May 11, 2011: Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 3

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May 11, 2011: Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 3

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

TORONTO -- When John Lackey strung together three quality starts in a row, it was apparently more of a mirage than anything else.

Lackey was shelled for the second straight start Wednesday, pounded for nine runs on 10 hits as the Red Sox were beaten by the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-3, completing a two-game sweep for the home team.

The Sox trailed 4-3 heading into the seventh when the Jays exploded for five runs, putting the game out of reach. All five of the runs came after two were out. Lackey walked three batters in the seventh and all three scored.

In four of his seven starts this year, Lackey has given up six or more runs. The nine runs against him tied a season-high.

The Sox did little offensively against four different Toronto pitchers. Two of their runs came on solo homers for Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz in the sixth.

Carl Crawford (two hits) extended his hitting streak to 11 games, but Jacoby Ellsbury (0-for-4) saw his streak snapped at 19 games.

Player of the Game: John McDonald

The Connecticut native and former Providence College standout had a solo homer in the fourth, then put the game away with a two-run double in the seventh when the Jays pounced on John Lackey for five runs.

Curiously, Lackey took a shot at McDonald in his postgame commnents. Told that Terry Francona had noted Lackey had had success against McDonald in the past, Lackey said: "I mean, everybody's had success with him in the past, to be honest. You can't give up hits to him when you have other guys in that lineup who can hurt you.''

Honorable Mention: Rajai Davis

Davis ran the Blue Jays to an extra-inning win Tuesday in the series opener, then followed that up with a four-hit effort Wednesday.

Davis scored twice and and in the fourth, offered an encore of his Tuesday night heroics, stealing both second and third before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Yunel Escobar.

The Goat: John Lackey

Lackey was shelled for nine runs -- five in the seventh inning, when the Sox trailed only by a run.

Six of the nine runs off him were produced by the lower third of the Toronto lineup: rookie David Cooper, McDonald and Davis.

In five starts against Toronto as a member of the Red Sox, Lackey has a 9.40 ERA.

Turning Point: Free passes open floodgates

It was still a game -- Blue Jays leading, 4-3, with two outs in the seventh -- when, with two outs and the bases loaded, John Lackey walked J.P. Arencibia to force in the fifth Toronto run. Then he walked David Cooper, forcing in the sixth run. The back-to-back, two-out, bases-loaded walks opened the door for a five-run Toronto inning that put the game out of reach.

By the Numbers: 4

The Red Sox have played 12 series this year and have been swept in a third of them (four times).

Quote of Note:

"Everything in my life sucks right now, to be honest with you.''

-- John Lackey

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

Red Sox' seven-run rally in seventh keys 9-4 win over Rangers

Red Sox' seven-run rally in seventh keys 9-4 win over Rangers

BOSTON -- Chris Sale was perfectly happy to sit back and watch the Red Sox hitters do the work this time.

Sale cruised into the fifth inning, then was rewarded in the seventh when the Boston batters erupted for seven runs on their way to a 9-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season.

But he didn't seem to mind.

"It was fun," said the left-hander, who received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than while he was in any other game this season. "You get run after run, hit after hit. When we score like that, it's fun."

Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more as the Red Sox turned a 3-1 deficit into a five-run lead and earned their third straight victory. Sam Travis had two singles for the Red Sox in his major league debut.

"I was a little nervous in the first inning," he said. "I'd be lying to you guys if I said I wasn't."

Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.

FOR SALE

Sale, who also struck out 10 or more batters in eight straight games in 2015 with the White Sox, remains tied for the season record with Pedro Martinez. (Martinez had 10 straight in a span from 1999-2000.)

After scoring four runs in support of Sale in his first six starts, the Red Sox have scored 27 while he was in the game in his last five. He took a no-hitter into the fifth, but finished with three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings.

"Guys pulled through for me when I was probably pretty mediocre," he said.

NO RELIEF

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter.

"Martin threw the ball really well and I came in with two guys on and couldn't get an out," Dyson said. "Sometimes they hit them where they are, and sometimes they hit them where they aren't."

Asked if he felt any different, he said: "Everything's the same.

"If I get my (expletive) handed to me, it's not like anything's wrong," he said. "Any more amazing questions from you all?"

SEVEN IN THE SEVENTH

It was 3-1 until the seventh, when Andrew Benintendi and Travis singled with one out to chase Perez. Mitch Moreland singled to make it 3-2, pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge singled to tie it and, after Mookie Betts was intentionally walked to load the bases, Moreland scored on a wild pitch to give Boston the lead.

Pedroia singled in two more runs, Xander Bogaerts doubled and Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked to load the bases. Dyson was pulled after walking Chris Young to force in another run.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx got Benintendi to pop up foul of first base, but Napoli let it fall safely - his second such error in the game. Benintendi followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 8-3 before Travis was called out on strikes to end the inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor was shaken up when he dived for Betts' grounder up the middle in the third inning. He was slow getting up. After being looked at by the trainer, he remained in the game.

Red Sox: LHP David Price made his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket, allowing six runs - three earned - seven hits and a walk. He struck out four in 3 2/3 innings, throwing 89 pitches, 61 for strikes, and left without addressing reporters. 3B Pablo Sandoval also played in the game, going 2 for 4 with two runs.

"He felt fine physically," said Red Sox manager John Farrell, who added he would talk to Price on Thursday morning to determine how to proceed. "We had a scout there who liked what he saw."

UP NEXT:

Rangers: Will send RHP Nick Martinez (1-2) to the mound in the finale of the three-game series.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (3-3) looks to snap a personal two-game losing streak.

David Price dodges media after second rough rehab start

David Price dodges media after second rough rehab start

If only David Price could pitch as well as he dodges the media.

The Red Sox lefty bailed on a typical post-start media session with reporters in Pawtucket on Wednesday, after his second minor league rehab outing in Triple-A was another dud.

As Price comes back from a nondescript elbow injury, difficulty retiring minor league hitters doesn't combine well with difficulty facing questions. He sat in the mid-90s in his second rehab start with Pawtucket, but allowed six runs, three earned, in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The PawSox were at home at McCoy Stadium against Triple-A Louisville, a Reds affiliate, and Price heard some heckling. Postgame, he wanted to hear nothing, apparently.

Per CSNNE’s Bill Messina, who was on site in Pawtucket, the media was waiting outside the clubhouse for Price, as is standard. 

PawSox media relations told the media to go to the weight room, where Price would meet them. As media headed that way, PR alerted reporters that Price was leaving and did not want to talk. Media saw a car leaving, but there was no interview.

On the mound, Price’s velocity is there, but the command is not. The Red Sox would be unwise to bring back Price before really two more minor league starts — one to show he can do well, another to show he can repeat it.

Price’s ERA in two starts for Pawtucket is 9.53. He’s gone 5 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two overall.