Pierzynski slam beats Blue Jays

IAN HARRISON Associated Press Published:

TORONTO (AP) -- Boston's Clay Buchholz looked like he was heading for another forgettable outing. Instead, he found his form and picked up his first victory of the season.

A.J. Pierzynski hit his eighth career grand slam, Will Middlebrooks added a solo home run and the Red Sox held on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 on Saturday.

Buchholz (1-2) survived a shaky first inning to win for the first time in five starts. The right-hander allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, bouncing back from a bad start against Baltimore last Monday in which he allowed six runs in 2 1-3 innings.

After working on his delivery between starts, Buchholz was eager to try out the refinements. A little too eager, in fact.

"I was almost too amped up for the start today at the beginning," Buchholz said. "Everything was up and I wasn't finishing many pitches."

Once he settled down, Buchholz retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.

"The first couple of innings were rough and then he really got in a good groove," Middlebrooks said.

Buchholz, who walked three and struck out three, is 8-2 with a 1.72 ERA in 11 career starts at Toronto.

Jose Bautista and Juan Francisco hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays, who have lost a season-high four straight games.

Middlebrooks has five home runs and 10 extra base hits in 13 career games at Toronto's Rogers Centre. He had a three-homer game against the Blue Jays on April 7, 2013.

Junichi Tazawa replaced Buchholz to begin the eighth but gave up a leadoff homer to Francisco. Back-to-back singles and a fielder's choice put runners at the corners for pinch hitter Edwin Encarnacion, who hit an RBI single. Chris Capuano replaced Tazawa and struck out pinch hitter Jonathan Diaz before walking Jose Reyes to load the bases. Koji Uehara came on and ended the inning by getting Melky Cabrera to fly out.

Uehara gave up Bautista's leadoff homer in the ninth but got Encarnacion to fly out with men at first and second for his fifth save in as many chances.

"He had just enough to hang on for the four outs today," Farrell said.

Bautista was the last player to connect against Uehara, taking him deep on June 30, 2013.

Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow (1-2) issued a career-worst eight walks in 22⁄3 innings, allowing four runs without giving up a hit.

"I let down the team in a big way today," Morrow said. "It's embarrassing to not be able to command your fastball."

YANKEES 4, ANGELS 3

NEW YORK -- John Ryan Murphy hit his first big league homer and drove in three runs, Dellin Betances earned his first win in the majors and the New York Yankees bounced back to beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-3.

David Robertson posted his first save since coming off the disabled list. Mike Trout singled with one out in a nervy ninth and stole second, but Robertson retired Albert Pujols on a flyball and struck out Howie Kendrick to end it.

NATIONALS 4, PADRES 0

WASHINGTON -- Injuries last year thrust Tanner Roark into an unlikely spot in the talented starting rotation of the Washington Nationals. The way the right-hander pitched, his slot in the rotation may be as secure as any of the Nationals' more heralded stars.

Roark pitched a three-hitter for the first complete game of his career as the Washington Nationals shut out the San Diego Padres 4-0.

PIRATES 6, CARDINALS

ST. LOUIS -- Gaby Sanchez had two RBIs in a four-run fourth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen worked seven strong innings after starter Francisco Liriano left with flu-like symptoms and dizziness in a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Matt Holliday had an RBI double for the Cardinals, who have mustered five runs in their last six games. They got three hits and a run in seven innings off five Pittsburgh relievers.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.