By Sean McAdam
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