May 10, 2011: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6

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May 10, 2011: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

TORONTO -- The .500 mark remains elusive for the Red Sox.

For the third time this season, they had a chance to even their won-loss record. And for the third time they failed, dropping a 7-6 extra-inning decision to the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night in the opener of a five-game road trip.

Twice, the Blue Jays had the lead and three the Red Sox roared back to tie the game.

But in the bottom of the 10th, Rajai Davis singled, stole second and third, and rode home on David Cooper's long sacrifice fly to center off Matt Albers.

The Sox looked headed to defeat earlier when Cooper homered off Daniel Bard in the eighth, giving Toronto a 6-5 lead. But Adrian Gonzalez answered with a solo homer of his own in the top of the ninth. It was Gonzalez's second homer of the night and fifth in his last 10 games.

Jon Lester turned in his worst start since Opening Day, allowing three runs in the first thanks to three walks -- one with the bases loaded.

The Sox used run-scoring singles by Carl Crawford and a solo homer by David Ortiz to get back into the game.

They took the lead for the first time on a two-run, opposite-field homer by Adrian Gonzalez -- his fourth homer in the last eight games -- to go up 4-3, in the fifth.

After the Jays took the lead once more with single runs in the sixth and seventh, the Sox responded with an RBI single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the eighth to forge a 5-5 tie.

Jacoby Ellsbury (three hits) extended his hitting streak to 19 games and David Ortiz had a single, double and homer.

Player of the Game: David Cooper

The Blue Jays' rookie hit a solo homer off Daniel Bard in the eighth to put the Jays ahead. Then, after the Red Sox rallied in the ninth, Cooper came to the plate in the bottom of the 10th and played the hero again.

This time, with Rajai Davis on third and one out, he didn't have to do much. But he did enough, lofting a fly ball to deep center on which David could have crawled home with winning run.

Honorable Mention: Adrian Gonzalez

Gonzalez is on a tear, with two homers Tuesday night and five in his last eight games.

Gonzalez drilled a two-run shot to left in the fifth to put the Red Sox ahead for the first time. Then, down to their last three outs, he hit another -- this one, solo -- to tie the game 6-6 and force extra innings.

Had the Sox figured out a way to pull this one out, Gonzalez's heroics would have been the reason. As it is, it was still an amazing night.

The Goat: Jon Lester

Lester had a string of six straight quality starts going, but that ended with a thud Tuesday. He gave up three runs in the first inning -- thanks in large part to three walks -- and after the Red Sox rallied to take the lead on the first of Gonzalez's two homers, Lester promptly gave it back, allowing the Jays to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.

Lester walked five, hit another and allowed two homers in what was surely his worst start this season.

Turning Point: Sox stranded

The Red Sox, as has been their habit of late, stranded baserunners left and right -- 12 in all.

The worst came in the seventh when the Sox had runners at first and second and no out. Kevin Youkilis hit into a fielder's choice, David Ortiz was forced into an inning-ending double play, and the Sox seemed doomed from that point on.

By the Numbers: 5

After going homerless for a stretch of 23 games, Adrian Gonzalez has now hit five homers in his last eight games.

Quote of Note

"Basically, I ruined a good night by the offense.''

-- Jon Lester

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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