BOSTON — What a difference a week makes.
Exactly one week after the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 14-1 at Rogers Centre, Toronto returned the favor at Fenway Park. The Jays pounded 14 hits Monday en route to a 14-1 beatdown of the Sox.
Nothing went right for Boston in the series opener. The Red Sox’s pitching was bad and their offense struggled, which never is a productive combination. Clearly, this season is becoming a lost cause.
Let’s dive into how bad it really was Monday.
– Clay Buchholz showed so much promise in his first five starts off the disabled list. The right-hander’s last two outings have been disappointing, though, and the common thread has been a lack of control.
Buchholz, who issued just one walk over 35 2/3 innings in his first five starts after returning from the DL, has issued eight walks over 11 innings in his last two starts.
“I think in the last two outings there’s been tendency to go to his secondary stuff early in the game, and it’s prevented him I think somewhat from establishing his fastball to quality locations,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Monday’s loss. “And when he has to go to a fastball to get back into the count, that’s where some of the mistakes have been made.”
Buchholz was charged with seven earned runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings Monday. He allowed the first three hitters of the sixth inning to reach before receiving the hook.
Buchholz and Farrell both agree there’s nothing wrong with the pitcher’s mechanics. He’s simply getting beat by mistakes.
– Felix Doubront’s frustrating season hit a new low.
Doubront, who has been vocal in recent weeks about his displeasure with his current role, got shelled after taking over for Buchholz in the sixth. The left-hander recorded just two outs while surrendering six earned runs on six hits and two walks.
“Through the first six innings, it was an ugly night from the mound,” Farrell accurately noted.
Doubront declined to speak with reporters after the game.
– The Blue Jays scored nine runs on eight hits and three walks in the sixth inning. The Jays brought 14 men to the plate.
It marked the second time this season Toronto has scored nine runs in an inning. No other American League team has scored that many runs in an inning this season.
– Melky Cabrera drilled two homers — one from each side of the plate — for the Blue Jays.
– R.A. Dickey shut down the Red Sox’s offense. The knuckleballer allowed just one run on three hits while striking out 10 over seven innings.
Dickey’s 10 punchouts were a season-high.
– Brock Holt went hitless for the third straight game. He’s 1-for-23 over his last six contests.
– Shane Victorino extended his season-long on-base streak to eight games. He is hitting .367 (11-for-30) with a .406 on-base percentage since returning from the disabled list July 19.
– David Ross continues to hobble around because of his plantar fasciitis. The veteran catcher said after the game he’ll be fine, though.
– The loss was the Red Sox’s most lopsided defeat at Fenway Park since a seven-inning, 13-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics on April 23, 2013.
– The Red Sox have lost six of their last seven after winning eight of their previous nine.
“We knew a week ago that we were starting to gain a little momentum coming out of the break,” Farrell said. “And that has been stalled over the past seven games.”
– David Ortiz said before the game he’s confident the Red Sox and Jon Lester will agree to a deal. Rumors continue to swirl regarding Lester’s availability at the trade deadline, though.
– Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer apparently still is upset with Ortiz over Sunday’s bat flip.