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Slumping Blue Jays stumble out of the gate in series opener against Red Sox

Alex Verdugo hit two solo homers over the Green Monster, Mitch Moreland had a two-run shot and Boston’s beleaguered staff rebounded to lift the Red Sox past the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Friday night.

Verdugo also robbed Travis Shaw of a homer with a leaping grab and Moreland had a bases-loaded walk to help Boston win its second straight following a four-game losing streak.

Cavan Biggio hit a solo homer, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette each had an RBI double for Toronto, which has dropped five of six.

Moreland’s homer, coming with a loud crack of the bat echoing throughout a nearly empty Fenway Park, sailed just over the 380-foot sign at the edge of the Blue Jays’ bullpen in right off starter Tanner Roark (1-1) in the third inning for his fourth homer.

Entering the night with the AL’s second-worst ERA (5.28), Boston used six relievers to hold down the Blue Jays. Heath Hembree (2-0) got three outs for the victory and Brandon Workman the final three for his third save.

Verdugo had given Boston a 2-1 edge when he hit his first Fenway homer with the Red Sox (he had one with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season), an opposite-field shot that bounced off the second row of seats above the Monster and back onto the field. His other came leading off the eighth.

Biggio, inserted in the leadoff spot, homered on the sixth pitch of the game, a drive that barely cleared the Monster.

Making just his second start and first since July 28, Roark walked four batters in the first, the last was Moreland.

Boston starter Ryan Weber was lifted in the fourth for the third straight start, giving up two runs and five hits.

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