TORONTO — J.D. Martinez drove in the tiebreaking run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Wednesday night, avoiding a three-game sweep.
“It’s a big one,” Martinez said. “We lost that one last night. To avoid the sweep at this point was a big one.”
Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer and had four RBIs, and Franchy Cordero had his first career four-hit game as Boston bounced back from Tuesday’s 6-5 defeat to win for the third time in 10 meetings with Toronto this season.
“It’s been hard to win here,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
The Red Sox, who are off Thursday, went 20-6 in June, their most wins in the month since going 20-9 in 1990.
“We played some solid baseball,” Cora said. “We gained some ground. We put ourselves in the playoff hunt.”
With automatic runner Jackie Bradley Jr. at second base to start the 10th, Blue Jays right-hander David Phelps (0-2) walked Rob Refsnyder and Rafael Devers to load the bases for Martinez, who was hitless in his previous 13 at-bats.
Bradley scored when Phelps hit Martinez in the back with a 1-2 pitch.
Martinez had a circular red welt on his back in the clubhouse afterward, but didn’t seem to mind.
“It was worth it,” he said.
Matt Strahm (3-2) struck out Bo Bichette and Guerrero in the ninth, but gave up an RBI single to Santiago Espinal and an RBI double to Cavan Biggio in the 10th. Strahm ended it by getting George Springer to fly out.
Both benches and both bullpens cleared after Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta hit Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk on the left elbow in the third. After Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo left the dugout, Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hopped the dugout fence and started yelling at Pivetta, who yelled back. Devers stepped in front of Guerrero as other…