Hernández stays hot as Red Sox power past Blue Jays for sweep

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Jul. 22—The Red Sox bats came to life again on Wednesday, as Boston mashed five more home runs to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 and complete a two-game sweep. Here are five highlights from Wednesday's win.

1. Hernández heating up

Kiké Hernández has been scorching hot over the past few weeks, and Wednesday he kept his surge going with another huge day at the plate. Following Monday's 3 for 5 showing that included two home runs and a double, Hernández went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run and a double, giving the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead after going deep in the top of the third.

Hernández finished the series 5 for 9 with five extra-base hits, five RBI, four runs and two walks, and overall he has nine home runs in his last 25 games, the most of any 25-game stretch of his career.

2. Power surge

This week marked the last time the Red Sox will play the Blue Jays at Buffalo's Sahlen Field, and they made sure it was a memorable trip. Over the course of two games the Red Sox hit 11 home runs, blasting six on Monday before going deep five more times on Wednesday.

Red Sox batters also hit seven doubles over the two games, meaning 18 of Boston 23 hits in the series went for extra bases. Add in the four home runs hit by the Blue Jays, fans were treated to a total of 15 homers in the series.

3. Good outing, tough finish for Richards

Red Sox starter Garrett Richards was one out away from enjoying a terrific performance, but the righty ran out of gas and wound up getting hit hard in the bottom of the sixth. After allowing just one run with five strikeouts over 5.2 innings, Richards walked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with two outs in the sixth before allowing back to back home runs to George Springer and Teoscar Hernandez, making it 5-4 Boston.

Rookie Garrett Whitlock would come in to finish the inning, and Richards would eventually earn the win to improve to 6-5 on the year.

4. Santana leaves game

Just three days after he was activated from the 10-day injured list, Danny Santana left Wednesday's game with a tight left groin after pulling up in the outfield trying to make a play in the gap. Santana suffered the injury on Danny Jansen's seventh inning double and was subsequently replaced by Alex Verdugo.

Santana had previously been dealing with a left quad strain, and Alex Cora said after the game that he will most likely be headed back to the IL.

5. State of the race

With Wednesday's win the Red Sox now have a one game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East standings. The Rays kept pace by beating the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on a walk-off, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth, as did the New York Yankees, who beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 on a walk-off single by Ryan LaMarre in the 10th inning Wednesday night.

Email: mcerullo@northofboston.com. Twitter: @MacCerullo.

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