BOSTON — David Ortiz hit his 498th career home run, a three-run shot to cap a four-run third inning, and the Boston Red Sox beat AL East-leading Toronto 10-4 on Wednesday night, sending the Blue Jays to just their second series loss since late July.
Mookie Betts had a solo homer and drove in three runs, and Ryan Hanigan had three hits and three RBIs for Boston, which posted its ninth win in 13 games by taking two of three from Toronto.
Despite the loss, the Blue Jays maintained a 1 1-2 game lead over New York, which lost 5-3 to Baltimore. Toronto heads to Yankee Stadium for a four-game series, beginning Thursday night.
The Blue Jays are 28-9 since July 30, going 9-2-1 in 12 series.
Joe Kelly (10-6) won his eighth consecutive start, the longest stretch by a Boston pitcher since Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez won nine straight in 1999.
Ortiz drove a 2-0 fastball from Drew Hutchison (13-4) into the bleachers in
Kelly gave up one run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single and reached base for a club-record 39th straight game, surpassing Carlos Delgado’s 38 in 1998. Chris Colabello hit a three-run homer.
Hutchison was tagged for six runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings for his second straight rough outing. He gave up six runs in five innings in a loss at Baltimore last Friday.
Betts and Hanigan had RBI doubles in the fourth. Hanigan’s two-run double keyed a four-run fifth.
Betts had an overturned replay review for his homer.
Blue Jays: LHP Mark Buehrle was back after
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia was in the lineup for the second straight day after missing seven weeks with a strained right groin. He was 1 for 5. . 3B Pablo Sandoval left in the sixth inning with back tightness.
Blue Jays: LHP David Price (14-5) is set to start the opener of a four-game series against New York RHP Luis Severino (3-2) on Thursday. Price is 5-1 since being acquired from Detroit in late July.
Red Sox: They are off Thursday. LHP Wade Miley (11-10) is scheduled to face Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer (12-11) when Boston opens a nine-game trip on Friday.
Ken Powtak, The Associated Press