TORONTO -- Shane Victorino was the extra-innings hero for the Red Sox on Tuesday, as his two-run single in the 11th proved the difference in Boston's 4-2 win over the Blue Jays. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia on third and Jacoby Ellsbury having just stolen second, Victorino knocked a slow ground ball back up the middle and into center field for the deciding hit.
Victorino had already made a key play when he caught Jose Reyes trying to score from second base in the sixth inning. Edwin Encarnacion hit a line-drive single to right that Victorino fielded cleanly and then easily threw out Reyes with a few feet to spare. It was Victorino's eighth outfield assist of the year, tied for fifth-most in the American League.
Koji Uehara earned the win after throwing 1 1/3 perfect innings of relief. It was Uehara's 55th appearance of the year, triggering a vesting option in the closer's contract that will guarantee him $4.25 million for the 2014 season.
The Red Sox carried a 2-1 lead into the eighth when the usually reliable Junichi Tazawa didn't deliver. Tazawa served up a 3-1 fastball over the middle of the plate to J.P. Arencibia that the Jays catcher crushed over the left-field wall for a game-tying solo homer. Tazawa has now allowed seven runs in seven innings against the Jays this season and just eight earned runs in 48 2/3 innings against everyone else.
The Red Sox were shut out through 6 1/3 innings by Toronto starter Todd Redmond and reliever Brett Cecil, but the bats came to life when the Jays brought Sergio Santos into the game in the seventh. Boston lit up Santos for three hits and a walk over his two-thirds of an inning of work, highlighted by RBI singles from Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.
It wasn't nearly the offensive burst that Dempster usually receives -- he entered the game averaging 5.54 runs of support per game, the fourth-highest total of any pitcher in baseball. Still, Dempster left with the lead after holding the Jays to one run on four hits and two walks over seven innings, dropping his season ERA to 4.50. It was a positive bounce-back start for Dempster, who had posted a 7.27 ERA over his previous five outings.