There have been several times this season when it has looked like the Red Sox have bottomed out. But no defeat has been as deflating as Friday’s 13-10 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Boston blew a seven-run lead in an epic collapse. The Red Sox, who were swept this week by the Baltimore Orioles, have lost four straight since sweeping the Oakland Athletics last weekend at Fenway.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox scored five runs in the first inning and three more in the third to grab an 8-1 lead. But in a game that accurately summarizes Boston’s season, the Sox crumbled, particularly in the seventh inning.
The Blue Jays scored nine runs in the seventh before the Red Sox even recorded an out. Toronto took a 13-8 lead with the huge frame, which featured poor defense and untimely collapses on the mound.
The Blue Jays pounded out eight hits in the inning. Toronto tied the game when Pablo Sandoval made a nice diving stop but proceeded to roll around with the baseball, allowing Josh Donaldson to score from third base. Russell Martin followed with a three-run triple to put the Blue Jays on top, and Justin Smoak added a homer.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Blue Jays’ quick-strike offense flexed its muscle in the seventh.
Toronto sent 12 batters to the dish while seizing control. The boo birds were out in full force at Fenway Park, except for when the crowd mock-cheered the first out Boston recorded in the inning.
Kevin Pillar, Ryan Goins and Jose Reyes began the inning with three consecutive singles off Matt Barnes, who has been extremely shaky of late. John Farrell wasted no time in turning to Junichi Tazawa, but the move provided little relief.
Donaldson and Jose Bautista produced back-to-back singles. Sandoval fielded Donaldson’s chopper to the left side but couldn’t get a handle on the baseball and thus couldn’t deliver a throw.
Blake Swihart nearly picked off Bautista at first base with a snap throw, but Mike Napoli failed to apply the tag. Bautista used a nice dive to sneak in his hand ahead of Napoli’s bid.
Chris Colabello followed with a hot shot to third base that Sandoval misplayed for an error. Martin and Smoak added to the damage, which sunk the Red Sox’s ship.
ON THE BUMP
— Joe Kelly was meh.
Kelly allowed four earned runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out three, walked two and threw 101 pitches (63 strikes).
The fifth inning was most problematic for Kelly. The Blue Jays opened the inning with three straight hits and totaled four knocks while scoring three runs to cut the Red Sox’s lead to 8-4.
— Barnes wasn’t taking down anyone. Three batters, three singles, see you later.
— Tazawa has been so good this season, but he couldn’t stop the bleeding in the seventh. Taz allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits without recording an out.
Tazawa has had struggles against the Blue Jays in the past. He now owns a 7.88 ERA (21 earned runs over 24 innings) in 26 career appearances versus Toronto.
— Tommy Layne had retired the first batter he faced in each of his last 18 appearances. Smoak greeted him with a second-pitch homer.
Layne retired the next three hitters to end the disastrous inning.
— Heath Hembree, who was recalled Friday with Craig Breslow on paternity leave, pitched two perfect innings.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox scored five runs on six hits in the first inning, creating a brief buzz at Fenway Park.
Sandoval and Mookie Betts hit back-to-back homers in the opening inning, marking the third time this season Red Sox hitters have gone back-to-back.
— Betts slammed into the outfield wall in the second inning. He initially stayed in the game but exited before the start of the third inning with what the team announced as a low back sprain.
— Dustin Pedroia launched a three-run homer in the third inning. It was an absolute moon shot to left field, giving Pedroia nine homers for the season.
— Xander Bogaerts continues to swing a hot bat. He went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Bogaerts doubled in the first inning and provided an RBI single in the eighth.
— David Ortiz collected two hits and walked once as he looks to get on track. His first hit — an RBI single over the left fielder’s head on a good-looking pitch located down and away — was an encouraging sign.
— Swihart had two hits and walked once out of the No. 8 spot.
— Rusney Castillo reached base four times. He had three hits, including an RBI double in the ninth.
— Mike Napoli struck out with the bases loaded to end an eighth-inning threat. He went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, lowering his average to .200 on the dot.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Sad. But true?
"Goodbye, 2015 season. Goodbye." http://t.co/5jkiNoQlog—
Red (@SurvivingGrady) June 13, 2015
The Red Sox and Blue Jays will continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon. Clay Buchholz is scheduled to face R.A. Dickey in a tilt scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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