Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 1
Another day, another game of missed opportunities for the
struggling Boston Red Sox.
Pinch hitter Mark DeRosa hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the
seventh inning, Mark Buehrle pitched seven innings to win his
fourth straight decision and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Boston 2-1
on Thursday night.
”Tonight, the story is (runners) left on base,” Red Sox
manager John Farrell said. ”This is a frustrating one.”
The Red Sox went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and
left 12 men on. That dropped them to 6 for 34 with runners in
scoring position in the three-game series and boosted their total
of stranded runners to 33.
”We had a ton of opportunities to score and just couldn’t get
that one big hit,” said Dustin Pedroia. ”We’ve got to swing the
bats better with guys on.”
The Blue Jays took two of three from the AL East-leading Red
Sox, who went 4-6 on a three-city road trip that also included
stops in Houston and Kansas City. Boston has lost five of seven
overall, dropping consecutive series for the first time since
losing three straight against Texas, Minnesota and Toronto from May
”Any time you go through a 4-6 road trip it’s disappointing,
said Farrell. ”We’ve got to go home and regroup.”
The Red Sox won’t get much time to enjoy being home. After a
three-game series with the Yankees that begins Friday, they hit the
road again for three at San Francisco and three against the NL
West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
Buehrle (9-7) came in 0-4 with a 4.97 ERA in his previous eight
starts against the Red Sox, a team he hadn’t beaten since Sept. 7,
2009, with the White Sox.
”I know I’ve struggled against them,” Buehrle said. ”You have
to have everything going your way. You have to have runs scored for
you, you have to have defense behind you and you have to have the
bullpen save the lead.”
The left-hander allowed one run and 10 hits, walked two and
struck out four before Darren Oliver worked the eighth and Casey
Janssen finished for his 22nd save in 24 chances.
Pedroia hit a two-out single in the first and went to second
when David Ortiz walked, but was thrown out at the plate by
left-fielder Kevin Pillar trying to score on a Jonny Gomes’ single.
It was the first assist of Pillar’s career.
Pedroia said he didn’t slide because he was hoping to let the
ball hit him. Instead, he ran beyond the plate and tried to come
back, only to be tagged out by catcher J.P. Arencibia, who was
waiting with the ball.
”It was kind of an awkward deal,” Pedroia acknowledged. ”I
should have tried to slide or go through him or something.”
With the Blue Jays using a defensive shift, Pedroia was able to
go from first to third when Ortiz grounded out in the third.
Toronto escaped when Gomes fouled out and Stephen Drew struck
After stranding six runners through the first three innings,
Boston broke through with a run off Buehrle in the fourth. Daniel
Nava hit a one out double, went to third on a check-swing single by
Will Middlebrooks and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI grounder. The
Blue Jays might have been able to turn a double play, but second
baseman Munenori Kawasaki threw high to shortstop Jose Reyes
covering second, preventing a throw to first.
Drew and Ryan Lavarnway both singled to begin the sixth, but
Buehrle fanned Nava and Middlebrooks before getting Ellsbury to
Red Sox starter Jake Peavy (9-5) came in 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA in
his past four starts against Toronto and was untroubled through the
first six innings, allowing just a pair of two-out hits.
That changed in the seventh, when Jose Bautista singled off the
glove of third baseman Middlebrooks, took second on Edwin
Encarnacion’s single and scored on a base hit by Lawrie, with
Encarnacion advancing to third.
Bautista’s ball was initially ruled an error but changed to a
base hit after review.
”Typically, that’s a play that should be made,” Farrell said.
”Unfortunately, it wasn’t.”
Craig Breslow came on to face DeRosa, who put the Blue Jays in
front with a sacrifice fly.
”Tough way to lose,” Peavy said. ”I’ve got to be better,
there’s no other way to say it.”
Making his third start with Boston since coming over in a July
30 trade with the Chicago White Sox, Peavy allowed two runs and
five hits in six-plus innings. He walked none and struck out four
in his first career loss to Toronto.
”Jake threw the ball well, certainly deserved a better fate,”
NOTES: Boston 1B Mike Napoli, who snapped a 0-for-16 slump with
a tying two-run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday, got the day
off. … MRI results for Blue Jays RHP Josh Johnson confirmed the
initial diagnosis of a strained right forearm. Johnson was placed
on the 15-day DL Tuesday, retroactive to Aug. 7. … Following the
game, Toronto optioned RHP Mickey Storey to Triple-A Buffalo and
recalled OF Anthony Gose. … With a crowd of 40,477, the Blue Jays
topped the 2 million mark in attendance on their 63rd home date,
the quickest they’ve reached the mark since 1997.