Hernández, Jansen HR, Jays hold wild-card edge, rout Red Sox
TORONTO (AP) — Teoscar Hernández homered, doubled twice and singled, Danny Jansen drove in five runs and the Toronto Blue Jays moved one step closer to wrapping up the top spot in the AL wild-card race, routing the Boston Red Sox 10-0 Saturday.
The Blue Jays maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over Seattle atop the wild-card standings with four to play. The Mariners have five games remaining following their victory over Oakland. Seattle holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Ross Stripling and four relievers combined on a four-hitter as Toronto shut out the Red Sox for the second straight day. The Blue Jays blanked Boston 9-0 Friday night.
“For us to come out and take care of business like we have the last two days l think is pretty telling of where we are as a team and getting hot at the right time,” Stripling said.
Jansen homered, doubled and singled and Bo Bichette went 4 for 4 in his major league-leading 56th multi-hit game as Toronto opened October with a 21-hit outburst, delighting a sellout crowd of 44,612.
“This year, we’ve seen every pitcher against the Boston Red Sox really well and we’ve taken advantage,” Hernández said.
The Blue Jays are 15-3 against the Red Sox this season, matching the most wins they’ve ever had in a season against a single opponent. Toronto went 15-4 against Baltimore in 2002 and again in 2010.
Toronto’s 15 wins versus Boston are the most by any AL team against a division opponent this season. Houston won 14 of 19 meetings with Texas.
The Blue Jays have won eight straight over the Red Sox and 10 of the past 11.
“It’s been unreal, to be honest,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “They just have dominated us in every aspect. We talk about their offense, but we haven’t hit against them. We haven’t played well against them. There’s no excuses here.”
The Red Sox are 23-49 against AL East opponents.
“Next year we have to show up against the division,” Cora said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Stripling (10-4) allowed four hits and struck out three in six innings, reaching double-digit wins for the first time.
“It just seems like we’re clicking at the right time,” he said. “We’ve been streaky, we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve always said this team is too talented not to click and it just seems like it’s happening here at the right time.”
Anthony Bass worked the seventh, David Phelps pitched the eighth and Jordan Romano got two outs in the ninth before Adam Cimber came on and struck out Triston Casas to finish it.
Making his final start of the season, rookie right-hander Brayan Bello (2-8) allowed four runs and a career-high 10 hits in four innings.
“For everything that went wrong this year, that went right,” Cora said of Bello. “We feel that we’re in a great place with him.”
Jansen hit an RBI single in the second inning and doubled home two runs in the third.
Hernández and Jansen each hit a solo home run off Zack Kelly in the fifth. Hernández connected for the 23rd time, while Jansen’s homer was his 15th.
Blue Jays: Interim manager John Schneider said INF Santiago Espinal has “sped up” in his recovery from a strained left oblique. The Blue Jays hope Espinal and OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (left hamstring) will be able to return in the final series of the regular season at Baltimore next week.
The Red Sox reinstated RHP Kaleb Ort from the restricted list and recalled RHP Josh Winckowski from Triple-A Worcester. Boston optioned RHP Tyler Danish and OF Jarren Duran to Triple-A. Ort became eligible to come off the restricted list with the expiration Saturday of a Canadian requirement preventing foreign nationals who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 from entering the country.
Batting for Bichette in the seventh, infielder Otto Lopez got his first big league hit with a single up the middle. Lopez celebrated his 24th birthday Saturday.
Boston’s Xander Bogaerts went 0 for 4 with a strikeout on his 30th birthday.
RHP Michael Wacha (11-1, 3.06 ERA) starts for the Red Sox on Sunday against Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman. Wacha allowed season worsts of six earned runs and three homers against Baltimore in his previous start.
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