Sox Can’t Avoid Loss to Jays
By IAN HARRISON
TORONTO (AP) _ Pinch hitter Mark DeRosa hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, Mark Buehrle pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight decision and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1 on Thursday night.
Buehrle (9-7) came in 0-4 with a 4.97 ERA in his previous eight starts against the Red Sox, a team he hadn’t beaten since Sept. 7, 2009, with the White Sox. The left-hander allowed one run and 10 hits, walked two and struck out four.
The Blue Jays took two of three from the AL East-leading Red Sox, who went 4-6 on a three-city road trip that also included stops in Houston and Kansas City. Boston has lost five of seven overall, dropping consecutive series for the first time since losing three straight against Texas, Minnesota and Toronto from May 3-12.
The Red Sox won’t get much time to enjoy being home. After a three-game series with the Yankees that begins Friday, they hit the road again for three at San Francisco and three against the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
Darren Oliver worked the eighth and Casey Janssen finished for his 22nd save in 24 chances.
Boston’s Dustin Pedroia hit a two-out single in the first and went to second when David Ortiz walked, but was thrown out at the plate by left-fielder Kevin Pillar trying to score on a Jonny Gomes’ single. It was the first assist of Pillar’s career.
With the Blue Jays using a defensive shift, Pedroia was able to go from first to third when Ortiz grounded out in the third. Toronto escaped when Gomes fouled out and Stephen Drew struck out.
After stranding six runners through the first three innings, Boston broke through with a run off Buehrle in the fourth. Daniel Nava hit a one out double, went to third on a check-swing single by Will Middlebrooks and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI grounder. The Blue Jays might have been able to turn a double play, but second baseman Munenori Kawasaki threw high to shortstop Jose Reyes covering second, preventing a throw to first.
Drew and Ryan Lavarnway both singled to begin the sixth, but Buehrle fanned Nava and Middlebrooks before getting Ellsbury to ground out.
Red Sox starter Jake Peavy (9-5) came in 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA in his past four starts against Toronto and was untroubled through the first six innings, allowing just a pair of two-out hits.
That changed in the seventh, when Jose Bautista singled off the glove of third baseman Middlebrooks, took second on Edwin Encarnacion’s single and scored on a base hit by Lawrie, with Encarnacion advancing to third.
Bautista’s ball was initially ruled an error but changed to a base hit after review.
Craig Breslow came on to face DeRosa, who put the Blue Jays in front with a sacrifice fly.
Making his third start with Boston since coming over in a July 30 trade with the Chicago White Sox, Peavy allowed two runs and five hits in six-plus innings. He walked none and struck out four.
NOTES: Boston 1B Mike Napoli, who snapped a 0-for-16 slump with a tying two-run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday, got the day off. … MRI results for Blue Jays RHP Josh Johnson confirmed the initial diagnosis of a strained right forearm. Johnson was placed on the 15-day DL Tuesday, retroactive to Aug. 7. … With a crowd of 40,477, the Blue Jays topped the 2 million mark in attendance on their 63rd home date, the quickest they’ve reached the mark since 1997.
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