Napoli leads Red Sox to 6-4 win over Blue Jays
TORONTO — Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 6-4 on Friday night in manager John Farrell’s return to Toronto.
Will Middlebrooks added a solo shot for Boston and Junichi Tazawa (1-0) got the win despite allowing a tying homer to Jose Reyes in the seventh.
Andrew Bailey pitched the eighth and Joel Hanrahan finished for his second save.
A crowd of 45,328 let Farrell have it all night. The former Toronto manager left the Blue Jays last fall to replace Bobby Valentine in Boston.
Reyes went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and Josh Johnson gave up nine hits over six innings in his Toronto debut.
Farrell was jeered during batting practice and booed when he came to home plate to exchange lineup cards, doffing his cap on his way back to the bench.
The ill will continued throughout, with Farrell booed when he came out to check on injured shortstop Jose Iglesias, and again when he made a pitching change in the sixth.
Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes drew a one-out walk from Esmil Rogers (0-1) in the eighth and went to third on Dustin Pedroia’s double. Napoli followed with a grounder to third that was gloved by Maicer Izturis, who fell down on the play and couldn’t recover quickly enough to throw home.
The Blue Jays put runners at second and third with one out in the bottom half, but Bailey got Adam Lind and Izturis to fly out.
Middlebrooks gave the Red Sox some insurance with a line-drive homer to left off Jeremy Jeffress in the ninth.
Toronto’s Mark DeRosa hit a solo homer in the fifth, his first in three years, a drive that bounced off the top of the center-field wall and went out.
Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was held out of the lineup with a sore right ankle and replaced by Rajai Davis. The two-time major league home run leader hurt his ankle stepping on first base while beating out a double play in the eighth inning of Thursday’s 10-8 win over Cleveland.
Boston opened the scoring in the second when Shane Victorino scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s bases-loaded single, but Toronto tied it in the bottom half on DeRosa’s sacrifice fly.
Back-to-back errors by second baseman Emilio Bonifacio gave the Red Sox runners at first and second with one out in the fourth, and pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco followed with an RBI single.
Napoli’s first homer of the year made it 4-1 in the fifth, but DeRosa cut it to 4-2 by leading off the bottom half with his first homer since April 5, 2010, when he went deep for San Francisco at Houston.
Izturis followed with a single and scored when Jackie Bradley Jr. couldn’t come up with Reyes’ double into the left-field corner. Reyes was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Boston put runners at second and third with nobody out in the seventh but failed to score when reliever Brett Cecil struck out Victorino, Bradley and Ciriaco.
Toronto took advantage in the bottom half when Reyes hit a one-out homer to right off Tazawa, his first with the Blue Jays. Melky Cabrera hit a two-out triple but was stranded when Edwin Encarnacion flied out.
Boston left-hander Felix Doubront allowed three runs and nine hits in five-plus innings. He walked none and struck out six.
Johnson allowed four runs, three earned. He walked two, one intentional, and struck out six.
NOTES: Iglesias left in the fourth with a bruised right arm, two innings after he was hit near the elbow by a pitch. He was replaced by Ciriaco. … Red Sox SS Stephen Drew (concussion) went 1 for 3 in seven innings with Double-A Portland. … Boston DH David Ortiz (right Achilles) ran in the outfield in Florida and remained on track to play in extended spring training games starting Monday. … Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Bautista will DH if he returns to the lineup Saturday. … Toronto relievers Steve Delabar, Casey Janssen and Darren Oliver were all unavailable after working the previous two days. … It was a rough night for Bonifacio, who made three errors and struck out four times.
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