Red Sox down Blue Jays in regular-season finale at Fenway

BOSTON — Two years after leaving in the middle of an unprecedented September collapse and one year after slinking away to finish the franchise’s worst season in half a century, the Boston Red Sox wrapped things up at Fenway Park with the knowledge that they will be back.

BOSTON — Two years after leaving in the middle of an unprecedented September collapse and one year after slinking away to finish the franchise’s worst season in half a century, the Boston Red Sox wrapped things up at Fenway Park with the knowledge that they will be back.

David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered to lead the Red Sox to a 5-2 victory over the last-place Toronto Blue Jays in Boston’s regular-season home finale Sunday. After a five-game road trip to Colorado and Baltimore, the Red Sox will return for the AL division series in October.

“The energy that’s created here and the way the guys embrace it, it has been our advantage once again,” manager John Farrell said.

“We have heard a lot lately about the last couple of Septembers, but that has not penetrated the minds of anyone in this clubhouse.”

Three days after clinching a playoff berth, two days after securing the AL East title and one day after giving many starters the day off to sleep off the celebration, the Red Sox returned to winning. Boston took the three-game series — its 33rd series victory of the season — and finished 53-28 at home.

With 95 wins, the Red Sox have the best record in baseball and a lead in the race for home-field advantage through the World Series.

“We’re going out to win games and be aggressive,” said Felix Doubront, who made his first start since Sept. 6 and his last before moving to the bullpen to be ready for the playoffs.

“We’ll try to go hard every game.”

Doubront (11-6) gave up two runs on four hits and two walks, striking out two. Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save.

Kevin Pillar homered and added an RBI single for Toronto. Reigning NL Cy Young-winner R.A. Dickey (13-13) allowed five runs on six hits and a walk, with a season-high 11 strikeouts in his third complete game of the season.

“He gives up fly balls. That’s part of being a knuckleballer,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “But he threw a tremendous game. Two home runs. You can’t take away the home runs. We battled, but we just couldn’t get anything going against Doubront.”

The Red Sox took the lead in the bottom of the second, when Dickey allowed three singles — two of them bloopers — and then Bradley’s three-run homer. Like Ortiz’s solo shot in the sixth, it was a high fly ball that got caught in the wind blowing out to right field.

“If a ball got up above the elevation of the roof, it was going,” Dickey said.

“Those two got up and they kept going.”

Toronto took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Pillar’s single before Boston made it 4-1 in the bottom half. After the Blue Jays cut the lead to 4-2 on Pillar’s homer off the top of the Green Monster, Ortiz made it a three-run game with a towering shot into the Toronto bullpen.

Ortiz was also given a double in the third inning even though replays showed he slid into second baseman Ryan Goins’ glove and should have been out.

NOTES: Toronto’s Rajai Davis stole his 45th base of the season in the eighth. … The Red Sox unveiled a statue of Carl Yastrzemski outside the ballpark before the game. .. Red Sox manager John Farrell said he is optimistic CF Jacoby Ellsbury (broken bone in right foot) will be able to return Wednesday, in time to get ready for the playoffs. … The Red Sox won 95 games for the seventh time since 2003. … Toronto travels to Chicago for a makeup game Monday against the White Sox, then on to Baltimore. The Red Sox have a day off before playing two in Colorado and three in Baltimore. … Red Sox rookies were dressed in kilts and tam o’Shanters for the on-field family picnic after the game. … Farrell tweaked the rotation for the last series against Baltimore. Clay Buchholz will be followed by Jon Lester and John Lackey.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a fatal collision involving a pedestrian on Feb. 27. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

Collision occured west of Rocky on Highway 11A

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

March will be dramatically warmer through the prairies

Bharat Masrani, CEO, TD Bank Group speaks at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

Shares in metals and mining companies have rebounded sharply

A worker carrying a disinfectant sprayer walks past a WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft, after cleaning another plane at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

Layoff notices to go out ahead of the expiration of a memorandum of agreement

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

Canada has ordered 24 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside Red Deer courthouse for slain Ponoka man

Sentencing for accused charged with manslaughter with a firearm set for March 4

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson makes a shot against Team Alberta as second Shannon Birchard, right, and lead Briane Meilleur sweep in the semi-final at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Kerri Einarson wins second straight Canadian women’s curling championship

Einarson and her teammates celebrated Sunday in the silence in an empty arena

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the Golden Globes on Feb. 28, 2021. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
With loved ones and pets, Globes winners embrace cozier show

Nicole Kidman and musician-husband Keith Urban got glammed up to sit on their couch

The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo after winning the Award for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Schitt’s Creek nabs two Golden Globes for its final season

Catherine O’Hara named best television actress in a musical or comedy

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

Most Read