BOSTON -- Attempting to rebound from one of his worst starts of the season -- when he gave up five runs in just two innings at Detroit on July 15 -- Toronto left-hander Francisco Liriano instead had an even shorter start Thursday afternoon against the Boston Red Sox.
But Toronto's offense was led by Justin Smoak's two home runs and three RBIs, as the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox, 8-6.
The Red Sox came back with three in the second, capped by Mookie Betts' two-out, two-run single.
Trailing 3-1, the Blue Jays batted around in the third, scoring four runs on two hits and four walks. Steve Pearce and Ryan Goins each hit two-run singles in the inning.
Smoak's 25th homer of the season, on Fister's first pitch of the fifth, put Toronto ahead 6-3. The Blue Jays added a run in the sixth when Smoak's two-out single off Kyle Martin scored Darwin Barney, who led off the inning with a walk.
Boston cut its deficit to one in the seventh on a three-run homer by Dustin Pedroia, who was serving as the designated hitter for the first time this season. The homer was his sixth of the season.
Smoak led off the ninth with his second homer of the game, his sixth career multi-homer game and second this season.
Right-hander Dominic Leone relieved Liriano and earned the win, improving to 2-0. Roberto Osuna pitched a scoreless ninth, with two strikeouts, for his 24th save. Fister took the loss, falling to 0-4.
NOTES: 2B Dustin Pedroia served as Boston's designated hitter on Thursday for the first time this season, just the fifth game in his career. He is a career .500 hitter as the DH, going 9-for-18 with five RBIs. On Thursday he extended his hitting streak to nine games. ... With a scoreless first inning Toronto LHP Francisco Liriano lowered his first-inning ERA from 10.05 to 9.39. ... RHP Joe Smith, sidelined since June 14 with shoulder inflammation, is expected to join Toronto for its series in Cleveland beginning Friday. ... SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the starting lineup on Thursday for the first time since Monday. He had been bothered by a muscle contusion and a sprained right hand after being hit by a pitch. ... Boston RHP Kyle Martin, called up Thursday, made his major league debut in the seventh inning.