TORONTO -- Left-hander Felix Doubront is on a roll and so are the Boston Red Sox.
He has won five of his past six starts, while the Red Sox have won 16 of their past 22 games. And with their 7-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, the Red Sox moved out of last place in the American League East.
Doubront (6-2) struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings Saturday and Daniel Nava hit a two-run single in the four-run second inning that gave Doubront all the support he needed before 43,390 at Rogers Centre.
“Every start he's been solid,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said of Doubront. “It's the same thing every time, he doesn't trick anybody, he just has great stuff and good command. He's just going out there basically like a bulldog.”
Doubront allowed seven hits -- including home runs by Jeff Mathis and Jose Bautista -- and one walk as he held the Blue Jays to three runs (two earned).
His six wins lead the Red Sox, has not allowed more than two earned runs in each of his past five starts since May 12, and is 4-1 with a 2.40 earned-run average in those starts.
“He does it in different ways,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “Today he was able to win the game without having his best stuff. His one-ball, two-strike count wasn't present today. He was behind hitters, getting three balls on hitters and still getting them out. … He figured out a way to keep us in the game and to win the game.”
Added Doubront, “I feel very good. Sometimes I felt like I couldn't follow through all my pitches in the first inning but I started to make adjustments. Stay back, just throw the ball, don't think too much.”
Nick Punto also had two runs batted in with a double in the second and a homer in the ninth.
Alfredo Aceves picked up his 14th save by pitching the ninth.
Toronto got 6 2/3 innings from right-handed starter Kyle Drabek (4-6), who allowed six hits, four walks and five runs (four earned), while striking out four.
The Red Sox (28-25) have won the first two games of the three-game series and have won 16 of their past 22 games overall. The Blue Jays (27-26) dropped to last in the American League East.
The Red Sox used four two-out hits to score four runs in the second.
Saltalamacchia walked with one out, took third on a two-out single by Ryan Sweeney and scored on a single by Will Middlebrooks.
Punto doubled home another run. And when Rasmus could not control Nava's sinking drive, two more runs scored.
“The top-spin came back on Colby and hits him in the heel of the glove to give them two runs and a four-run lead and we’re trying to chip away from there,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. “It definitely had some movement back to his glove side. He was going pretty hard to his back-hand side and the ball had top-spin.”
The Blue Jays countered with the third home run of the season by Mathis with one out in the third inning. They loaded the bases on three singles but Rasmus struck out to end the inning.
The Red Sox made that run up in the fourth after Kevin Youkilis led off with a double and took third when Bautista was charged with an error on his throw from right field. But the real culprit was Drabek, who was late backing up third base on the play.
After Sweeney walked, Middlebrooks grounded into a double play and Youkilis scored.
The Blue Jays scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth that was started by Doubront's error on David Cooper's grounder. Mathis bunted for a single. Kelly Johnson scored Cooper with a single.
Bautista led off the fifth with his 13th homer of the season to cut the lead to 5-3.
The Red Sox scored a run in the eighth against left-hander Darren Oliver, who allowed a one-out single to David Ortiz and a walk to Saltalamacchia. Right-hander Francisco Cordero took over and walked Youkilis to load the bases and Sweeney's ground out produced the run.
The Blue Jays came back with an unearned run in home eighth. Edwin Encarnacion singled against Matt Albers and scored when Sweeney booted the ball on Brett Lawrie's single to right against Vicente Padilla. But Lawrie ended the inning when he was thrown out trying to steal third.
“He’s certainly an aggressive player,” Farrell said of Lawrie. “We’re not going to temper that. He’s got the green light but at the same time in situations we’ve got to shut him down. And that’s on me. That’s on no one else. If he’s going to attempt that bag he’s got to make sure he can walk in there. I’ll take that one, I’ve got to shut him down right there.”
Lawrie said it wasn’t necessarily a matter of toning down his aggressiveness. “But just thinking about the situation at hand,” he said.
“That might not necessarily be the best time to go but I thought that I could get there and it ended up he fell right in front of the bag and it cut off the way I wanted to slide. I thought I could have been in there if he hadn’t fallen like that.”
Punto hit his first homer of the season against Carlos Villanueva in the ninth.
NOTES: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia took some batting practice Saturday for the first time since leaving Monday's game in the fifth inning.
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