BOSTON – The Red Sox fell to the Blue Jays, 6-2, Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park, snapping their four-game winning streak.
Junichi Tazawa took the loss as he and Sox pitching showed some signs of recent wear and tear. Tazawa went one inning, giving up two runs on three hits with one home run. His record fell to 4-3 with a 2.92 ERA.
Left-hander Felix Doubront went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts. He threw 103 pitches, 63 for strikes, as his ERA went from 4.33 to 4.22. Doubront recorded his eighth quality start in 14 starts this season, but was in line for the loss, leaving with a two-run deficit.
The Blue Jays got a run off Doubront in the first inning, as Jose Bautista walked with one out and stole second. He was erased trying to go to third on Edwin Encarnacion’s grounder, with Encarnacion reaching second on the play. Adam Lind’s single to left scored Encarnacion.
The Jays went up 2-0 on Bautista’s home run leading off the sixth, the 200th home run of his career.
The Sox tied the score in the seventh, as Darren Oliver replaced Jays starter Esmil Rogers. Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off with a single. It was the fourth consecutive inning the Sox’ lead-off hitter reached with a hit – the other three went for naught. Jose Iglesias bunted for a single, with Saltalamacchia taking third on second baseman Maicer Izturis’ throwing error. Saltalamacchia attempted to score on Jonathan Diaz’s bunt, but was thrown out at home. Jacoby Ellsbury singled to load the bases, and Shane Victorino’s single to center scored Iglesias and Diaz.
It was the first run scored of his career for Diaz, who was making his major league debut.
But the Sox quickly gave the lead back to the Jays. With Junichi Tazawa entering for the eighth, lead-off hitter Jose Reyes singled, and Bautista launched his second home run of the game. It was the 21st multi-home run game of Bautista’s career, and fourth this season.
The Sox bullpen was short-staffed with Koji Uehara unavailable after recording saves in the last three games, and right-hander Clayton Mortensen off the roster after being designated for assignment before the game.
This was Tazawa’s fourth appearance in the last six days, and he had been warming in the bullpen five of the last seven days, manager John Farrell said before the game.
Rogers was not involved in the decision, going six scoreless innings for the Jays, giving up six hits and a walk with six strikeouts and a wild pitch.
The Jays added two unearned runs off Craig Breslow in the ninth.
Steve Delabar got the win for Toronto, going 1 2/3 scoreless inning, with two hits and four strikeouts, as he improved to 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA.
AT A GLANCE
STAR OF THE GAME: Jose Bautista
Bautista went 2-for-4 with two home runs, two runs scored, and three RBI. It was his 21st career multi-home run game and fourth this season. He now has 201 home runs in his career, and 18 this season.
Bautista has 16 career home runs at Fenway, all since 2008, his most at any ballpark as a visitor. He has at least one home run in each of the last five series at Fenway since July 4, 2011.
He also threw out Shane Victorino at the plate, trying to score from second, for the first out of the sixth inning. It was the second straight game he has thrown out a runner at the plate. It was his seventh outfield assist this season, and the fourth time he’s thrown out a runner at home.
HONORABLE MENTION: Esmil Rogers started for the Jays, but was not involved in the decision. He went six scoreless innings for the Jays, giving up six hits and a walk with six strikeouts and a wild pitch.
It was the longest scoreless outing of his career – his previous high was four innings on July 4, 2010, while with the Rockies against the Giants. He tied his season high with six strikeouts, with a season-high 99 pitches...It was the most pitches he has thrown since Aug. 26, 2011, with the Rockies at the Dodgers, when he threw 110.
THE GOAT: Junichi Tazawa
Right after the Sox tied the game, Tazawa allowed the Jays to go ahead. He gave up a lead-off single to Jose Reyes in the eighth before Bautista’s second home run of the game.
Tazawa took the loss, falling to 4-3 with a 2.92 ERA. He went one inning, giving up two runs on three hits.
THE TURNING POINT:
Right after the Sox tied the score in the bottom of the seventh, the Jays re-took the lead of Bautista’s two-run home run, his second of the game.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10.13
In six games, spanning 5 1/3 innings, against the Jays this season, Tazawa has allowed six earned runs for a 10.13 ERA, with four home runs.
QUOTE OF NOTE:
“We forced him to throw a 260-foot strike and he did.” – manager John Farrell on Jose Bautista’s throw from right field to throw out Shane Victorino at the plate for the first out of the sixth inning.