The Boston Red Sox suffered their first loss of the second half Tuesday.
The Red Sox entered Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre riding a five-game winning streak that began before the All-Star break. The streak reached its pinnacle Monday, when Boston produced 14 runs on 18 hits while obliterating Toronto. But all good things must come to an end.
Jake Peavy suffered the loss as the Blue Jays rolled 7-3. The Boston offense was just as much to blame, though, as the unit produced only three runs despite compiling 11 hits and manufacturing several scoring chances.
Let’s go over some other notes.
– Peavy allowed five earned runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven, walked three and threw 105 pitches (67 strikes).
Peavy actually pitched pretty well for the first five frames, with Toronto’s lone run in that span coming on a Melky Cabrera comebacker that kicked off the right-hander. The sixth inning was dreadful, though, and the Blue Jays never looked back.
Jose Reyes and Dioner Navarro homered as part of a three-run sixth in which Peavy allowed three hits and a walk. Peavy now has surrendered an American League-high 20 home runs this season.
– The Red Sox have averaged 2.76 runs of support for Peavy. That’s the lowest mark for any qualifying pitcher in the American League.
– The top of the sixth inning yielded a good, old-fashioned bunt debate.
Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes led off with back-to-back singles with the Red Sox trailing 1-0. Shane Victorino dug in with the bottom third of the order — Stephen Drew, Xander Bogaerts and David Ross — scheduled to bat behind him. Do you bunt?
Red Sox manager John Farrell chose not to and Victorino grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Hindsight obviously is 20/20, but a bunt would have been reasonable given the way the Red Sox have swung the bats for Peavy this season.
– David Ortiz definitely is on his way to Jamaica.
Ortiz, who vowed after Sunday’s game to get “hotter than Jamaica in the middle of August,” hit another home run in the eighth inning. He also added an opposite-field double in the fourth inning.
Ortiz’s home run — his 23rd of the season — tied Alex Rodriguez for the most homers as a visitor at Rogers Centre (36).
– Shane Victorino looks comfortable since returning from the disabled list. He collected three hits and is 6-for-11 since being activated before Saturday’s game.
– Stephen Drew flied out with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and struck out with a runner on third base in the sixth inning. However, he also jacked his fourth homer of the season in the ninth inning.
– Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia combined to go 0-for-8 atop the order.
Pedroia is hitless in his last four games (0-for-16).
– David Ross had three hits, though he clearly wasn’t 100 percent.
Ross pulled up after singling in the third inning, which drew the attention of Farrell and Red Sox trainer Rick Jameyson. Ross stayed in the game until the ninth inning, but the catcher told reporters after the game that he’s dealing with plantar fasciitis on his right foot.
Fortunately, Ross doesn’t expect to miss any time due to the injury. It’s something the 37-year-old has dealt with in the past.
“In the offseason, I ruptured it and that’s what they do when they do surgery — they just go in and cut it,” Ross said, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. “So I ruptured it and it hasn’t been a problem since. I was running today with the intent of letting that thing blow out. It would feel a lot better if it would.”
– Felix Doubront allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in the eighth inning. The left-hander, who pitched for the second straight game, indicated Monday that he’s not happy with his current role.