Over the years, Junichi Tazawa has been one of Boston’s most reliable relief pitchers, a guy Boston manager John Farrell, and Terry Francona before him, have been able to count on in tough situations.

But for some strange reason, the Toronto Blue Jays are his Achilles heel.

Against all the other teams in baseball, over his six year career, Tazawa has a 2.94 ERA and has been stingy with the home run ball, allowing just 12 long balls in 177 innings, even though he pitches in a home run haven like Fenway Park.

But, put a Blue Jay in the batter’s box and Tazawa turns to jelly. In his career, the Blue Jays have owned him and that tradition continued Wednesday night as Danny Valencia came off the bench to deliver a three-run go-ahead home run for the Jays against Tazawa as the Jays avoided a sweep with a 5-2 victory.

It was the eighth career homer by a Blue Jay against the Japanese native and he now owns a 7.45 ERA against Toronto.

“I can’t say it’s abut tipping pitches or anything,” said manager John Gibbons. “Nobody has said a word about that. Sometimes, guys just have confidence going up against a ertain pitcher. There’s really no explaining it.”

Valencia’s blast, his third as a Jay, made a winner out of Marcus Stroman, who bounced back after two shaky outings to toss 7.2 innings of five-hit ball, allowing just one earned run. He got late help from Brett Cecil who got the last four outs for his fifth save, striking out three.

“I’ve faced him a lot before, both in the minors and in the majors, and I’ve always had pretty good at-bats against him,” said Valencia. “I had no idea about our team success. I just go by how I felt against him and the at-bats I’ve had in the past.

“In the minor leagues I played against him and since he’s been in Boston, I’ve played against him plenty of times, and played with him, too.”

Jose Bautista also homered for Toronto as the Jays won for only the second time in six games on this homestand.

With two out in the bottom of the first inning, Bautista gave Stroman a one-run lead to work with, belting his 26th home run of the season off starter Joe Kelly.