BOSTON (AP) — Henderson Alvarez was overdue for a victory. He got it against a Boston Red Sox team that hasn't won many games lately, either.
Toronto's starter broke a six-game winless streak and the Blue Jays hit three homers, prolonging the misery of the Red Sox with a 7-5 win on Friday night.
"He was powerful," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "He threw a lot of strikes. He kept the ball on the ground."
The Red Sox were hoping for a boost from their return home after going 1-8 on a West Coast trip that left them just one game ahead of the last-place Blue Jays in the AL East. Now Boston is clinging to fourth place by the very slim margin of .4532 to .4525.
"We're trying to come out and play winning baseball," said Dustin Pedroia, who hit a solo homer. "We haven't played well the last few weeks, basically the last couple of months. We have to find a way to put a good game together and build on it."
The night began poorly as the start of the game was delayed by rain for one hour, 18 minutes.
When it began, Alvarez (8-12) found the right opponent to snap out of the six-game stretch in which he was 0-5 with a 7.67 ERA. He allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. Alvarez left after feeling stiffness in his triceps, but Farrell wasn't concerned.
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront (10-8) also was trying to stop a skid, but now he's 0-4 in his past seven starts after giving up five runs and six hits before leaving with no outs in the fifth.
"It's just unfortunate we can't get anything going in the right direction," Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles said.
Moises Sierra and Colby Rasmus added two-run homers to help Toronto win its second game after four consecutive losses. Rasmus' 22nd homer of the year in the ninth provided the winning margin when Mauro Gomez hit a two-run shot, his second, for Boston in the bottom of the inning.
"Colby, boy, when he's right, that's as good a swing as you're going to see," Farrell said.
Encarnacion drove in the first two runs with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and his 38th homer in the third on a 1-2 count. Encarnacion tied Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox for second most homers in the AL, one behind Texas' Josh Hamilton.