The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Christian Vázquez hit two more homers, and Martín Pérez gave Boston’s patchwork rotation a much-needed lift Thursday night, leading the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets.

Pérez (1-1) overcame four walks and some shaky defense behind him, allowing only two hits while striking out five in 5 2/3 innings for his first win with the Red Sox. The left-hander signed a $6.5 million, one-year contract as a free agent in December.

Vázquez connected twice off Steven Matz (0-1), including a two-run shot on an 0-2 pitch in the fourth that put Boston ahead 3-2, and left a frustrated Matz shaking his head.

Boston loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth and added an insurance run when Edwin Díaz hit José Peraza with a pitch.

n Nationals 6, Blue Jays 4

WASHINGTON — Michael A. Taylor’s second homer of the season helped “visiting” Washington knock around struggling Hyun-Jin Ryu, and beat home-away-from-home Toronto before both teams head into a coronavirus-caused “mini All-Star break,” as Washington manager Dave Martinez called it.

Kurt Suzuki delivered a two-run double and Asdrúbal Cabrera added an RBI double off Ryu (0-1), who gave up Taylor’s two-run shot to straightaway center that he celebrated with a socially distanced dugout dance in the fourth. Taylor is now 2-for-14 this season, a .143 average, but both hits cleared the fences.

Ryu’s ERA is 8.00 after he allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.

n Braves 2, Rays 1

ATLANTA — Max Fried retired Tampa Bay’s first 14 batters and combined with three relievers on a four-hitter as Atlanta beat the Rays.

Dansby Swanson had a run-scoring single in Atlanta’s two-run second inning.

Fried (1-0) struck out seven and walked one while allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander improved to 4-0 in four interleague starts.

Luke Jackson, and Shane Greene combined for four outs before Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his second save.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

n Indians 2, Twins 0

MINNEAPOLIS — Cleveland’s Shane Bieber tied the major league record for strikeouts in a pitcher’s first two starts of the season, punching out 13 Minnesota Twins over eight innings in the Indians’ victory.

Bieber (2-0) fanned 14 over six scoreless innings on Friday against Kansas City. His 27 strikeouts in the two games matched the record set by Karl Spooner of the Brooklyn Dodgers in September 1954 during the first two starts of his short career.

n Royals 5, Tigers 3

DETROIT — Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save since 2017, and Kansas City beat Detroit, overcoming Miguel Cabrera’s first multihomer game since 2016.

Once a standout closer for St. Louis, Rosenthal has struggled with his health and his effectiveness in recent years, finishing 2019 with a 13.50 ERA in 22 appearances with the Nationals and Tigers. When he retired JaCoby Jones on a grounder to end the game, he gave his glove a little celebratory tap.

Cabrera hit solo homers in the first and eighth. It was Cabrera’s first multihomer game since Sept. 30, 2016 at Atlanta.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

n Cubs-Reds postponed

CINCINNATI — Rain postponed the finale of a four-game series between Chicago and Cincinnati.

No makeup date was set in this virus-shortened season. The Cubs are scheduled to return to Cincinnati for a three-game series Aug. 28-30.

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