Final, Blue Jays 12-4: The Red Sox finish an ugly homestand with an ugly loss.
Toronto’s offense was all over Boston’s pitching on Sunday, crushing five home runs en route to a 12-4 victory at Fenway. Jose Bautista connected for two home runs, and Emilio Bonifacio, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie each blasted one.
The Red Sox went 2-5 during the homestand, and they have now lost eight of their last 10 games.
Mid 9th, Blue Jays 12-4: Jose De La Torre will obviously never forget his big league debut. He’ll want to forget the results, though.
De La Torre, who was called up on Thursday when Joel Hanrahan was transferred to the 60-day disable list and Allen Webster was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket, gave up two runs in the ninth inning. Then again, there’s really no shame in tha given how the Blue Jays have been swinging the bats.
Melky Cabrera led off with a double and Jose Bautista walked. Edwin Encarnacion then shot a ball into right field that scored Cabrera. Bautista scored when J.P. Arencibia grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
One thing worth noting is that De La Torre has a rather interesting pitching style from the stretch. He brings his front foot up toward the rubber three times before delivering a pitch. It isn’t a balk, but it’s certainly unorthodox.
End 8th, Blue Jays 10-4: The Red Sox had a chance to do some damage with the bases loaded and one out, but Brett Cecil did a nice job of settling things down.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepped up with the bags packed, and Cecil got the Red Sox catcher to break his bat on a sinker down in the zone. It nearly resulted in a double play, but instead ended with a force out that scored Boston’s fourth run.
Will Middlebrooks grounded into a 5-4 force out to end the inning, and that Mother’s Day Miracle is looking a bit far-fetched at this point.
On the bright side, Red Sox fans will get to see Jose De La Torre for the first time. He’ll make his major league debut in the ninth inning.
4:27 p.m., Blue Jays 10-3: We’ve seen a Mother’s Day Miracle in Boston before. Is there another one coming?
Pedro Ciriaco led off the eighth inning with a home run. (Must be the switch to first base.) The Red Sox have since loaded the bases, and the Blue Jays are bringing in Brett Cecil with one out.
Mid 8th, Blue Jays 10-2: That’s two straight 1-2-3 innings for Red Sox pitching.
Craig Breslow entered the game in the eighth, and he took down Colby Rasmus, Emilio Bonifacio and Munenori Kawasaki in order.
Pedro Ciriaco actually looked like a first baseman on Rasmus’ ground ball to begin the inning. He made a nice play ranging toward the line and flipped to Breslow to finish off the play.
End 7th, Blue Jays 10-2: It was a quick and easy inning for Aaron Loup.
Loup struck out Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew swinging before retiring Jacoby Ellsbury on a ground out to first.
Craig Breslow will be the next Red Sox pitcher to try and keep the Blue Jays in the ballpark.
Mid 7th, Blue Jays 10-2: Clayton Mortensen kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard for the first time since the first inning in the seventh.
Toronto scored in each of the previous five innings — including more than one run in three of those innings — but Mortensen bounced back from a shaky sixth to retire the side in order.
The Sox made some changes prior to the inning. Jonny Gomes, who pinch-hit for Mike Carp in the sixth, took over in left field, which shifted Daniel Nava over to right. Shane Victorino, who banged into the fence earlier, was taken out of the game. The decision to take out Victorino certainly makes sense given the situation.
That meant the Red Sox needed someone to play first base, though, and with the score 10-2, manager John Farrell decided to go with Pedro Ciriaco. Ciriaco showed some shaky footwork around the bag in the inning, but hey, now’s the time to test out some things, I suppose.
End 6th, Blue Jays 10-2: The Red Sox scored a run in the sixth, but it’ll take more than one-run frames to get them back in this one, especially when the inning starts off so promising.
Dustin Pedroia singled and Mike Napoli doubled to begin the inning, which forced Blue Jays manager John Gibbons to turn to the bullpen. Aaron Loup replaced Chad Jenkins.
Daniel Nava drove in the run with a sac fly to right, but that’s just not going to cut it at this point. The Red Sox need to start stringing some things together, otherwise this game might only get worse.
Mid 6th, Blue Jays 10-1: For as bad as the Blue Jays have been this season, there’s one thing they do well: hit the ball over the fence.
The Jays have now accomplished that feat five times in this contest, as Jose Bautista connected on his second home run of the game to give Toronto a commanding 10-1 lead.
Clayton Mortensen took over with two runners on after Andrew Miller struggled to begin the inning, and he hardly fared any better. After Emilio Bonifacio and Munenori Kawasaki executed a text book double steal, Melky Cabrera drilled a sharply hit fly ball to the edge of the warning track in left field, which plated Bonifacio with Toronto’s third run.
Bautista then took a hanging slider and bashed it into the front row of the Green Monster seats. It’s an all-out assault at Fenway.
3:30 p.m., Blue Jays 7-1: Andrew Miller came on, struggled and now the Red Sox will make another pitching change.
Miller gave up a leadoff home run to Brett Lawrie. It’s been one of those days, as Lawrie’s homer is Toronto’s fourth of the game. Emilio Bonifacio, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion have also gone deep.
Miller retired Colby Rasmus on a line drive to center, but Bonifacio singled and Munenori Kawasaki walked, and the lefty’s day is done.
Clayton Mortensen is coming in for Boston.
End 5th, Blue Jays 6-1: The Red Sox got a runner into scoring position, but the score remains the same.
Stephen Drew walked with one out and stole second base as Jacoby Ellsbury struck out swinging. Shane Victorino, batting for the first time since his collision with the right-field fence, lifted a short fly ball into left field. Third baseman Brett Lawrie went out and left fielder Melky Cabrera came in, and it was Cabrera who made the play.
It looks as if the Red Sox are calling upon Andrew Miller, which means Ryan Dempster’s day is over.
Dempster went five innings, surrendering six runs (all earned) on seven hits. He struck out six, walked one and gave up three home runs. Throw this outing in the “shaky” bin.
Mid 5th, Blue Jays 6-1: Toronto’s lead is back up to five runs after Edwin Encarnacion went deep in the fifth.
Jose Bautista — who also homered in this game — grounded out to begin the inning, but Encarnacion got back the run the Blue Jays gave up in the fourth. He turned on a splitter and drove it out of the yard down the left-field line. It’s Encarnacion’s 11th blast of the year.
J.P. Arencibia and Adam Lind each struck out to end the inning.
End 4th, Blue Jays 5-1: The Red Sox are on the scoreboard.
Mike Napoli blasted a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth. The home run is his seventh of the year, and it landed on top of the camera area above the center-field wall.
Napoli’s dinger is his first since May 1, when he went deep twice up in Toronto. Five of his seven home runs this season have come against the Blue Jays.
The Red Sox didn’t do any damage beyond Napoli’s blast. Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out, and Mike Carp flied out.
Mid 4th, Blue Jays 5-0: No one will ever question Shane Victorino’s toughness.
Victorino slammed — and I really mean SLAMMED — into the right-field fence while trying to make a leaping catch, and amazingly, he’s staying in the game.
Emilio Bonifacio sent a fly ball back toward the bullpen. Victorino ran back and — with no regard for the wall — tried to rob Bonifacio of a home run. Victorino’s ribs crashed into the wall, and his glove — and the ball — went flying into the ‘pen.
At first, it was reasonable to assume Victorino would be taken out of the game. He laid on the ground in pain as his teammates, John Farrell and Boston’s medical staff tended to him. After a few moments on the ground, though, Victorino got back to his feet and took his spot in right field.
To give you an indication of just how hard Victorino hit the wall, I heard the thump from the last row of the press box, which is located behind home plate.
Bonifacio’s home run extended Toronto’s lead to 5-0.
End 3rd, Blue Jays 3-0: The Red Sox’ recent trend continues. They keep putting runners on base, but they can’t find a way to drive them in.
The Red Sox’ rally in the third was cut short by an inning-ending double play. Dustin Pedroia, who has been Boston’s most productive hitter lately, bounced into the 6-4-3 twin killing after Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino reached with one out.
Ellsbury singled sharply into center, and Victorino followed with a swinging bunt. In fact, if Victorino had actually been bunting, it would have been a perfect bunt single. His little dribbler off the end of the bat rolled up the third-base line and came to a stop directly on the line, allowing him to reach.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, that little cue shot didn’t spark much.
Mid 3rd, Blue Jays 3-0: Jose Bautista didn’t wait around in the third. The always dangerous slugger crushed Ryan Dempster’s first pitch of the inning into the top row of the Green Monster.
Bautista’s home run is his eighth of the season, and he’s now reached base safely in 18 of his last 19 games.
Dempster settled down after the long ball to retire the next three hitters, but the Blue Jays are putting some good swings on the ball. In addition to the damage they’ve done, the Jays have hit some hard foul balls and hit into some hard outs.
Dustin Pedroia made a nice play to rob Edwin Encarnacion of a hit in the third inning. Encarnacion shot what he thought was a base hit up the middle, but Pedroia picked it on the back hand and fired to first for the first out.
J.P. Arencibia grounded out and Adam Lind flied out to end the inning.
End 2nd, Blue Jays 2-0: For the second time, the Red Sox received a two-out double. And for the second time, they failed to score.
Chad Jenkins got two quick outs against Daniel Nava and Mike Carp before Jarrod Saltalamacchia ripped a double into right field. The ball kicked off the warning track and up into the seats.
Salty has now appeared behind the plate in nine of the Red Sox’ last 10 games. He’s 9-for-23 in that stretch, and his workload should continue to be heavy now that David Ross has been placed on the seven-day concussion list.
The inning ended with Will Middlebrooks grounding out to short.
Mid 2nd, Blue Jays 2-0: Ryan Dempster’s pitch count is soaring early, and making matters worse for Boston is that the Blue Jays posted two runs in the second inning.
Dempster was one strike away from escaping a laborious inning, but Munenori Kawasaki ripped a 3-2 slider into right field and the Jays have jumped out to an early lead.
The inning started with Adam Lind — Saturday’s hero — singling into center field. Dempster looked to grab some control from there, striking out both Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus. Lawrie went down looking at a slider, while Rasmus was rung up on a cutter from Dempster.
Following the back-to-back K’s, things got interesting, though. Emilio Bonifacio shot a two-out double down the right-field line to set up runners at second and third, and Kawasaki made Dempster pay following a seven-pitch battle.
Dempster has already thrown 48 pitches.
End 1st, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia is heating up.
The Red Sox second baseman entered the game hitting .481 (13-for-27) over his last seven games. The stretch raised his average from .293 to .329, and he is tied for first in the American League with 16 multi-hit games.
Pedroia connected on a two-out double that one-hopped off the Green Monster in the first inning. The Red Sox didn’t take advantage of the two-bagger, though, as Mike Napoli grounded out to short to end the inning.
Prior to Pedroia’s double, Jacoby Ellsbury popped out to second and Shane Victorino lined out sharply to center.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Will Middlebrooks made a couple of nice barehanded plays on Saturday. He was primed to make another one in the first inning, but his throw sailed into the Red Sox’ dugout.
Fortunately for Boston, the error didn’t hurt. Ryan Dempster took care of business and kept the Blue Jays scoreless in their first cracks at the right-hander.
Dempster started the game by striking out Melky Cabrera. Dempster tried to put the outfielder away with a fastball and missed, but he came back with a nasty splitter to pick up the K.
Edwin Encarnacion reached on the ground ball to Middlebrooks. It was ruled a single and an error, which allowed him to advance to second base.
Encarnacion then advanced to third on a passed ball, but Dempster got J.P. Arencibia to ground out softly to second base to end the inning.
1:40 p.m.: Ryan Dempster’s first pitch is right down the middle, and we’re off and running…
1:30 p.m.: David Ross got a little dinged up during Saturday’s game, and he’ll need some rest.
The Red Sox announced that Ross has been placed on the seven-day concussion list. Ryan Lavarnway has been recalled to take his place.
1:15 p.m.: Ryan Dempster enters Sunday’s contest with a 1-0 record and 4.12 ERA (nine earned runs in 19 2/3 innings) in four career games against the Blue Jays.
As a matter of fact, Dempster, a native of British Columbia, is undefeated against Canadian clubs in his career. He’s 6-0 (5-0 versus Montreal) against those north of the border.
12:20 p.m.: Before our focus really starts to shift to baseball, I’d just like to take a minute and wish all you moms out there a happy Mother’s Day.
Love you, Ma.
11:30 a.m.: David Ortiz started the season like a house on fire, hitting .500 (18-for-36) with three home runs and 15RBIs in nine April games. He has struggled of late, though, hitting just .179 (7-for-39) in May.
Ortiz will get the day off on Sunday, which is a move designed to get the slugger back-to-back days off — the Red Sox have an off day on Monday. That means Mike Napoli will become the team’s DH — which should also give him some rest — and bat cleanup.
Mike Carp will be in Boston’s starting lineup. He’ll play first base and bat sixth.
The rest of Sunday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (22-15)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, DH
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Carp, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Ryan Dempster (2-3, 2.93 ERA)
Blue Jays (14-24)
Melky Cabrera, LF
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
J.P. Arencibia, C
Adam Lind, 1B
Brett Lawrie, 3B
Colby Rasmus, CF
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
Munenori Kawasaki, SS
Chad Jenkins, RHP (0-0, —)
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox were hoping Jon Lester’s one-hit shutout on Friday would send them back down a winning path. The club experienced another hiccup on Saturday, though, and now they face a rubber match with the Blue Jays on Sunday.
The Red Sox were unable to get to Mark Buehrle on Saturday, but they rallied for two runs in the eighth inning. As quick as the Sox tied the game, the Jays grabbed the lead right back. Adam Lind sent Junichi Tazawa’s hanging slider over the center-field fence in the ninth inning, and Toronto walked away with a 3-2 win.
Boston’s inability to generate offense — or more accurately, push across runs when they got runners on base — spoiled what was another solid start for Clay Buchholz. The right-hander really had only one rough frame, and he went eight innings without factoring in the decision.
Ryan Dempster will be the one called upon for Boston on Sunday. He’s pitched well this season, although he suffered the loss behind some spotty defense against the Twins on Tuesday.
Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here for all sorts of other Sunday madness.