Marco Estrada got the outs that mattered.
Entering the game in the fifth inning with nobody out and the bases loaded, Estrada pitched three innings of hitless ball and helped the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 11-8 on Tuesday night.
"I want to keep going out there," Estrada said after helping the Blue Jays snap a four-game losing streak. "Whatever opportunities I can get."
Josh Donaldson had three hits, including a homer, and Kevin Pillar also had three of Toronto's 17 hits. Jose Bautista had an RBI in the five-run third inning, another in a three-run fourth and then added a homer.
Cecil pitched the ninth for his first save.
A day after rookie Miguel Castro gave up a walkoff single, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons moved Cecil back into the closer's role. But when the Red Sox threatened in the fifth, Estrada (1-0) shut them down.
"He's very valuable," Gibbons said, adding that an ankle injury in spring training made it difficult to fit Estrada into a role. "We didn't really know what we had."
Toronto starter Drew Hutchison gave up four runs in the second, then the Blue Jays took a 9-5 lead before he ran into trouble again in the fifth. Pablo Sandoval, who had four hits in the game, singled to lead off the inning, then Daniel Nava and Brock Holt walked to load the bases.
Estrada struck out Xander Bogaerts and retired Ryan Hanigan on a line drive before walking in a run. Estrada then got Dustin Pedroia on a groundout to end the fifth, and allowed only one walk over the next two innings.
"We lost four in a row. We obviously needed something," Estrada said. "Our offence came alive."
Boston starter Clay Buchholz (1-3) was given a 4-0 lead but gave it right back, allowing five in the top of the third. Buchholz got just eight outs while allowing five runs — four earned — on six hits and a walk while striking out four.
"Whenever your team gives you a four-run lead you're supposed to come out a lot better than that," he said. "I've got to do a better job than that."
The Blue Jays led 10-6 when Aaron Loup struck out Mookie Betts and Pedroia to start the eighth. But David Ortiz doubled, and Hanley Ramirez hit his 200th career homer to make it 10-8, then Pablo Sandoval singled — his fourth hit of the game.
Liam Hendriks got Allen Craig on a first-pitch one-hopper back to the mound to end the inning. Donaldson added a solo homer in the ninth to make it 11-8.
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Red Sox reliever Edward Mujica committed two balks in the fourth inning. The Blue Jays also had three hits and two walks in the inning to score three times and make it 8-4.
"It's something you don't see often. A rarity," Red Sox manager John Farrell said "A guy who's probably not done that in his career."
Ramirez's homer was his fourth in five games, giving him nine for the season. He is the third player in Red Sox history to have nine homers before the month of May, joining David Ortiz (10 in 2006) and Manny Ramirez (nine in 2001).
The teams complete their three-game series on Wednesday. RHP R.A. Dickey (0-2) will face RHP Rick Porcello (1-2).
Blue Jays: The team placed SS Jose Reyes on the 15-day disabled list late Monday night with a left rib fracture.
Red Sox: OF Shane Victorino (strained right hamstring) might spend more time on the disabled list rather than return when eligible on May 8. Farrell said the new turf in Toronto is said to be hard on players' legs. OF Rusney Castillo is scheduled to return to Triple-A Pawtucket from a stint on the minor-league disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.