BOSTON (AP) — Rafael Devers hit an RBI single with one out in the ninth inning and the struggling Boston Red Sox rallied for a 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday for their first home victory of the season.
The win came in a game in which Ted Williams’ historic 502-foot home run was seemingly challenged by a Blue Jays homer.
Devers had his first career walk-off RBI.
Marcus Walden pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second victory of the season.
The loss went to Ken Giles (0-1), who gave up two runs, two hits and walked three in the ninth, ending his streak of 34 consecutive converted save opportunities dating to Sept. 12, 2017. It was the longest active streak in the majors.
The Blue Jays took a 5-0 lead in the third inning with a pair of home runs off Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi.
The Red Sox battled back and tied the game when Mitch Moreland homered in the seventh. After Freddy Galvis put Toronto back in front with a solo home run in the eighth as part of a four-hit night, Moreland tied it again in the ninth with a one-out double that scored Mookie Betts.
Giles intentionally walked J.D. Martinez. Then, pinch runner Eduardo Nunez stole third, putting runners at the corners. Xander Bogaerts walked to load the bases, setting up Devers’ hit.
Justin Smoak got the scoring going for Toronto. With two on in the third, he roped Eovaldi’s two-out, 99 mph fastball over the center field wall. Then, after Randal Grichuk walked, Rowdy Tellez hit an Eovaldi cutter that landed in the right field bleachers.
The homer was initially measured by Statcast at 505 feet, making it the longest home run in Fenway Park history, 3-feet beyond than the homer by Williams in 1946. The landing spot for that one is marked with a special red seat.
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But an eyeball test seemed to show it landed shorter than Williams’ famed round-tripper. A message left with Major League Baseball seeking clarification was not immediately returned. The 505-foot distance originally posted for the Tellez homer was later taken off Statcast’s website.
Red Sox: Left-hander Brian Johnson (left elbow inflammation) continues to receive treatment, but currently is being restricted from all baseball activities. OF/INF Brock Holt saw a doctor for the scratched cornea in his right eye on Tuesday.
SALE TO REST, FACE YANKEES
Manager Alex Cora said he is pushing back ace Chris Sale’s next scheduled start on Monday in what would be the series finale against the Orioles. Sale instead will get two extra days of rest and is expected to be on the mound Tuesday when the Red Sox visit the Yankees.
SALUTE TO BUCHHOLZ
The Red Sox played a tribute video for Blue Jays pitcher Clay Buchholz between the first and second inning. Selected by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2005 draft, the right-hander spent the first 10 major league seasons in Boston, winning World Series rings in 2007 and 2013. He also tossed a no-hitter against the Orioles in his second career start in 2007.
Blue Jays: Trent Thornton (0-0, 1.69 ERA) will start Friday when Toronto returns home to host the Rays. He has a team record 15 strikeouts through his first two major league games.
Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (0-2, 12.38 ERA) is set to start Friday as Boston opens a four-game series with Baltimore. Rodriguez has a 6-5 record and 3.74 ERA in 15 career outings against the Orioles at Fenway.
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AP freelancer Gethin Coolbaugh contributed to this story.
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