O'Neill hits 2 of Boston's 4 home runs as Red Sox beat Blue Jays 7-3 for 6th victory in 8 games

TORONTO (AP) — Tyler O’Neill hit two of Boston’s four home runs, fellow Canadian Nick Pivetta pitched seven innings and the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 on Monday night for their sixth win in eight games.

One day after setting a team record with nine stolen bases, the Red Sox slugged their way to victory by going deep four times off Yusei Kikuchi, matching his career worst.

Boston didn’t steal any bases, but Romy Gonzalez was caught stealing twice.

Gonzalez got caught in a rundown and was tagged out at third base in the fourth inning. Toronto used video replay to overturn a safe call at third on Boston’s double-steal attempt in the eighth.

Pivetta (4-4) allowed three runs and nine hits. He walked one and struck out four.

“It’s always very exciting for me to pitch in my home country,” Pivetta said. “My mom was here today with my aunt, so I think that’s really great. I was happy that we could put the win together and have a good day.”

O’Neill and Pivetta were both born in the western province of British Columbia.

“It’s always fun coming back home and breathing that northern air, just being up here for a little bit,” O’Neill said.

Brad Keller got five outs but exited after two Blue Jays reached in the ninth. Kenley Jansen came on and retired Davis Schneider for his 12th save in 13 chances.

Boston’s first four hits were all solo homers. O’Neill and Rafael Devers hit back-to-back shots with two outs in the first.

“Offensively, we came out hot,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “The two homers put us in a good spot.”

Ceddanne Rafaela homered to begin the third and O’Neill launched his second two outs later.

O’Neill’s homers were his 13th and 14th. It was his second multi-homer game of the season and the seventh of his career.

“It’s a better lineup when he’s playing,” Cora said.

O’Neill came in 0 for 9 in his only two previous games in Toronto but turned that around in his first two trips to the plate. He grounded out to end the fifth, was intentionally walked in the seventh and hit into a double play in the ninth.

Devers hit his 14th home run. Ceddanne’s was his eighth.

The Red Sox have scored five runs or more eight times in 12 games. Boston is 27-15 when hitting at least one home run, and 11-20 without one.

Kikuchi (4-6) permitted five runs and seven hits in four innings. He walked none and struck out seven.

“Just an abnormal start for Yusei with his stuff tonight,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.

The left-hander hadn’t allowed more than one home run in any of his previous 14 starts this season. He last gave up four against Houston on Aug. 2, 2019, his rookie season with Seattle.

Justin Turner reached base three times and hit a solo home run for Toronto, his first since April 29.

Davis Schneider also homered for the Blue Jays, his ninth.


Boston activated Gonzalez (left hamstring) from the 10-day injured list and optioned INF/OF Jamie Westbrook to Triple-A Worcester.

Toronto put RHP Yimi García (elbow) on the 15-day IL and selected the contract of LHP Brandon Eisert from Triple-A Buffalo.


Red Sox: SS David Hamilton exited after three innings because of discomfort on his left side. He was replaced by Enmanuel Valdez. “We were proactive, so hopefully not an IL stint,” Cora said of Hamilton. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette (right calf) sat out for the third straight game.


RHP Chris Bassitt (6-6, 3.56 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays on Tuesday night against Red Sox RHP Tanner Houck (7-5, 2.08).



Ian Harrison, The Associated Press