BOSTON -- They came out of the Boston Red Sox' bullpen in numbers typically seen only spilling out of a circus clown car. Jean Machi, Tommy Layne, Noe Ramirez, Junichi Tazawa, Robbie Ross Jr., all in the span of 13 batters.
And for four taut innings, it worked. Torey Lovullo was using more pitchers (six) than the Toronto Blue Jays had hits (three), and the Red Sox had pushed the Jays into extra innings.
But Sox pitcher No. 7, Alexi Ogando, proved one too many, as the Blue Jays scored four times in a 10th inning that featured three hits, an intentional walk, a wild pitch, a balk, a sacrifice fly and two crew-chief reviews on the same play.
The 5-1 win enabled the Jays to gain a full game on the New York Yankees, 2-1 losers in the Bronx on a ninth-inning home run by Baltimore's Chris Davis. The Jays lead the AL East by 1.5 games with 24 games to play, one fewer than the Yanks have left.
The play that got all the attention in the New York City video room was Josh Donaldson's high drive that hit the top of the Green Monster. The ball caromed back onto the field as Donaldson high-tailed it into third, his head-first slide just beating the throw from shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who had hustled to back up the play.
The first review determined that the ball had indeed remained in play and hit off the lip of the wall, not the top of it, which would have made it a home run.
The second review confirmed that Donaldson was indeed safe at third, his triple Toronto’s first hit since Troy Tulowitzki's single in the sixth.
Jose Bautista flied out to shallow center field for the first out, Donaldson holding, and the Sox elected to issue an intentional walk to Edwin Encarnacion. But Tulowitzki crossed up the strategy by shooting a ground-ball single through the shortstop hole to score Donaldson, and then Ogando became unglued.
Chris Colabello followed with another ground-ball single that glanced off the glove of Bogaerts and continued into center field, the hit scoring pinch-runner Dalton Pompey and sending Tulowitzki to third.
Ogando balked him home, threw a wild pitch that put Colabello on third, and Kevin Pillar followed with a sacrifice fly.
The Jays had scored their first run in the first without the benefit of a hit. Leadoff man Ben Revere was hit by a pitch, took second on a wild pitch by Sox starter Henry Owens, stole third and scored on Encarnacion’s infield out.
Dickey went six. Owens, who hit two batters, threw two wild pitches and committed a balk, was lifted after a walk and single with one out in the sixth. Machi entered and ended the threat when Pillar hit into a double play, and the Sox's pen held Toronto hitless until Ogando appeared.