TORONTO (AP) — Justin Smoak hasn’t been a lineup fixture for the power-laden Blue Jays, but his latest performance should earn him a little extra playing time.
Smoak homered from both sides of the plate, Mark Buehrle won his fourth straight decision and Toronto beat the Red Sox 11-2 on Wednesday, ending Boston’s winning streak at a season high-tying three.
Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson all connected and Jose Reyes had four hits as the Blue Jays scored more runs than they had in their previous four games combined, giving a Canada Day crowd of 45,392 plenty to cheer about.
“This is what we needed,” manager John Gibbons said. “We’ve been shut down the past few days.”
It was the third multihomer game of Smoak’s career and the second time he’s connected from both sides. He’s the sixth Blue Jays player to achieve the feat.
“It’s not easy,” said Smoak, a natural right-hander. “I’ve probably been working a lot more left-handed than right-handed.”. Smoak has been limited to pinch-hitting and defensive replacement duties for much of the season, with 115 at bats in 62 games.
“We’ll get him back in,” Gibbons said. “I believe he deserves it after today.”
The Blue Jays scored 10 or more runs for the 14th time, their highest total since doing it 14 times in all of 2009. It’s awesome,” Smoak said. “Best offense in the game.”
Toronto scored five in the first, the majors-leading 30th time this season they’ve scored four or more in an inning.
Buehrle (9-4) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He hasn’t lost since May 23 against Seattle.
Encarnacion hit a three-run homer off Rick Porcello (4-9) in the first and Smoak added a two-run drive into the second deck in right.
Bautista snapped an 0-for-25 slump with a two-run shot in the second, the 16th home run allowed by Porcello this season.
“When he elevates, he’s not getting away with any mistakes and that was the case again today,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Porcello allowed seven runs and seven hits in two innings, his shortest start of the season. He’s 0-7 with a 8.18 ERA in eight starts since beating Seattle on May 16. “I’m not doing a good job of executing pitches in pressure situations,” Porcello said.
Farrell wouldn’t say whether Porcello would make his next scheduled start, but noted that Boston is off next Monday and Thursday, meaning the rotation could be juggled heading into the All-Star break. “We haven’t even begun to map out next week,” Farrell said.
Batting from the right side, Smoak made it 8-0 with a fourth-deck drive off left-hander Robbie Ross in the third.
Boston outfielder Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup after missing the past six games with a sore left hand, suffered when he was hit by teammate Xander Bogaerts’ line drive in last Wednesday’s win over Baltimore. Ramirez went 1 for 3 with a triple.
Mookie Betts hit a solo homer off Aaron Loup in the eighth but Donaldson answered with his 19th in the bottom half, a two-run drive off Jonathan Aro.
The Blue Jays marked Canada’s 148th birthday by wearing red maple leaf caps and jerseys with red lettering. The Red Sox also honored Canada Day with a Canadian flag on the right sleeve of their jerseys.
Former Boston Bruins coach and TV personality Don Cherry threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson. Cherry has been a vocal supporter of Donaldson’s All-Star candidacy.
Betts lost track of the number of outs in the sixth, throwing home after catching Encarnacion’s fly ball for the third out. “There’s no excuse for that,” Farrell said. “Losing track of the outs in the inning, it can’t be accepted.”
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (right hamstring) is scheduled to take batting practice Thursday. … INF Brock Holt got the day off. … C Ryan Hanigan (broken right hand) was late arriving in Toronto after bad weather delayed his flight, and was not activated off the 60-day DL. He’s expected to be activated Thursday.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (strained back muscle) worked off a mound Wednesday for the first time since June 5. Sanchez is rehabbing at Toronto’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida. … Toronto reinstated INF Steve Tolleson (left groin) from the 15-day disabled list and designated him for assignment.
Red Sox: LHP Wade Miley (7-7, 4.38 ERA) seeks his third win in four starts. Miley lost his lone appearance against the Blue Jays this season, giving up four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 7-0 defeat at Toronto on May 8.
Blue Jays: LHP Matt Boyd makes his second career start. Boyd allowed four runs, including three solo homers, in a 4-0 loss to Texas on June 27.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.