BOSTON (AP) — Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer, Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in three runs and Jon Lester pitched a solid six innings to carry the Boston Red Sox to an 8-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
The win gave Boston consecutive victories for the first time this season. The Red Sox began the day 3-10, the worst record in the major leagues, and can win the series against Toronto when Daisuke Matsuzaka faces Ricky Romero in the traditional Patriots Day game today.
Lester (1-1) gave up one run, six hits and three walks while striking out five. He was pulled with two on and no outs in the seventh after an error by shortstop Jed Lowrie. Daniel Bard relieved and Juan Rivera lined into a double play before Yunel Escobar struck out.
Bobby Jenks struck out J.P. Arencibia to end the eighth with two runners on base, and Dan Wheeler got the final three outs to secure the win.
Arencibia had two hits for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of their last 10.
Boston trailed 1-0 before getting four straight hits off Jesse Litsch (1-1) in the second inning. Saltalamacchia’s RBI single tied it after Lowrie and J.D. Drew singled. Ellsbury then belted his homer to right field, a drive that twisted around the Pesky Pole for his team-leading third of the season.
Litsch, making his third start since shoulder surgery last August, allowed six runs — four earned — on eight hits, while striking out five and walking one in six innings.
Saltalamacchia, who entered the day hitting just .138 with two RBIs, added a two-run single in the sixth to make it 6-1. The Red Sox added two runs in the eighth off Shawn Camp.
The Blue Jays, relying on stolen bases at a higher rate this season, used some clever baserunning to grab a 1-0 lead in the second. With Rivera on first, Aaron Hill on third and two outs, Rivera broke for second. Saltalamacchia threw to second, Rivera stopped and Hill raced home before Rivera was tagged out after a rundown.
Carl Crawford, given the day off Saturday to help him relax during his tough start with the Red Sox, was back in the lineup and leading off Sunday. He didn’t hit the ball out of the infield, going 0 for 4 to drop his average to .127.
The left fielder signed a seven-year, $142-millon contract during the offseason.
Notes: Toronto swiped two bases to raise its total to 21. … Lester had to scurry off the mound as the jagged edge of Escobar’s broken bat came bouncing at him in the fourth. … Lowrie was back in the lineup, batting sixth and playing shortstop after hitting leadoff with a two-run homer in Saturday’s win. “Jed’s so hot right now, I don’t know how you can keep a guy like that out,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. He went 1 for 4 with an RBI on his 27th birthday. … Toronto’s Corey Patterson had gone 0 for 7 in the series — three on diving plays on grounders by Boston 1B Adrian Gonzalez on Saturday — before a double in the third. He entered the weekend 7 for 17 after coming off the DL on April 11. … Today’s game starts at 11:05 a.m.

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