TORONTO – Marcus Stroman has been saddled with little run support in most of his starts this season. Rowdy Tellez made sure that wasn’t the case Tuesday night.
Tellez stroked two homers and drove in five runs as the Toronto Blue Jays dumped the Boston Red Sox 10-3 at Rogers Centre. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Randal Grichuk and Freddy Galvis scored two runs apiece while Stroman worked into the seventh inning for his second victory.
“I knew guys would break out at some point,” Stroman said. “I’m not really worried about the run support. It’s a really long year. I have a lot of faith in my guys each and every time out.”
Stroman entered play with a major-league low average of 1.55 runs of support per nine innings. He had difficulty with control at times over his 105-pitch outing — walking six — but struck out four and allowed one earned run and five hits.
“For us as an offence, it’s good to go out there and play well behind a good start from one of our top pitchers,” said Tellez, who had his first career multi-homer game.
Grichuk had a solo homer for the Blue Jays, who outhit Boston 11-7. Toronto has won three of its last five games.
Stroman (2-6) worked a 1-2-3 first inning and did well to escape the next two frames. Xander Bogaerts reached third base in the second before Stroman got Christian Vasquez to hit a comebacker to retire the side.
The Red Sox loaded the bases in the third but the Toronto right-hander fanned Mitch Moreland and Bogaerts, punctuating the last strikeout with a shimmy-shake as he trotted to the dugout.
“I know I’m not scared to face anybody at any time,” Stroman said. “I’m able to bear down and make big pitches in big moments to kind of get me out of big spots. I was able to do that today.”
Guerrero singled off lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3) to lead off the fourth and came across on Tellez’s no-doubt blast inside the right-field foul screen. Grichuk followed with a blast just inside the other foul screen for his eighth homer of the year.
The Blue Jays (20-28) struck for three more runs in the fifth inning and Guerrero sparked the rally once again. He hit a two-out single and Justin Smoak walked before Tellez belted his eighth home run of the year.
The only other time Tellez had gone deep off a southpaw in the big leagues was an April 23 game against San Francisco’s Tony Watson.
“I’m just glad (manager) Charlie (Montoyo) gives me every opportunity to face them,” Tellez said. “I’m just trying to take advantage of it. It just does a lot for my confidence when he throws me in the lineup and lets me face them. Good things can happen. I’m just excited I got that done.”
The Red Sox (25-23) got to Stroman in the sixth inning as Moreland led off with a solo shot, his 13th homer of the season.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, lasted five innings, giving up six hits, six earned runs and two walks while striking out five.
“Just missing location and throwing the wrong pitch at the wrong time, that’s what I think,” he said.
Tyler Thornburg struggled in relief, giving up two walks, two singles and two earned runs before finally getting an out. He loaded the bases before catching Tellez looking for the strikeout.
Brandon Drury hit a two-run double in the seventh to push Toronto’s run total to double digits. Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr., hit solo homers for Boston in the eighth inning.
Announced attendance was 14,407 and the game took three hours 17 minutes to play.
Notes: After getting a much-discussed rest day in the series opener, Guerrero was 2-for-5 with an error. … Right-handers will square off Wednesday as Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez (3-4, 3.88 earned-run average) takes on Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.80). Neither team has confirmed its starter for Thursday’s series finale. … Before the game, the Blue Jays placed right-hander Ryan Tepera on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow impingement and called up right-hander Jimmy Cordero from triple-A Buffalo.
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