The Boston Red Sox will try to post their first winning streak in nearly two weeks on Tuesday evening as they play the middle contest of a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
In a battle of slumping teams, the Red Sox managed a 4-3 victory in 10 innings after blowing a late lead. The victory halted Boston's eight-game losing streak and was its first in the past seven meetings with Toronto.
The Blue Jays still lead the season series 10-4.
After blowing a ninth-inning lead, the Red Sox plated the go-ahead run in the ninth when Brock Holt reached on an infield single, stole second and then scored on Yoenis Cespedes' single up the middle.
Thanks to a solo homer by Mookie Betts and a two-run shot by Dustin Pedroia in the fifth inning, the Red Sox and starter Clay Buchholz were rolling towards a shutout before trouble in the ninth. Buchholz yielded back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases with one out, prompting manager John Farrell to bring in Koji Uehara.
Boston's closer got Adam Lind to hit into a fielder's choice that plated a run, but Edwin Encarnacion followed with a double off the top of the wall that chased home the tying runs.
Despite the rally, Toronto lost for the fifth time in seven games and has fallen 5 1/2 games back of a wild card spot in the American League.
"We needed another foot or two on Eddie's ball, but then couldn't shut them down," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It's disappointing."
Buchholz surrendered three runs on four hits and two walks over 8 1/3 innings, helping put Boston in position to now win consecutive games for the first time since a four-game win streak from Aug. 10-14.
"Clay was outstanding ... Unfortunately we give up the three inherited runs," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
It is unknown if Boston will have slugger David Ortiz in the lineup. He is day-to-day with a bruised right foot suffered on Sunday and did not appear in the opener.
The Red Sox will try to secure the series win tonight behind Rubby De La Rosa, who pitched decent in a 2-0 setback to the Los Angeles Angels last time out. He gave up both runs on eight hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight.
The right-hander has lost three of his last four decisions, falling to 4-5 with a 3.69 earned run average on the year.
De La Rosa has lost a pair of starts versus the Blue Jays this season, including a setback in Toronto on July 24 when he was blitzed for six earned runs over four innings.
Toronto counters with R.A. Dickey, who is 5-3 with a 4.57 ERA in his career versus Boston, spanning 14 games with eight starts. He beat the Red Sox in consecutive outings on July 23 and 28, giving up a total of five runs while striking out 15 over 13 innings.
The 39-year-old righty won for the first time in four starts on Wednesday in Milwaukee despite allowing five runs over 5 2/3 innings of a 9-5 decision. He had given up four runs over 12 innings in his previous two outings, but nonetheless improved to 10-12 with a 4.08 ERA on the year.