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Davis' brilliance on the bases sparks Blue Jays

Wednesday - 8/14/2013, 11:54pm  ET

Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Kevin Pillar makes diving catch of a ball hit by Boston Red Sox' Jonny Gomes during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

IAN HARRISON
Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) -- Rajai Davis' brilliance on the basepaths paid off big time for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Brett Lawrie singled home Davis with the winning run in the 10th inning and Toronto beat Boston 4-3 on Wednesday, handing the AL East-leading Red Sox their fourth loss in six games.

Earlier, Davis circled the bases to score Toronto's opening run, taking advantage of two Red Sox throwing errors.

"He gets on and you can't stop him, really," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's a special guy. He can do a little bit everything."

Davis went 3 for 5 with two doubles and scored twice.

Red Sox manager John Farrell knows all about Davis' speed after managing him with the Blue Jays the previous two seasons.

"He's a force when he gets on the basepaths," Farrell said. "He's disruptive."

Brad Lincoln (1-1) worked 1 1-3 innings as the Blue Jays recovered to win after Boston's Mike Napoli hit a game-tying, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth.

Toronto's sixth walk-off win of the season snapped a five-game losing streak against AL East opponents.

Davis hustled into second for a leadoff double against Brandon Workman (3-2) to begin the 10th and went to third on Jose Bautista's grounder. Edwin Encarnacion was intentionally walked to bring up Lawrie, who lined a two-strike pitch off the glove of shortstop Stephen Drew, bringing Davis home with the winning run.

"I was just looking to put it in play because I knew who was at third base," Lawrie said. "Any ball you can put in play, you know he's going to have a good chance to score."

Drew said Lawrie's liner knuckled on him at the last second.

"Kind of unfortunate. I thought I had a bead on it and at the very end it started taking off on me," Drew said. "It hit the very end of the web. At first, off the bat, I thought I might be able to catch it out of the air real quick, but there was no shot."

David Ortiz also homered for Boston with a solo blast in the sixth, his 23rd.

Trailing 3-1 with two outs in the ninth, the Red Sox tied it with Napoli's shot off Brett Cecil, who was pitching because closer Casey Janssen had worked the previous two days.

The ninth began with Ortiz thrown out by Cecil after trying for a bunt single. Jonny Gomes walked and Drew struck out before Napoli, dropped to seventh in the order, snapped a 0-for-16 slump by connecting for his first homer since July 24.

"Hopefully that puts him in a good frame of mind," Red Sox starter Jon Lester said. "He should be pumped about that, he should be excited."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled, Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch and Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an infield single to load the bases before Lincoln replaced Cecil and got Shane Victorino to fly out.

Demoted to the bullpen last week after his ninth consecutive winless start, Blue Jays right-hander Esmil Rogers returned to the rotation in place of Josh Johnson, who's sidelined with a sore right forearm.

Pitching on his 28th birthday, Rogers allowed one run and five hits in six innings, only to have Napoli's late homer deny him his first win since June 18. He walked one and struck out six.

"I think my pitches tonight were unbelievable," Rogers said. "It was not only my slider. My sinker was good, and my fastball command was unbelievable."

Gibbons said Rogers will remain in the rotation to face the Yankees in a doubleheader at New York next Tuesday.

The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the third, when Davis hit an infield single off Lester's leg. He went all the way to third when Lester's errant throw ended up in foul territory, then scored when Victorino's throw hit Davis and rolled behind third base.

"I was hoping I could just get to first," Davis said. "They made an errant throw and after that I just went to run."

Toronto added another run in the fourth. Encarnacion hit a leadoff double and scored when Mark DeRosa blooped a double just beyond the reach of first baseman Napoli.

Ortiz hit a one-out blast off Rogers in the sixth, but the Blue Jays answered in the bottom half when Encarnacion hit another leadoff double and scored on a two-out double by J.P. Arencibia.

Ortiz has 32 career home runs at Rogers Centre, his most at any stadium other then Fenway Park.

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