Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and AJ Pierzynski all batted in two runs, and Xander Bogaerts broke a drought of 19 at-bats without a hit with an eighth-inning homer to cap the Red Sox’s scoring at Fenway Park.
Boston remain eight games behind the lead in the American League’s East division, with the Toronto Blue Jays setting the pace after chalking up their 40th win of the season.
Juan Francisco’s two-run blast sent the Blue Jays on their way to a 4-0 shutout of rivals the Baltimore Orioles, despite having just four hits to their opponents’ nine.
The Blue Jays remain 3.5 games clear of the New York Yankees, who were big 7-0 winners over the Oakland Athletics.
The Tampa Bay Rays found some form, stringing together two straight wins with a 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros.
The Kansas City Royals are within 1.5 games of AL Central leaders the Detroit Tigers after Friday’s matches.
The Royals beat rivals the Chicago White Sox 7-2 for their fifth straight success, while the Tigers were shut out 2-0 by the Minnesota Twins.
The Los Angeles Angels did not make the Athletics pay for their defeat, as they were humbled 4-3 by the Atlanta Braves.
The Seattle Mariners have lost four straight, after getting edged by the Texas Rangers 1-0 in an all-West battle.
The Washington Nationals’ 1-0 loss to the St Louis Cardinals saw them slip to a level record with the Braves at the helm of the National League’s East division.
The two sides are level with 35-31 win-loss records.
One game behind the pair are the Miami Marlins, who fell to an 8-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates through 13 innings.
The New York Mets were too good for the San Diego Padres 6-2, while the Philadelphia Phillies were beaten 2-1 by the Chicago Cubs.
NL Central pace-setters the Milwaukee Brewers were edged 6-5 by rivals the Cincinnati Reds, who won their third match on the spin.
A five-run ninth inning helped the Colorado Rockies overcome the San Francisco Giants 7-4 and the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3.
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