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    Tuesday, July 16, 2024

    Rafaela has three hits, including tiebreaking single in eighth as Red Sox beat Blue Jays 4-3

    Boston Red Sox's Ceddanne Rafaela hits a double against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

    Toronto — Ceddanne Rafaela had three hits, including a tiebreaking single in the eighth-inning, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Tuesday night to earn a third straight series win.

    Tyler O'Neill homered and scored twice and Rafael Devers had two hits as the Red Sox won for the seventh time in nine games.

    Boston arrived in Toronto after taking two of three from Philadelphia and the New York Yankees, both division leaders.

    "We're playing good baseball," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "It seems like everybody is locked in and understanding their roles, how we're going to use them. It's been fun to watch."

    Red Sox right-hander Zack Kelly (1-1) got four outs for the win as Boston improved to 35-8 when scoring four runs or more.

    Rafaela singled in the fifth inning, doubled in the seventh, then drove in pinch-runner David Hamilton with a single off Blue Jays right-hander Chad Green in Boston's two-run eighth inning.

    "It's awesome to help the team in that situation right there," Rafaela said. "They needed me to have a good at-bat, so I was trying to get the best pitch I could to drive him in."

    Rafaela has hit safely in seven straight games and is batting .615 (16 for 26) in that stretch.

    "We knew it was going to be a struggle early in the season, but right now he's in a good spot," Cora said of Rafaela.

    Toronto's Brendon Little (0-1) took the loss, allowing the two runs in the eighth.

    Brennan Bernardino got two outs in the eighth and Justin Slaten got the third. Kenley Jansen closed it out for his 13th save in 14 chances.

    Boston's Dominic Smith opened the scoring with a two-out RBI single in the second, but the Blue Jays answered in the bottom half with Ernie Clement's two-run double.

    Red Sox designated hitter Masataka Yoshida tied it with a two-out single in the sixth. Reese McGuire followed with a walk but Blue Jays right-hander Chris Bassitt ended his outing by retiring Smith on a comebacker.

    Isiah Kiner-Falefa chased Red Sox starter Tanner Houck and put Toronto up 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out single just inside the first-base line.

    O'Neill tied it again with a leadoff home run against Little in the eighth. It was the 15th homer of the season for O'Neill. He connected twice in Boston's 7-3 win Monday.

    Two outs later, Smith singled and was replaced by Hamilton, who stole second before scoring on Rafaela's hit.

    "You put yourself in position to hopefully win and it just didn't work out," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.

    Houck allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.

    "My stuff was kind of flat again today," Houck said.

    Bassitt allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out six.

    Roster moves

    Red Sox: RHP Chris Martin (anxiety) was activated off the 15-day IL and RHP Cooper Criswell optioned to Triple-A.

    Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette was placed on the 10-day IL because of a strained right calf, retroactive to June 15, and top INF prospect Orelvis Martinez was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo. ... The Blue Jays also recalled RHP Ryan Burr from Buffalo and optioned LHP Brandon Eisert to Triple-A.

    Trainer’s room

    Red Sox: Hamilton returned after leaving Monday's game because of discomfort in his left side.

    Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (elbow) had surgery Monday, manager John Schneider said. Manoah is expected to return in 12 to 14 months.

    Up next

    Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman (5-5, 4.08 ERA) is scheduled to start against Red Sox RHP Brayan Bello (6-4, 5.00) in Wednesday's series finale.

    Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa throws to first after forcing out Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers at second base on a double play hit into by Masataka Yoshida during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
    Boston Red Sox's Tyler O'Neill celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays as he rounds the bases during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
    Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, right, celebrates after scoring against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
    Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, right, celebrates after hitting a double against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
    Boston Red Sox pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) celebrates with teammates after the team's win over the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

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