Rodriguez gives up 4 HRs, Red Sox lose to Blue Jays 5-4
BOSTON (AP) Eduardo Rodriguez thought every time he made a bad pitch, it went over the Green Monster.
The left-hander gave up four home runs in his second start since opening the season on the disabled list with a right knee injury, and the Boston Red Sox were held hitless by Marco Estrada into the eighth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
''I feel like I made just bad (pitches) four times, two with a change and two with a heater,'' Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez (1-1) allowed five runs, walked three and didn't have a strikeout in 5 2/3 innings.
''We've talked about when we execute and stay out of the middle of plate, that's usually going to lead to positive results,'' Boston manager John Farrell said.
Estrada took a no-hitter into the eighth for the third time in a year before it was broken up by Chris Young's home run with one out.
Boston rallied for three runs in the ninth, but Roberto Osuna ultimately preserved the win for Estrada.
''He kept us off stride,'' Farrell said. ''He's deceptive, stayed out of the middle of the plate.''
Jose Bautista opened the game with a home run, the first of four Toronto hit over the Green Monster in left field. Edwin Encarnacion added a two-run shot, and Darwin Barney and Russell Martin each had a solo homer.
Estrada (4-2) walked three, struck out five and was lifted with a 5-1 lead after giving up his second hit, Dustin Pedroia's leadoff double in the ninth.
Osuna got the final three outs – but not before giving up RBI doubles to David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. Jackie Bradley Jr. added an RBI single, but pinch-hitter Marco Hernandez struck out with two runners on to end it.
Last June, Estrada took no-hitters into the eighth in consecutive starts before they were broken up. He did it against Baltimore on June 19 and at the Tampa Bay Rays on June 24.
''He's a master at his craft. He's not going to light you up with that changeup, but he's a pitcher – a very good pitcher,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. ''He's been doing that for two years. It shouldn't surprise anybody.''
The Red Sox haven't been held hitless at Fenway Park since Detroit's Jim Bunning did it on July 20, 1958.
The day didn't start well for Estrada, who walked his first two batters before Xander Bogaerts bunted into a force at third on an attempted sacrifice. Ortiz then lined out to center and Travis Shaw struck out swinging.
Estrada walked Ramirez leading off the second before retiring 19 straight. Young then hit a cutter into the Green Monster seats. Estrada dropped his head briefly when the ball cleared The Wall.
Center fielder Kevin Pillar made a nice over-the-shoulder catch on Shaw's deep drive in the fourth and right fielder Bautista made a running grab on Ramirez's liner to end the seventh.
Bautista homered into the first row of Monster seats on the fourth pitch of the game, with the ball caroming back onto the field.
In the third, Toronto hit two more long balls. Barney's went off a light stanchion and Encarnacion hit his into the last row of seats.
Blue Jays: AL MVP Josh Donaldson was back in the lineup as the DH after missing Saturday's game with a jammed right thumb. He had a pad around it.
Red Sox: C Ryan Hanigan (neck strain) and LF/C Blake Swihart (sprained left ankle) were placed on the 15-day DL after getting hurt Saturday. The team recalled OF Rusney Castillo and RHP Heath Hembree, and selected C Sandy Leon from Triple-A Pawtucket. RHP Noe Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A. Farrell said Swihart had a ''severe'' sprain and his ankle will be immobilized for two weeks.
Boston's pitchers have allowed 13 homers in the last four games even though they didn't give up any on Saturday.
The Red Sox were held hitless for five or more innings for the third time in four games against Toronto.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (6-2, 3.06 ERA) is slated to start the opener of a three-game series in Detroit on Monday. He's allowed just one run in each of his last two starts – both against the Yankees.
Red Sox: After an off day Monday, RHP Rick Porcello (7-2, 4.00) is lined up to start the first of a two-game interleague series at San Francisco. He's had two straight no-decisions, giving up nine total runs in 12 1/3 innings.