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Blue Jays squander early lead to Red Sox while Guerrero Jr. shines in Buffalo


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.

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.

Guerrero Jr. looking the part of top prospect

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has played long enough since returning from an oblique injury that Buffalo Bisons manager Bobby Meacham said that at this point it’s all about assessing quality of play, not health.

The Toronto Blue Jays moved their top prospect from Class A Dunedin to triple-A Buffalo in time to start a four-game International League series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Pennsylvania on Thursday night.

“I’m not really watching for any injury, I’m just watching for how he’s progressing, just as a player,” Meacham said before the series opener when Guerrero batted third as the designated hitter. “We want to make sure what he started to do last year continues on to this year.”

Guerrero looked the part with a three-run homer and an RBI double as the Bisons lost to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 9-8 on Thursday in 10 innings. He was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. In 280 professional games coming in to Thursday’s game, the six-foot-two, 250-pound power hitter had walked (147) more often than he’s struck out (137).

Guerrero played four times in six days in Dunedin and had Wednesday off to travel. Following rehab plans from the organization’s medical staff, Meacham said Guerrero will play again Friday as the starting third baseman.

Guerrero hit .381 with a .437 on-base percentage and .636 slugging percentage a year ago across four minor-league clubs. He had a 20-homer season as a teenager.

Guerrero took groundballs at third base during the Bisons batting practice Thursday.

Guerrero batted .336 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 30 games with Buffalo last season. He started this season 4-for-15 (.267) with Dunedin in the Florida State League where he had a double, two runs and an RBI.

Read more at CBC.ca