Tellez homers, Toronto beats Boston to end 7-game skid
TORONTO (AP) — Rowdy Tellez snapped the Toronto Blue Jays out of their longest losing streak of the season with another big home run against Boston.
Tellez hit a two-run homer, Cavan Biggio and Reese McGuire added solo shots and the Blue Jays snapped a seven-game slide with a 4-3 win over the Red Sox on Tuesday night.
Biggio walked twice and scored twice, and McGuire had two hits.
Mookie Betts homered for the Red Sox, who have lost four straight. Boston’s three-year run atop the AL East ended with Monday’s 5-0 home loss to the Yankees.
Tellez’s fifth inning drive left his bat at 111 mph, the hardest-hit ball of the game, and traveled an estimated 429 feet.
“He’s got a chance to hit a ball like that almost every at-bat,” manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Tellez, who has homered three times in September, says a simple approach is helping him succeed.
“Sometimes in situations when I was younger I was trying to hit balls a country mile when all you need to do is hit it right over the wall,” he said.
Tellez is 15 for 35 (.429) with six home runs and 13 RBI in 10 games against the Red Sox this season.
“Everything down, he’s getting to it,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
Tellez hasn’t fared so well against other opponents — he’s hitting just .198 against the rest of the majors.
Justin Shafer (2-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings as Toronto won for the first time since Aug. 31. After Houston’s Justin Verlander no-hit the Blue Jays on September 1, Toronto lost twice at Atlanta and was swept in a four-game series at Tampa Bay.
Derek Law pitched one inning, Tim Mayza got two outs in the eighth and Jordan Romano got the third, and Ken Giles finished in the ninth for his 19th save in 20 opportunities.
Blue Jays rookie right-hander T.J. Zeuch followed opener Wilmer Font in his debut outing at Atlanta last week. This time, the right-hander gave up a solo home run to Betts on his first pitch of the game. The Red Sox slugger lined one off the foul screen in left for his 28th homer. It was Betts’ 20th career leadoff homer.
“I’ve finally found a little something I can maintain, so I’m just trying to ride it,” Betts said.
Toronto tied it on BIggio’s homer in the third, his 13th, and took the lead on McGuire’s blast in the fourth, his fifth.
“We didn’t keep the ball in the ballpark,” Cora said. “When you don’t do that, you pay the price at this level.”
J.D. Martinez chased Zeuch with an RBI double in the fifth and Andrew Benitendi made it 3-2 with a two-out RBI single off Buddy Boshers, but Toronto answered in the bottom half when Tellez greeted reliever Josh Taylor (1-2) with 18th homer.
Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora said LHP David Price (cyst, left wrist) continues to throw but is unlikely to return to the mound during the current road trip. Price pitched two innings against the Angels on Sept. 1, his first action since Aug. 4, but was scratched from Friday’s start against the Yankees. Cora said Price could pitch again when the Red Sox return home next week. ... SS Xander Boagerts (rest) got the day off. Cora said other regulars are likely to sit periodically as the season winds down.
Boston’s Rafael Devers hit his 50th double in the fifth, becoming the youngest Red Sox player to reach the mark. It’s the ninth 50-double season in Red Sox history.
“He’s been amazing for us,” Cora said.
Zeuch is the 20th pitcher to start a game for the Blue Jays this season, tied for the second-most in baseball history. The Philadelphia Athletics used 24 starters in 1915, according to STATS.
Blue Jays: Oakland claimed C Beau Taylor on waivers. Toronto claimed Taylor from the Athletics on Aug. 16. Taylor was designated for assignment Saturday when Toronto selected LHP Anthony Kay from Triple-A.
The Blue Jays observed a moment of silence before the game in honor of Chris Duncan. The brother of former Toronto coach and current front office executive Shelley Duncan died of brain cancer last week. Chris Duncan was 38.
Red Sox: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-10, 5.66) made his Boston debut as an opener against the Yankees on Sept. 6, striking out four in two scoreless innings.
Blue Jays: RHP Trent Thornton (4-9, 5.23) is 0-2 with a 12.93 ERA in three starts against Boston. The rookie is winless in six outings since winning at Baltimore on Aug. 1.