TORONTO -- By the middle innings, the result was effectively decided. The best the Red Sox could hope was to avoid the ignominy of being no-hit and having a member of the Blue Jays hit for the cycle against them.
They managed to escape the embarrassment of both, getting their first hit in the seventh and denying Juan Francisco the double he needed in his final two at-bats.
Other than that, however, it was a brutal afternoon for the Sox who were shut out and limited to a single hit by the Blue Jays, 8-0, for their third consecutive loss and blanked for the 10th time this season.
After scoring 14 runs in the series opener Monday night, the Red Sox managed just seven runs over the last 27 innings.
Rubby De La Rosa turned in his worst start of the season, cuffed around for seven runs in just four-plus innings. The Jays got a run in the first, two in the second, two more in the third and another two in the sixth.
Francisco had four RBI with a two-run homer in the third and a two-run single in the fifth. The single came against reliever Burke Badenhop, but the runs were charged to De La Rosa, who saw his ERA jump by nearly a full run, from 2.64 to 3.54.
Meanwhile, Marcus Stroman allowed just two baserunners -- both via walks -- in the first six innings. He had retired 11 straight when Shane Victorino dumped a bloop single into center to start the seventh.
David Ortiz left the game with two outs in the top of the ninth after injuring his back on a check swing. Jonny Gomes replaced him and made the final out.
The loss dropped the Red Sox a minimum of nine games back in the AL East standings, erasing much of the ground they have made in their 8-1 run.
STAR OF THE GAME: Juan Francisco
Francisco didn't get the cycle in his final two at-bats, but still had a single, triple and homer and knocked in four runs in Toronto's rout.
HONORABLE MENTION: Marcus Stroman
Stroman didn't allow a hit through the first six innings before Victorino spoiled his no-hit bid in the seventh. But that was the only hit he allowed over seven, while walking two and striking out seven.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Rubby De La Rosa
De La Rosa was coming off a brilliant performance in his previous outing (seven runs, one run allowed) but it was evident that he didn't have it Thursday, allowing five runs in the first three innings.
TURNING POINT: Already ahead 3-0, the Jays got a two-run homer from Francisco in the third and there was no looking back after that.
BY THE NUMBERS: Shane Victorino has hit safely in each of the five games he's played since returning from the disabled list.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "We've got to execute better. We don't have much room to be losing many games.'' -- David Ortiz