AP Photo
April 02, 2016

MONTREAL (AP) It was a big night for Russell Martin, even if his Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Boston Red Sox.

An energetic crowd of 52,682 watched the Red Sox post a 4-2 exhibition win over Toronto on a two-out, two run double in the top of the 10th inning from outfielder Ryan LaMarre.

But the ovations for Martin, who was born in Toronto but grew up in Montreal - and a pregame tribute to some of his old Montreal Expos heroes - had the Blue Jays catcher beaming after the game.

''It's still exhibition, but when you play in front of a crowd like this it gets your juices flowing,'' Martin said. ''Our minds are still getting ready for Tampa on opening day (Sunday).

''Those are the games that count. But you still want to compete and to play to win. It gets your mojo going and it's a perfect way to get ready for the season.''

Kevin Pillar and Canadian outfielder Michael Saunders hit solo home runs off Red Sox starter Steven Wright for a 2-0 lead after two innings, but Boston tied it in the fifth.

It is the third year in a row that the Blue Jays have ended training camp with a pair of games at Olympic Stadium, where near sell-out crowds turn out for a taste of major league ball they have missed since the Montreal Expos left and became the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season.

A pregame tribute was paid to former Expos Tim Raines, Pedro Martinez, Ellis Valentine, Marquis Grissom, Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Vidro. Martin grew up watching those players.

''It was awesome, especially Rock (Raines),'' Martin said. ''You see in his eyes how emotional he got.

''It shows how much baseball is missed in Montreal.''

Exhibition games can go no longer than 10 innings under major league rules and this one looked like it might end in a tie until LaMarre's shot off the wall in right-center field scored Travis Shaw and Chris Young, who had each walked after reliever Pat McCoy got the first two hitters to ground out.

''For a guy who has been in Triple-A, who's had some opportunities at the major league level, that's a good moment to come through with a key base hit,'' Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ''I'm sure it's a night he'll remember.''

The teams play a second exhibition game Saturday afternoon in Montreal to end spring training for both clubs. Martin with be the designated hitter in that game to save his knees for the season opener.

Farrell was impressed with the knuckleballing Wright, who went five innings, surrendering seven hits and two earned runs but struck out eight.

''His knuckleball was really working in a dome, which is what we've seen,'' Farrell said. ''It's got extra action to it.

''He threw a number of curveballs, which he's been working on. A couple of home runs, but a good outing for Steven.''

Pillar got the crowd going when he led off the first by taking a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall.

Victoria native Saunders led off the second with a line drive homer to center field.

''It was a 3-1 heater, but it felt good,'' Saunders said.

The Red Sox got one back off starter J.A. Happ in the third when Mookie Betts doubled and, two batters later, scored on Xander Bogaerts' groundout. Betts drove in Jackie Bradley Jr. with a single in the fifth off Joe Biajani.

NOTES: In previous exhibition sets in Montreal, the Blue Jays swept two games from the New York Mets in 2014 and split a pair last year with the Cincinnati Reds.

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