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Betts hits for cycle in loss

  • Red Sox leadoff hitter Mookie Betts is congratulated in the dugout after scoring in Boston’s 8-5 loss to Toronto Thursday at the Rogers Center in Toronto. Betts became the first player in the Majors this season to hit for the cycle. AP PHOTO

  • Blue Jays starting pitcher Ryan Borucki delivers a pitch Thursday night. AP PHOTO

  • Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt gets the force out at second base on Toronto Blue Jays' Justin Smoak but fails to turn the double play during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Toronto. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Fred Thornhill

  • Boston Red Sox Steve Pearce reacts after popping up in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Toronto. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Fred Thornhill

  • Toronto Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Toronto. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Fred Thornhill

  • Boston Red Sox' Eduardo Nunez beats the tag attempt by Toronto Blue Jays' Aledmys Diaz to steal second base during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Toronto. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Fred Thornhill



Associated Press
Thursday, August 09, 2018

TORONTO — Mookie Betts homered in the ninth inning to complete his first career cycle during the Toronto Blue Jays’ 8-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.

Betts is the 21st Red Sox player to hit for the cycle and the first in the major leagues this season. He singled and scored in the first inning, tripled in the second and doubled in the fourth against starter Ryan Borucki. After walking in the sixth, Betts hit a one-out drive off Ken Giles in the ninth for his 27th homer of the season.

The 25-year-old Betts is the first Boston player to hit for the cycle since Brock Holt in 2015. Betts, Holt and Leon Culberson in 1943 are the only Red Sox to cycle from the leadoff spot.

The AL MVP candidate was 4 for 4 to raise his average to .347 with 59 RBIs and a 1.102 OPS. He celebrated his no-doubt homer by lifting a fist and smiling at Boston’s dugout.

Boston (81-35) lost for the first time in seven games but still has the best record in baseball.

Randal Grichuk hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth inning and Teoscar Hernandez added a solo shot to help Toronto avoid a three-game sweep.

Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez hit his major league-leading 35th home run, a solo drive in the fifth.

Boston starter Rick Porcello (14-5) allowed seven runs and six hits in four innings. Porcello lost for the first time since a July 13 home defeat to the Blue Jays, a game in which he allowed a season-worst eight earned runs. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 9.15 ERA in four starts against Toronto this season.

Borucki (2-2) allowed four runs and a career-worst nine hits in five innings but won his second straight start. Borucki pitched eight shutout innings to beat the Mariners for his first major league win in his previous outing.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (mild left shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session before the game and remains on track to come off the disabled list and start Sunday against Baltimore.

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (right index finger) allowed four runs and five hits in three innings in a rehab start for Toronto’s rookie-level Gulf Coast League team. Sanchez walked two and struck out four. ... Toronto promoted LHP Thomas Pannone from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned RHP Mike Hauschild to Triple-A. Pannone served an 80-game performance enhancing drug suspension earlier this season.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.38) starts the opener of a weekend series at Baltimore. Eovaldi has not allowed an earned run in either of his first two starts for Boston. RHP Dylan Bundy (7-10, 4.38) starts for the Orioles.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (5-8, 4.65) starts the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay. Estrada allowed one run in seven innings against Seattle in his previous outing, snapping a four-start winless streak. LHP Blake Snell (12-5, 2.27) starts for the Rays.

Sox move
Pomeranz to bullpen

The Boston Red Sox moved struggling left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen and will keep left-hander Brian Johnson as a starter after ace lefty Chris Sale returns from the disabled list.

Pomeranz, 1-5 with a 6.31 ERA, is winless in eight starts since a May 2 victory over Kansas City. Pomeranz matched a season-worst with five walks in Tuesday’s start at Toronto, leaving after 4 2-3 innings. He has completed more than five innings twice in 11 starts.

Johnson won his second straight start in Wednesday’s victory over Toronto. He’s 3-3 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games, eight starts.

Sale (mild left shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session Thursday and is expected to return Sunday against Baltimore.

Boston has the best record in baseball at 81-34. The Red Sox have won six straight, 10 of 11, and 25 of 30.