TORONTO — Andrew Benintendi’s two-out double in the eighth provided Boston with the winning run as the Red Sox hung on for an 8-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Ezequiel Carrera hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the ninth off reliever Matt Barnes, pulling the Blue Jays to within one, but that’s as close as Toronto would get.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman (1-2) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing six earned on 11 hits in the loss. Toronto (2-11) has dropped back-to-back games after snapping a seven-game losing streak on Saturday.
Red Sox left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0), who was making just his second career big league start, allowed four earned runs on seven hits over five innings to record his first career major league win.
Toronto got to Johnson early. Kevin Pillar led off the first with a double to left-center and Kendrys Morales drove Pillar home with a blooper to left. Troy Tulowitzki reached on an infield single, which was misplayed by Pablo Sandoval at third. Dustin Smoak then doubled off the wall in center, scoring Morales to give the Blue Jays an early 2-0 lead.
Boston (9-5) responded with a three spot in the third to take a 3-2 lead.
Xander Bogaerts got the Red Sox offense started with a one out single to center field in the third. After Benintendi singled, Mookie Betts doubled to score Bogaerts. Two batters later, Mitch Moreland delivered a two-RBI single, giving Boston its first lead of the evening.
Moreland went 3-for-5 with three RBIs in Tuesday’s victory.
Smoak tied it 3-3, taking Johnson’s first-pitch fastball over the left-field wall for his second home run of the season to lead off the bottom half of the third.
Hanley Ramirez and Moreland each had RBI doubles in the fifth and Sandoval tacked on an RBI single as part of a three-run fifth inning for Boston.
With Toronto trailing 6-3 in the fifth, Russell Martin took Johnson’s 1-0 pitch over the wall in left for a solo home run — his first of the season.
Betts gave the Red Sox a 7-4 lead in the seventh taking Joe Smith’s 1-0 pitch into the second deck for his first home run of the season. The Red Sox right fielder finished 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs in the win.
Toronto added three runs in the ninth on an RBI single from Steve Pearce and Carrera’s blast.
NOTES: Blue Jays RHP Aaron Sanchez underwent a procedure on his right middle finger in Kansas City on Monday to remove a portion of his nail. … Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr. began a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. Bradley is expected back in the lineup when Boston begins a three-game series in Baltimore. … Toronto LHP J.A. Happ (left elbow inflammation) was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 17.