Final, Blue Jays 7-2: And that’ll do it.
The Red Sox go down in order in the ninth and now are losers of seven straight games.
The Blue Jays did all of their damage in the first two innings, roughing up Jon Lester before coasting the rest of the way. Jonny Gomes (RBI single) and Xander Bogaerts (solo home run) provided the only offense for Boston.
The Red Sox now travel to Florida for a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays beginning Friday night.
Mid 9th, Blue Jays 7-2: Yet another inning ends with Dioner Navarro at the plate, but the Blue Jays now are three outs from victory.
A.J. Pierzynski, Xander Bogaerts and Mike Carp will try to find some magic here in the ninth.
End 8th, Blue Jays 7-2: We head to the ninth.
Blue Jays reliever Dustin McGowan retires Shane Victorino, David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes in order to protect Toronto’s five-run lead.
Mid 8th, Blue Jays 7-2: A double play helps Craig Breslow settle down after allowing a pair of singles, and the lefty gets Jose Reyes to ground out with a man on third to complete the scoreless inning.
This will be the end of the night for Mark Buehrle, as righty Dustin McGowan comes on to pitch for the Blue Jays. Buehrle was stellar today, allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out five without walking a batter.
End 7th, Blue Jays 7-2: Brock Holt came through with his second hit of the day, and Dustin Pedroia lifted a fly ball just to the left of the left field foul pole, but for the fifth straight inning, the Red Sox come away empty-handed.
Mark Buehrle struck out Pedroia swinging for the final out.
Mid 7th, Blue Jays 7-2: Craig Breslow gets Dioner Navarro to pop out in foul territory, and we head to the bottom of the seventh.
The bottom third of the order will be up first for the Red Sox, beginning with Mike Carp.
Top 7th, Blue Jays 7-2: Burke Badenhop allows a single to Edwin Encarnacion and gets Brett Lawrie to fly out to center. Craig Breslow comes on to try to close out the inning.
Top 7th, Blue Jays 7-2: That’ll do it for Jon Lester. Burke Badenhop takes over on the mound with one out and Jose Bautista at first.
Edwin Encarnacion will have the first crack at the high-socked right-hander.
End 6th, Blue Jays 7-2: Flyout, flyout, groundout.
The Red Sox go down in order in the sixth. The home team is running out of time, with just three innings left to make up a five-run deficit.
Mid 6th, Blue Jays 7-2: Video review made an appearance here in the sixth.
Kevin Pillar was caught stealing at second after reaching on a one-out double. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged the call, though, arguing that Pillar’s hand touch the bag before Xander Bogaerts applied the tag.
It was a lengthy review, taking roughly three and a half minutes, and the Fenway Faithful began to grow a bit restless. The call on the field ultimately stood, though, giving Jon Lester two outs and no baserunners to worry about.
The umpires’ decision proved to be an important one, as Anthony Gose doubled to left in Toronto’s next at-bat — a hit that easily would have scored Pillar from second.
Jose Reyes popped out to center field to end the inning.
End 5th, Blue Jays 7-2: The Red Sox fail to put a ball out of the infield in the fifth.
Mark Buehrle struck out Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino on borderline pitches — Pedroia, especially, did not look happy with the call. Buehrle then knocked down a sharply hit ball by David Ortiz and fired it to first to retire the side.
Mid 5th, Blue Jays 7-2: Xander Bogaerts finishes off another 1-2-3 effort for the Red Sox.
Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie lined to third and second for two quick outs, and Bogaerts recovered after bobbling a ground ball to nail Dioner Navarro at first.
Navarro has made the final out in three of the Blue Jays’ five innings this afternoon.
End 4th, Blue Jays 7-2: The Red Sox get a pair of base hits against Mark Buehrle, but the lefty returns to the dugout with his five-run lead intact.
A.J. Pierzynski opened up the inning with a ground-ball single down the third base line. Xander Bogaerts then made a bid for his second extra-base hit of the day (he homered back in the second), but Jose Bautista was able to track down his fading fly ball in right field.
Mike Carp singled to give the Red Sox multiple baserunners for the first time tonight, but Brock Holt then flied out to center, and Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out swinging on three pitches way out of the strike zone to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Blue Jays 7-2: The Blue Jays have now gone two innings without a baserunner, as Jon Lester completes his second consecutive 1-2-3 frame.
Jose Reyes flied out to left — with Jonny Gomes ranging toward the foul line to make the catch — and Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista both grounded out to the left side of the infield.
End 3rd, Blue Jays 7-2: Nothing going in the third for the Red Sox, whom Mark Buehrle retires in order.
Shane Victorino flied out to left field, David Ortiz struck out swinging and Jonny Gomes popped out to Steve Tolleson in shallow right-center.
Mid 3rd, Blue Jays 7-2: Jon Lester finally enjoys an easy inning, as the Blue Jays go down in order.
Lester sandwiched strikeouts of Steve Tolleson and Anthony Gose (both looking) around a groundout by Kevin Pillar. Brock Holt initially had trouble handling the Pillar grounded, but he recovered and threw to first in time to retire the DH.
End 2nd, Blue Jays 7-2: These Red Sox are not going quietly.
Xander Bogaerts bombed a home run over everything in left field to lead off the bottom of the second, trimming the sizable Toronto lead to five runs.
Brock Holt came through with a double to left two batters later, but three groundouts (by Mike Carp, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia) prevented the Sox from putting any more runs on the board.
Mid 2nd, Blue Jays 7-1: Jon Lester keeps the ball in the yard in the second, but the Blue Jays still are able to tack on another five runs.
Steve Tolleson slapped a grounder past the outstretched glove of Xander Bogaerts to lead off the inning, and Kevin Pillar reached on a high-bouncing ball that hit just in front of the plate to put two men on with no outs.
No. 9 hitter Anthony Gose bunted to advance the runners, and Jose Reyes brought them home when his soft fly ball found the grass in right-center.
The speedy Reyes then stole second (though that proved inconsequential after Melky Cabrera walked) and motored on home when Jose Bautista touched Lester for yet another single.
Another base hit, this one by Edwin Encarnacion, brought Cabrera home and sent Bautista to third. Brett Lawrie then hit what appeared to be a double-play ball, but he was able to beat out Dustin Pedroia’s relay to first, allowing Bautista to come home with Toronto’s fifth run of the frame.
Jackie Bradley Jr. finally ended the inning by robbing Dioner Navarro with an excellent diving catch in center field.
In all, the Jays sent nine batters to the inning, scoring five runs on five hits, one walk and one sacrifice bunt.
End 1st, Blue Jays 2-1: After an inauspicious start, the Red Sox got one back in their first trip to the plate.
Dustin Pedroia started things off nicely for the Sox, pulling a wall-ball double off Mark Buehrle to lead off the inning.
Shane Victorino followed by popping out to Edwin Encarnacion at first, and David Ortiz grounded into the shift for the second out. Ortiz’s grounder allowed Pedroia to take third, though, and Jonny Gomes brought him home with a single up the middle.
Gomes’ base hit was the culmination of an excellent at-bat, during which he fouled off three pitches and fought his way out of a 1-2 hole before driving the sharp grounder into center field.
A.J. Pierzynski then made his own bid for a base hit up the middle, but he was foiled by Jose Reyes, who ranged to his left to retire the catcher and end the inning.
Mid 1st, Blue Jays 2-0: Needless to say, this was is not the start Jon Lester wanted.
After retiring Jose Reyes to open the game, Lester allowed back-to-back home runs — on consecutive pitches — to Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista to give the Blue Jays a very early 2-0 lead. Cabrera’s cleared everything in left field, coming down somewhere on Lansdowne Street, and Bautista’s banged off the Advil sign atop the Green Monster in left-center field.
Lester then followed an Edwin Encarnacion groundout with a walk to Brett Lawrie, but Dustin Pedroia made a nice play on a grounder to the opposite side of the second base bag to retire Dioner Navarro and end the inning.
The Red Sox now have some work to do. Pedroia, Shane Victorino and David Ortiz are due up in the home half of the first.
4:13 p.m.: Jon Lester’s first pitch to Jose Reyes is inside for a ball, and we are underway after a very brief rain delay.
The Blue Jays will send Reyes, Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista to the plate against Lester here in the first. If any of them reach, it’ll bring up the red-hot Edwin Encarnacion, who has crushed Red Sox pitching for four home runs and seven RBIs already in this series.
3:40 p.m.: I stand corrected. Off comes the tarp. The pregame activities will begin momentarily.
3:35 p.m.: It doesn’t look like this game will be starting on time.
The tarp remains on the field with just 30 minutes to go before first pitch, and it’s now raining harder than it has all day.
We’ll keep you updated on any delays.
2:15 p.m.: The tarp is out on the field here at Fenway, and the rain is coming down. The forecast calls for showers and possible thunderstorms throughout the afternoon, so we might be in for a long day.
A rainout wouldn’t be disastrous schedule-wise — the Blue Jays return to Boston for a series in late July and another in September — and it probably would be preferable to a lengthy rain delay for the Red Sox, who have to pack up and fly to Tampa Bay after the game.
While you’re all trying to stay dry, here are a few notes from John Farrell’s pregame meeting with reporters:
– Mike Napoli missed Wednesday night’s game (a 6-4 Jays win) with flulike symptoms, and though he’s still a little fatigued and dehydrated, Farrell said there’s a chance he could be available off the bench this afternoon.
– Farrell did not yet name his replacement for injured starting pitcher Felix Doubront, who was scheduled to go Sunday against the Rays before being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder strain. The skipper also said there’s a chance the team could call up an additional reliever in the interim to fill Doubront’s roster spot.
– Farrell said the team has not yet determined which level of the minors Stephen Drew will be assigned to to begin his season. Drew could make his debut as early as Friday, but it will depend on the schedules of the team’s affiliates.
1:30 p.m. ET: For the Boston Red Sox to finally snap their six-game losing streak and avoid back-to-back sweeps in their home ballpark, they’ll have to go through the best the Toronto Blue Jays have to offer.
Mark Buehrle (7-1, 2.11 ERA) has been the ace of the Blue Jays’ staff in 2014. The quick-working lefty enters his start Thursday at Fenway Park tied for the major league wins lead and trailing Oakland’s Sonny Gray by a mere one percentage point for the American League lead in ERA.
The Red Sox roughed up Buehrle in their only meeting of the season, though, torching the 35-year-old for seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings to hand him his lone defeat. They’ll send their own rotation stud to the mound Thursday in Jon Lester.
Lester holds just a 4-5 record on the season, but his 2.67 ERA and 73 strikeouts both lead all Boston starters by a wide margin.
“Two left-handers that have gotten off to strong starts,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Buehrle and Lester during his pregame news conference. “Jon’s might not be reflected in the win-loss, but when you look at the number of innings, the number of strikeouts, the number of quality starts he’s made for us, this should be a very good matchup once again.”
We’ll have much more on said matchup leading up to first pitch at 4:05 p.m., but in the meantime, take a look at the starting lineups for both teams below.
Starting lineups for Sox-Jays series finale. http://t.co/itdFQj3s2f—
Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) May 22, 2014