Berríos Goes 7 Innings, Guerrero Hits 3-Run Hr As Blue Jays Halt Slump, Beat Red Sox 3-0

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates his three-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates his three-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
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TORONTO (AP) — José Berríos and two relievers combined on a five-hitter, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run home run and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0 Friday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Berríos (11-10) allowed all five hits and struck out eight over seven sharp innings as the Blue Jays bounced back after being swept in a four-game series against AL wild-card rival Texas.

“We’re pretty good at turning the page,” Guerrero said through a translator. “It was a tough series against the Rangers but we turned the page.”

Toronto came in 1 1/2 games behind Seattle for the third wild-card spot.

Jordan Hicks worked the eighth and Jordan Romano finished Toronto’s 14th shutout, earning his 35th save in 38 chances. Seattle led the AL with 15 shutouts entering play Friday.

On the day baseball celebrated Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, fellow Puerto Rican Berríos delivered his sixth scoreless outing of the season.

“Tonight was one of those nights you have everything working in your favor,” Berríos said.

Berríos beat Boston at home for the first time in seven career opportunities. He has won back-to-back decisions after losing his previous three.

“That’s probably the best I’ve seen him throughout the years,” Puerto Rican-born Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Berríos. “He was pretty good today, stuff-wise.”

None of the three Blue Jays pitchers allowed a walk.

Toronto has won six of its past nine meetings against AL East opponents.

Justin Turner had two hits for the Red Sox, but Boston lost its fourth straight against Toronto after winning the first seven meetings this season.

The Red Sox (74-74) have lost eight of 10 and are at .500 for the first time since they were 43-43 on July 4. With the Yankees beating Pittsburgh, Boston dropped into last place in the AL East

Guerrero homered for the second straight game when he went deep on the first pitch he saw from Boston right-hander Brayan Bello in the third. Guerrero’s two-out drive was his team-leading 23rd.

“When you can hit a home run with guys on, with traffic, it’s a momentum shifter,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.

It was the fifth time this season and the 20th time in his career that Guerrero has homered in back-to-back games.

Bello (12-9) allowed three runs and four hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out a career-high 10, fanning the final three batters he faced.

“If you take away Vladdy’s pitch, my outing was great,” Bello said through a translator. “I was able to locate the pitches where I wanted to.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: 1B Triston Casas was scratched from the lineup because of a sore right shoulder.

BERRÍOS VS BOSTON

Berríos is 3-6 all-time against the Red Sox. Two of the wins have come this season.

ON THE LEVEL

The Red Sox are 36-36 away from Fenway Park.

ROSTER MOVES

Red Sox: Boston optioned LHP Brandon Walter to Triple-A Worcester and recalled RHP Chris Murphy from Triple-A.

Blue Jays: Toronto optioned RHP Bowden Francis to Triple-A Buffalo and recalled RHP Nate Pearson from the Bisons.

UP NEXT

RHP Chris Bassitt (14-8, 3.83 ERA) is expected to start for the Blue Jays on Saturday against Red Sox LHP Chris Sale (6-4, 4.88).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb