Red Sox drop series finale with Blue Jays, 4-3


Red Sox drop series finale with Blue Jays, 4-3

BOSTON The Red Sox halted several disappointing trends Sunday afternoon against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. But, it was not enough as they couldnt stop their most disturbing one: losing. They fell 4-3, in the series finale.

It was the Sox fourth straight loss and third time being swept in their last four series. They have lost 11 times in their last 12 games, and 27 of their last 37 since Aug. 1.

Clay Buchholz pitched admirably but took the loss. His record fell to 11-6 with a 4.46 ERA. He went 8 23 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks (one intentional) with four strikeouts. He threw 121 pitches, 82 strikes.

Buchholz, in pitching nearly a complete game, disrupted at least one concerning trend: In the previous 11 games Red Sox starting pitchers had averaged just over 4 23 innings. But Buccholzs effort wasnt enough to prevent yet another loss.

With the score tied in the ninth inning and runners on first and thread, Buchholz faced Omar Vizquel in what is very likely the last at-bat at Fenway for Vizquel who is retiring after the season. Vizquel, who entered the game with just three RBI this season, recorded his fourth earlier in the game. His sacrifice fly to left field in the ninth off Buchholz gave the Jays the 4-3 lead.

The Sox, who out-hit the Jays, scored their runs on home runs by Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Ellsburys two-run homer in the second was just the third time the Sox have scored first in a game in their last 14 games.

For Ellsbury, batting in the sixth spot for the first time since 2009, it was his third home run of the season and first since Aug. 27. Cody Ross, who walked, scored on the blast.

The Jays took the lead in the fourth. After striking out Adam Lind to open the inning, Buchholz gave up consecutive singles to Rajai Davis, Anthony Gose, and Jeff Mathis for one run. Omar Vizqeuls sacrifice fly drove in the second run. The Jays went ahead when Adeiny Hechavarria singled to left before being thrown out at second to end the inning.

The Sox tied the game when Dustin Pedroia led off the sixth with a solo home run into the back row of Monster seats in left field. It was his 14th home run of the season.

Carlos Villanueva started for the Jays, going six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, including two home runs, and two walks with two strikeouts.

Brandon Lyon earned the win for the Jays, while Casey Janssen got the save.

Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays


Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth career grand slam to help Rick Porcello get his major league-leading 22nd win, and the Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff berth by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday night for their 10th consecutive win.

Boston maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Toronto for the division title and ensured no worse than the AL's second wild card. While the Red Sox technically have a magic number of one, the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles play each other three times in the season's final week - meaning only one of them can win match Boston's 91 wins.

Among the other wild-card contenders, only Detroit can reach 91 victories.

Pedroia stopped an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the sixth and gave Boston a 6-3 lead with a seventh-inning drive off Danny Farquhar.

Porcello (22-4) gave up three runs, eight hits and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings. He just missed getting his 12th consecutive start of seven or more innings and three runs or fewer, which would have moved him past Cy Young (1904) and Pedro Martinez (2000) for the longest stretch during the same season in franchise history.

Craig Kimbrel, the fifth Boston reliever, reached 30 saves for the sixth straight season despite allowing Logan Forsythe's solo homer in the ninth.

Brad Miller hit a two-run double in a three-run second that put Tampa Bay up 3-1 and gave him 80 RBIs.

Tampa Bay threatened in the second but failed to score due to two nice defensive plays. Pedroia made a throw from just in front of the outfield grass at second base on Mikie Mahtook's grounder to get Corey Dickerson at the plate. Third baseman Brock Holt made a solid play along the line on Alexei Ramirez's grounder and threw him out at first to end the inning.

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason


Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

Thought to be lost for the season after shoulder surgery this past spring, Pablo Sandoval could possibly return to the Red Sox for the postseason, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Saturday.

Sandoval joined the team in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Farrell said Sandoval had played in instructional league games in Florida and was "well ahead of schedule."

He could be an option to be activated if another player is injured. 

“One of the things I put in my mind that I have to work,” Sandoval told Boston Herald. “I learned a lot of things about this surgery so I had to work hard to be on the field as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of things I’ve been doing, working out, doing things so I can get better and better everyday.”

Sandoval, 30, is in the second year of a five-year, $95 contract. He lost his starting third base job to Travis Shaw in spring training and in April an MRI revealed he needed surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder, which was to have ended his season.

He appeared in only three games this season and hit .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 126 games in 2015.