Bullpen can't hold lead as Sox fall 9-7 to Jays

Bullpen can't hold lead as Sox fall 9-7 to Jays
April 30, 2013, 10:30 pm
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TORONTO -- The same pitching staff that has carried the Red Sox to the American League's best record in April stumbled on the final night of the month -- and the offense couldn't quite do enough to overcome
the off-night by the pitchers.
     
A bases-loaded double from David Ortiz gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night in the top of the seventh, but in the bottom of the same inning, a two-run homer by Edwin Encarnacion off reliever Junichi Tazawa  proved too much to overcome as the Sox saw their five-game winning streak
end with an 9-7 setback to the Toronto Blue Jays.
     
The homer was just the third allowed by Tazawa in the last two seasons.
     
Joel Hanrahan, returning from a DL stint, pitched the eighth and allowed an insurance run to the Jays.
     
Jon Lester was far from sharp, allowing six runs in six innings of work. A two-run throwing error by Jarrod Saltalamacchia didn't help matters.
     
The Sox began to chip away with solo homers from Ortiz, Mike Carp and Jonny Gomes before Encarnacion hit the first of two homers -- a moon shot into the top deck off Lester.
     
Ortiz's double put them ahead -- but only briefly.

STAR OF THE GAME: Edwin Encarnacion
Encarnacion hit two homers -- the first a tape-measure blast that landed in the upper deck of Rogers Centre; the second erased a 7-6 lead the Sox had built in the top of the seventh -- and drove in four runs. He became just the 14th player to reach the 500 Level of Rogers Centre with the first blast.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Ortiz
It came in a losing cause, but Ortiz continued his torrid (if delayed) start to the season, with a solo homer and a bases-loaded three-run double that (briefly) gave the Red Sox their only lead of the night. Ortiz has knocked in 15 runs in his first nine games back from the DL.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Junichi Tazawa
Tazawa was entrusted with a one-run lead in the seventh but couldn't make it hold up for more than four batters, allowing a two-run homer to Encarnacion.

TURNING POINT: Though the game was lost in the seventh, a throwing error by Jarrod Saltalamacchia was critical in the third. The Jays scored two runs as Saltalamacchia attempted to pick off Jose Bautista at first base. The catcher claimed his elbow hit the mask of home plate umpire Clint Fagan, and ball should have been declared dead.

BY THE NUMBERS: Mike Carp, who hit his first homer for the Sox, is 11-for-21 in his past seven games.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "At the time, over-aggressiveness on our part. ... Not a real good heads-up play, given the situation.'' -- John Farrell on Jacoby Ellsbury being picked off second base in the third inning.