MLB

Blue Jays beat Red Sox after 3-run homer by George Springer in 8th inning

An eighth-inning, three-run homer from George Springer provided the Blue Jays with the perfect ending to their triumphant 10-day, 11-game Rogers Centre return.

It only was 7th time in 40 games Toronto rallied to win after trailing after 7 innings

George Springer's blast to the second deck in left field pushed his team to a 9-8 victory and three wins in the four-game series. (John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports)

Blue Jays outfielder George Springer had one thought stepping up to the plate in the eighth inning with two outs, moments before he would slam his dramatic game-winning three-run homer against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

"I wanted to get Vladdy up," Springer said, referring to Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who bats second behind Springer in the lineup. "Somehow, I had to get to first base because he's having a big year."

Instead, Springer knocked a 2-2 fastball into the second deck to give the Blue Jays a come-from-behind 9-8 victory and three wins in the essential four-game set against their division rivals.

The homer was Springer's fifth of the Blue Jays 10-day, 11-game tour of duty at Rogers Centre after a 22-month absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blue Jays enjoyed a 9-2 mark in the return to their home field, significant because they went a middling 10-11 in Dunedin, FLA and 12-11 in Buffalo in the two parks they were forced to call home earlier this season.

"Obviously, to get to play in front of our fans has given us a boost," said Toronto starter Hyun Jin Ryu, who struggled and lasted only 3.2 innings to match his shortest effort of the season.

Springer missed a significant part of the first half with a quadriceps ailment. But he has found his form lately and was named the American League player of the week for July 26 to Aug. 1.

"We just fought and battled and scratched and clawed all day," Springer said. "It's an indescribable feeling for sure."

The Blue Jays were down 7-2 after four innings after the Red Sox sent eight batters to the plate in both the second and fourth innings and scored three runs on each occasion.

To arrive at Springer's dramatic moment, Guerrero smacked his 35th homer of the season, a two-run blast in the fifth inning. The Blue Jays then scored two more in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly from Marcus Semien and an RBI single to centre field from Teoscar Hernandez.

In the eighth inning, Blue Jays infielder Breyvic Valera stroked a one-out single. Then, after Santiago Espinal flew out to right, catcher Reese McGuire gave the crowd of 14,766 something to cheer about with a game-saving at-bat.

He took a call second strike for a 3-and-2 count. McGuire then fouled off three fastballs before he walked, leaving the stage for Springer's 13th dinger off Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes (6-4).

"For him to fight off some pitches and ultimately get to first base was huge," Spring said. "It shouldn't be overshadowed because that was the at-bat of the game."

Springer's homer provided the Blue Jays with only their seventh come-from-behind win in 40 games they have trailed after seven innings.

"That game tells you everything about the heart of our team," an excited Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.

The Blue Jays (60-50) were eight games behind the Red Sox (65-49) at the all-star break. But now Toronto has pulled to within four games of its division rivals.

Boston, led by J.D. Martinez's four hits, wound up with 16 hits to Toronto's 10 for the afternoon.

Ryu, hoping to win an AL-leading 12th game, stated he struggled with his command.

Rafael Dolis (2-3), the fourth of five pitchers used by Montoyo, pitched an effective 1.1 innings, allowing one hit for the win.

Canadian Jordan Romano enjoyed a one-two-three ninth inning for his 10th save.

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