toronto’s lead with an RBI single in the fourth.
Ramirez singled off Danny Barnes (2-5) to begin the seventh and Vazquez followed by homering on an 0-2 pitch.
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.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee) ran on the field and is expected to run the bases Wednesday. … Manager John Farrell said OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (left thumb) is on track to return Saturday against the New York Yankees.
Toronto designated OF Nori Aoki for assignment and recalled RHP Leonel Campos from Triple-A Buffalo.
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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