Sox win set with Jays, increase AL East lead

Sox win set with Jays, increase AL East lead

BOSTON -- There's no room for fatigue in a pennant race. Fresh off a 19-inning comeback win on Tuesday, the Red Sox were right back at it on Wednesday night, riding another stellar outing from Doug Fister and a balanced offensive attack to a 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays in the rubber game at Fenway Park.

The Sox (79-61) extended their lead to four games over the Yankees, who were rained out against the Orioles, in the American League East just two days after the lead was slimmed to 2 1/2 games.

"It's in our hands," Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "We just have to continue to play good baseball and control what we can control, and not worry about anything else."

Boston's bats came alive for four runs in the fourth, including a two-run homer by Bradley.

Fister allowed one run in the first. Over seven innings, the veteran righty gave up four hits while walking three and striking out nine. In seven starts since replacing the injured David Price in the rotation, Fister is 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA. This was the fourth straight start he has given up two earned runs or fewer.

"It's definitely a fun time of year," Fister said. "We're getting anxious for what may be to come, but the key is to just keep working every day. We have a job to do each and every day and the boys had a late night last night, pulled that one out, did very well, and came out tonight and fought through the game."

Farrell on Fister's great outing

Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers had two hits each to pace a nine-hit attack for the Red Sox.

"I think we came out with good energy," manager John Farrell said. "When we run the bases and have success like that, I think there's an energy that we draw from that, and I think at the same time it gives the opposition a lot more to contend with."

The only RBI for the Blue Jays was on a bases-loaded walk by Miguel Montero in the first. Right-hander Joe Biagini took the loss after he allowed five runs on six hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings. The subpar outing followed a seven-inning scoreless start vs. the Orioles as he continues to experience a lot of inconsistency in the rotation.

"I feel like my stuff can translate, I feel like I have made some good pitches, but it just wasn't as consistent as I would have liked," Biagini said. "I think that's just the theme of this whole season for me … I try to appreciate the opportunity, appreciate the chance to pitch and contribute. … But that's a good team that we're playing and there were some pitches here and there that could have been better."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bogaerts with key triple: With the game tied at 1 in the fourth, Xander Bogaerts sliced one into the corner in right for a triple that brought Mitch Moreland home from first. It was just the second extra-base hit for Bogaerts in his last 27 at-bats, and perhaps a sign that he's ready to get back into a groove following a prolonged slump.

Bogaerts' RBI triple

"Beautiful swing by Bogey," Farrell said.

Fister escapes first: The only time Fister looked shaky all night was the top of the first, when he allowed two hits and a pair of walks, the latter of which forced in a run. But with the bases loaded and two out, Fister got out of the 23-pitch inning allowing just the one run. More >

Fister's strong start

"First inning was a bit of a struggle for me," Fister said. "I was having trouble locating the sinker down and in to the lefties, and that kind of caused me some issues. I finally had to make some adjustments, I was getting a little leaky and getting in front of the plate too much. After that, I started figuring it out a little bit."

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Red Sox stole four bases to give them 29 against the Blue Jays in 16 games this season. It is the second-most steals by any team against the Blue Jays, topped only by the 1992 Brewers, who stole 32. Boston is 24-1 this season when it steals multiple bases.

The Blue Jays scored one run or fewer for the 27th time this season, dropping to 0-27 in those games.

WHAT'S NEXT
Blue Jays: After an off-day on Thursday, the Blue Jays open a three-game series against the Tigers at 7:07 p.m. ET on Friday night at Rogers Centre. Right-hander Marcus Stroman is tentatively projected to start, but he was struck on the right elbow by a line drive during his last start and has yet to be fully cleared to pitch. Toronto could move lefty Brett Anderson's start up one day if Stroman is unable to go.

Red Sox: Left-hander Drew Pomeranz will try to avenge his first loss since June 11 when the Red Sox open a three-game series against the Rays at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday night at Fenway Park. Pomeranz is 1-1 with a 6.08 ERA in three starts against the Rays this season.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.