SPORTS

Smoak's two home runs lead Blue Jays' onslaught in 11-2 win over Red Sox

07/01/2015 03:42 EDT | Updated 07/01/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Justin Smoak loves being a part of the Toronto Blue Jays' offence, no matter what his role.

Smoak hit two home runs with three runs batted in and Toronto cruised to an 11-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.

"It's awesome. Best offence in the game," said Smoak, who was drafted by the Rangers in 2008. "I feel like in 2010 when I was with Texas, being in that offence, it was really good but this one's a lot better than that one."

The Rangers scored 787 runs in 2010, fourth best in the American League that season, on the way to an AL championship. Toronto has 435 runs so far this year, by far the most in Major League Baseball.

Smoak's role has changed from his time in Texas to now, going from being an every day player to only occasionally starting.

"It's new to me. It's not easy," said Smoak. "There's a lot of work behind the scenes and getting ready during the game and ready for any situation. It's something I'm trying to adjust to."

Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson also hit home runs for Toronto (42-38), ending a small two-game skid. Jose Reyes had four hits and three runs batting leadoff for the Blue Jays.

Mark Buehrle (9-4) pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits. The left-hander struck out seven with 106 pitches. Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil came in in relief.

"I can't complain, I've had a fair amount of runs scored for me this year which makes it a lot easier to pitch," said Buehrle. "I just try to go out there and throw up zeroes and hold them down as much as you can, give our offence a chance."

Mookie Betts had a late home run for Boston (36-44), while Hanley Ramirez had a triple and scored. The Red Sox had a three-game win streak come to an end.

Rick Porcello (4-9) had a tough afternoon, giving up seven runs on seven hits including three homers in just two innings of work. Robbie Ross Jr. and Jonathan Aro came out of the bullpen for the Red Sox. Ross allowed a run, while Aro gave up three.

Encarnacion got the Blue Jays started with his 17th home run of the season, a three-run shot to deep left field that drove in Reyes and Donaldson for a 3-0 Toronto lead.

Smoak made it 5-0 two at-bats later, driving in Canadian catcher Russell Martin with a home run just inside the right-field foul pole.

It was Toronto's eighth multi home run inning of the season and the Blue Jays' Major League-leading 30th inning with four or more runs.

Bautista snapped an 0-for-25 hitless skid in the second inning when his 16th homer of the season cashed in Reyes and gave Toronto a 7-0 lead.

"I don't feel lost. I know what's going on," said Porcello. "I'm throwing a lot of fat pitches."

Smoak hit his second homer of the day in the third, taking Ross in to the box seats on the fourth deck over left field. A switch hitter, Smoak's home runs came from both sides of the plate.

Reyes got his third run of the game in the sixth inning, scoring on Bautista's sacrifice fly to deep right for a 9-0 Blue Jays lead. Donaldson advanced from second to third on the play but Encarnacion popped out to end the inning in the next at bat.

Boston ended Buehrle's shutout in the seventh. Ramirez came home from third on Pablo Sandoval's groundout to make it 9-1. The Red Sox added another run in the eighth inning with Betts's two-out single shot off Loup.

Reyes and Donaldson piled on for Toronto in the eighth inning. Reyes reached base on a single before Donaldson hit the Blue Jays' fifth home run of the day to deep centre for an 11-2 lead.

Notes: The Blue Jays honoured Canada Day before the game with Canadian soldiers unfurling a large flag over the outfield. A colour guard marched provincial flags from the stands, lining the infield. ... Hockey commentator Don Cherry threw out the ceremonial first pitch to a loud ovation from the 45,392 in attendance. ... It was Toronto's fourth sellout of the season.

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