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

191542.jpg

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 can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.