Sox take no offense at Blue Jays

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Sox take no offense at Blue Jays

TORONTO -- By any measure, pitching has been the Red Sox' chief weakness through the team's first five games. The bullpen was directly responsible for two losses and a poor starting effort in another resulted in a lopsided shutout.
But the offense has been far from blameless. After Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Sox have scored three runs or fewer three times already.
Kyle Drabek, whom the Sox battered for 15 hits and 12 runs in two starts covering nine innings last year, was far more successful against them this time. Drabek limited the Sox to just three hits and a run in 5 13 innings.
"He threw a splitter that kind of cut and ran away when you thought it was going to come back over the plate,'' explained Kevin Youkilis. "He was spotting up pitches a lot better than last year. He was commanding the zone. He kind of went in and out and knew where the ball was going a little bit more than he used to.
"He got ahead and stayed ahead. He's got great stuff and when you have great stuff and command it, it's tough to hit.''
Until the ninth inning, the Sox were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
They squandered a first-and-second chance with one out in the second and similarly wasted a one-out double from Cody Ross in the fifth. Ross, in fact, never advanced, much less scored.
But the Sox' biggest missed opportunity came in the sixth, when they scored their first run, managed to chase Drabek, and -- trailing by only 3-1 -- had runners on first and third with one out.
But Youkilis, who had earlier snapped an 0-for-12 streak with a sharp double to right, grounded into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play against reliever Jason Frasor. Toronto scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth, and the game, essentially, was over.
Leadoff runners -- Ryan Sweeney, on a double in the seventh, and Dustin Pedroia, who reached on an infield single in the eighth -- were also wasted.
Not until the ninth did the Sox show any life. But it was far from enough.

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Mike Felger and Dan Shaughnessy discuss the Boston Red Sox bouncing back from their slump with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

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Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 8-2 win over Tampa Bay

 

QUOTES

"I can't say enough about the way our position players have continued to grind away. . . Tonight was just another example of that.'' - John Farrell.

"He's been everything that we could have hoped. You look to a starting pitcher to go out and be consistent every fifth day -- he's been a model of that for us.'' - Farrell on Rick Porcello.

"It's nice to come back with a statement game tonight. The past couple of week haven't been good for us, so it was nice to get back on the right track tonight.'' - Travis Shaw.

"Preventing them from scoring first was big and then limiting the big inning. The fourth inning was a grind. I dug myself a hole and had to find a way out of it.'' - Rick Porcello.

 

NOTES

* Rick Porcello became the first Red Sox starter to record a win since David Price beat Seattle on Jume 19.

* Porcello is unbeaten over his last eight starts, going 3-0 with five no-decisions.

* Porcello had gone 19 straight starts without allowing more than two walks, the longest such streak for a Red Sox starter since Curt Schilling went 33 in a row.

* The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and are one of two teams (Cleveland is the other) to not have lost four straight this season.

* Boston has a major league-leading 22 games in which it has scored eight or more runs.

* The first six hitters in the Red Sox lineup were 11-for-24, while the bottom three were a combined 0-for-13.

* Travis Shaw's home run was measured at 449 feet, the second-longest homer by a Red Sox player this season.

* In one night, Travis Shaw had more RBI (five) than he had in his previous 27 games (four).

* David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas in career RBI (1,704); both are in 23rd place.

 

STARS

1) Travis Shaw

Shaw belted out three hits -- including his first homer in the month of June -- and knocked in five RBI, tying a career high.

2) Rick Porcello

In a perfect world, Porcello would have gone a little deeper, but kept the Rays off the scoreboard early and helped set the tone for the night.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez reached base five times with two hits -- both singles -- and three walks - one intentional - and seemed to be in the middle of every Red Sox rally.