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Xander Bogaerts’ walk-off slam in 10th inning lifts Bosox

Xander Bogaerts relaxed to the beat of his favorite walk-up song. Three pitchers later, he was stunned by excitement rounding the bases.

Bogaerts hit a walk-off grand slam with one out in 10th inning, and J.D. Martinez hit his major league-leading 29th homer to carry the Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday at Fenway Park.

Mookie Betts opened the winning rally by reaching on an error against Chris Rowley (0-1) when shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who moved there in the beginning of the inning, had his grounder go right through his legs. Brock Holt had a hit-and-run single and Martinez was intentionally walked before Bogaerts hit his shot to left-center that caromed around the edge of the bleachers.

Before he came up, Bogaerts heard `X Gon’ Give It To Ya’ by DMX. “The music. I’m going to be honest,” he said, smiling. “It was a good time for it. I have certain spots where I like to hear that. It really helped me. I kind of smiled going up there.”

He said he barely recalled running the bases.

“A walk-off homer is different, a walk-off grand slam even more,” he said. “Running the bases, I didn’t even remember I hit a homer to be honest.”

It was Boston’s first walk-off slam in extra innings since Hall of Famer since Jim Rice on July 4, 1984, and Bogaerts’ third slam of the season.

Martinez increased his major league-leading RBI total to 80 with a solo shot and red-hot Betts extended his hitting streak to 12 games with three singles to raise his majors’ best average to .362.

Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez had to leave the game with a sprained right ankle after stumbling to the ground when his left foot hit the helmet of Gurriel., who was diving into the bag on his infield hit.

Craig Kimbrel (2-1) pitched a hitless 10th for the victory.

Blue Jays centerfielder Kevin Pillar left the game with a right clavicle injury after making a diving catch on Holt’s shallow fly when he rolled before throwing to second for an inning-ending double play.

Rays 19, Twins 6: Jake Bauers homered for the second straight game and drove in four runs, Carlos Gomez homered and had two RBIs, and Tampa Bay scored 15 times in the final three innings to rally past Minnesota.

C.J. Cron hit a two-run homer and Jesus Sucre, who entered in the sixth for injured catcher Wilson Ramos, drove in two runs for the Rays. They posted season-highs in runs and tied a season-high with 20 hits. Tampa Bay entered the game 2-34 this season when trailing after six innings.

Jamie Schultz (1-0) earned his first major league win with 2 2⁄3 hitless innings in relief as the Rays overcame a short start by Chris Archer. He gave up two runs and five hits in 4 1⁄3 innings with seven strikeouts.

Astros 9, Tigers 1: Gerrit Cole struck out eight in 5 2⁄3 strong innings, and host Houston hit three home runs.

Cole (10-2) allowed one run and three hits with four walks after being activated from the bereavement list before the game. Josh Reddick and Evan Gattis hit back-to-back solo homers in the fifth to chase Detroit starter Michael Fulmer (3-9). Tyler White added a two-run shot to left in the seventh.

Royals 5, White Sox 0: Jorge Bonifacio hit a two-run drive for his first homer since rejoining visiting Kansas City late last month, and the Royals got their second win in July.

D-backs 3, Braves 0: Zack Greinke added another road win to his strong first half by allowing only four hits in 7 2⁄3 innings for Arizona.

Greinke (10-5), named to the NL All-Star team on Thursday as a replacement for Chicago’s Jon Lester, has won five straight decisions. The 34-year-old righthander has been especially strong away from home, winning five straight road starts since June 8.

Marlins 2, Phillies 0: Aaron Nola (12-3) gave up two runs in the first inning and punchless Philadelphia never recovered as Trevor Richards (3-5) pitched six innings and didn’t allow a run for host Miami.

The NL East-leading Phillies have scored only 24 runs in their past nine games.

Pirates sweep. Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco hit back-to-back home runs for the second time Saturday, and host Pittsburgh won the second game of a doubleheader 6-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

With the Pirates leading 3-0 in the eighth, Marte hit his 13th homer over the leftfield wall before Polanco hit his 16th to right-center to make it 5-0. They also hit consecutive home runs in the first inning of the Pirates’ 2-1 win earlier Saturday.

New York Sports