TORONTO - Positives can be gleaned from a disappointing result for a rebuilding Toronto Blue Jays squad that fought hard Wednesday before finally dropping a 6-5 decision to the Boston Red Sox in 13 innings.
Twice down to their final out, the Blue Jays clawed back to tie the game in the ninth inning and again in the 12th. A solo shot from Boston's Michael Chavis was the difference in a loss that had Toronto players holding their heads high.
"I think we're a pretty confident team," said Toronto catcher Danny Jansen. "I think we've just been battling to the last out the whole year. So I don't think we're ever out of it.
"We love that mentality and we're going to keep doing it."
Jansen came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and delivered a two-out single to bring Brandon Drury from third base. Toronto had a great chance to win in the 10th after loading the bases but Marcus Walden got Drury to fly out to deep left field to keep the game tied.
Mookie Betts gave Boston the lead again in the 12th with a solo shot but Rowdy Tellez answered with a solo homer of his own in the bottom half of the frame.
"We've been battling the whole season until the last out," Jansen said. "A lot of big hits. It just kept going, kept ping-ponging and that's baseball."
It will be a short turnaround for both teams as the four-game series wraps up Thursday with an early afternoon game.
Chavis turned on a 1-2 pitch from Jimmy Cordero (0-1) for his 10th homer of the year.
"Thank goodness," Chavis said. "I know it was getting late and I knew we had an early bus tomorrow for this day game. I got a lot of thank yous."
Heath Hembree (1-0) blew the save and got the win with his two innings of work. Xander Bogaerts had three of Boston's 10 hits while Betts walked three times and scored twice.
Rafael Devers homered for the third straight game for the Red Sox (26-23), who have won 15 of their last 21 games overall. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Justin Smoak hit solo homers for Toronto (20-29).
"It was a really good game," said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. "I'm proud of my guys for the game we played today against one of the best teams in baseball."
The Blue Jays have just six victories in their last 21 games.
Tellez, coming off a two-homer, five-RBI effort a night earlier, nearly went deep in the second inning but the ball hit the top of the wall and he was held to a long single. Boston starter Rick Porcello retired the next three Blue Jays in order.
Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez was uneven at times and didn't help his cause in the third inning. He hit Jackie Bradley Jr., with a pitch, picked up two quick outs, uncorked a wild pitch and then walked Betts to put runners on the corners.
The Red Sox made Sanchez pay with RBI singles from Mitch Moreland and Bogaerts.
The Blue Jays got a run back in the fourth when Guerrero blasted a solo shot that hit the facing of the 200 level. His fifth homer of the season had an impressive exit velocity of 109.9 miles per hour.
Guerrero has ramped up his play after a slow start to the season. He posted a .146 average in his first 11 games but has a .368 mark over his last 10 games.
Porcello set down the next eight Blue Jays in order before Guerrero flared a single. The rookie slugger rolled his ankle as he started running to first base but stayed in the game.
Both starters worked six innings with Porcello striking out four while allowing three hits and one earned run.
Sanchez, who left his previous start early due to a blister, struck out five and gave up two earned runs, four hits and two walks. After the game, he said his finger felt fine.
Devers pushed his home run total to six on the season with his eighth-inning shot. It was the first time in his career that he has homered in three straight games.
Smoak hit his seventh home run of the year, Betts is up to eight and Tellez has nine. Toronto outhit Boston 11-10.
Announced attendance was 18,285 and the game took four hours 30 minutes to play.
Notes: Blue Jays second baseman Eric Sogard returned after missing two games with a sprained thumb. ... Toronto outfielder Billy McKinney came on as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He has been nursing a sore groin. ... Neither team confirmed its starter for the series finale but Clayton Richard was expected to get the nod for Toronto.