TORONTO (AP) — The day after their second team meeting in less than a week, the Boston Red Sox turned in a winning performance.

Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer, Pablo Sandoval added a two-run shot and the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

“The way we played today is the way we know we can play,” Napoli said. “That’s the way we should play. That’s the way we expect to play.”

Clay Buchholz (2-4) allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings for his first victory in six starts. The last-place Red Sox won for just the second time in nine games.

“Regardless of the level you play at, it stinks to lose,” Buchholz said. “I think everybody here takes it to heart because we’re Boston Red Sox and we know this team is built around winning. When you’re not doing that or you’re not getting the breaks, it sort of wears on you.”

Buchholz is 9-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 14 career starts in Toronto. He gave up seven hits, walked three and struck out three.


The right-hander rolled his left ankle on the final play of the fourth inning and bent over briefly before gingerly walking off the field.

“My left foot landed in the hole that I was landing on going to home plate,” Buchholz said. “I had my ankles taped, fortunately, so I think that saved me from it being too bad.”

Buchholz was examined while warming up before the fifth and was able to continue.

“He didn’t show any favoring of anything through his delivery so we stayed with him,” manager John Farrell said.

Junichi Tazawa pitched 1 2-3 innings and Koji Uehara finished for his sixth save.

Carl Willis joined the Red Sox for his first game as their new pitching coach. He replaced Juan Nieves, who was fired Thursday.


Farrell had hinted at a roster shake-up following Saturday’s 7-1 loss and Boston made two changes before the game, recalling outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and right-hander Steven Wright from Triple-A Pawtucket. Slumping outfielder Allen Craig and right-hander Robbie Ross were optioned to the minors.

Bradley Jr. started in right field and batted eighth. He finished 0 for 4.

Farrell was pleased by the response to Saturday’s clubhouse meeting.

“We went out and put together and very good game,” he said.

R.A. Dickey (1-4) lost for the third time in four starts, allowing six runs in six innings. And for the third time in four starts, he failed to strike out a batter.

“I’m frustrated,” Dickey said. “I’m tired of saying I’m one poor pitch away from a good outing every outing.”


Mookie Betts led off the game with a triple and scored on Dustin Pedroia’s groundout. Later in the inning, Napoli connected on Dickey’s knuckleball for his third home run of the season.

Sandoval hit a two-out homer in the fifth, his third.

Willis weights in

Willis, who spoke to Boston’s pitchers before the game, acknowledged that it’s “a bit of an uncomfortable situation” to join the Red Sox in midseason. “It’s going to take a little while for me to get up to speed,” he said.

Rally killer

Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts was the final out in each of his four at-bats, ending the first, third, fifth and eighth innings.


Trainer’s room

Red Sox: Shane Victorino (right hamstring) is expected to come off the 15-day DL before the Red Sox play at Oakland on Monday.

Blue Jays: OF Michael Saunders was placed on the 15-day DL with left knee inflammation. He had knee surgery in spring training to repair a torn meniscus. He returned to the lineup Saturday after missing the previous four games.

Up next

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-2, 4.38) faces LHP Scott Kazmir (2-1, 2.75) as Boston begins a three-game series at Oakland on Monday. Pitching for Detroit, Porcello threw a four-hit shutout in his most recent start against the Athletics last July 1.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (1-1, 2.93) makes his second start of the season as Toronto opens a three-game series at Baltimore on Monday. Starting in place of the demoted Daniel Norris, Estrada allowed four earned runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings against the Yankees last week. He’ll face Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2, 2.36).


New pitching coach Carl Willis joins Red Sox

TORONTO — Joining the struggling Boston Red Sox in midseason is “a bit of an uncomfortable situation” for new pitching coach Carl Willis.

Willis, who was hired Saturday, had been working as pitching coach for Cleveland’s Triple-A team in Columbus and was previously the pitching coach for Cleveland and Seattle. He takes over after Juan Nieves was fired Thursday.

Boston’s 5.04 team ERA entering play Sunday is the worst in the American League

Willis joined his new team in Toronto and spoke to the pitchers before Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays. He acknowledged being more familiar with Boston’s coaching staff than he is with the pitchers.

“It’s going to take a little while for me to get up to speed,” Willis said. “Obviously I’ll be watching them in a whole different perspective now. I’ve asked them for a little bit of patience to allow me that time and I will connect with them.”

The 54-year-old Willis was a reliever for nine years in the majors, finishing in 1995. He knows Red Sox manager John Farrell and bench coach Torey Lovullo from their time together in the Cleveland organization. Batting coach Chili Davis was a big league teammate in Minnesota.

“That’s going to help me to get more comfortable, which I hope to do quickly,” Willis said.

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