Sox pitching struggles in seventh, lose to Jays, 5-2

Sox pitching struggles in seventh, lose to Jays, 5-2
August 27, 2014, 9:45 pm
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TORONTO -- Take a reliever with a poor history against the opposition.

Add in a costly error by a usually sure-handed catcher and stir.

What do you get a get? A rather predictable outcome for the Red Sox, who saw a one-run lead turn into a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in the span of a few batters.

Starter Joe Kelly had limited the Blue Jays to a single run through six innings, but when he allowed a leadoff double to Edwin Encarnacion, he was lifted for lefty Tommy Layne.

Layne got Dioner Navarro to pop up near the home dugout, but David Ross dropped the foul pop up, and given another chance, Navarro took advantage with a single to left.

In came Junichi Tazawa, who sported a career ERA of 6.87 in 19 appearances against the Jays. Form held true when he gave up a three-run pinch-hit homer to Danny Valencia.

A hustle double by Kevin Pillar, a sacrifice and a fielder's choice netted Toronto their fourth run of the inning.

The Red Sox, who had been limited to a single hit and two baserunners overall through the first five innings, took advantage of a Toronto error and a wild pitch by starter Marcus Stroman to score twice in the sixth with

David Ortiz supplying a run-scoring single.

But that was pretty much the extent of their offense for the night, as they managed just one more hit the rest of the way.

Toronto had jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first when Jose Bautista connected for his second homer in as many nights off Kelly.

Kelly pitched six plus innings and was charged with two runs on just three hits.


STAR OF THE GAME: Danny Valencia

Briefly a Red Sox, Valencia made his one swing count in a big way. Pinch-hitting for Juan Francisco in the seventh, Valencia smacked a three-run homer to turn a one-run Red Sox lead into a two-run advantage for the Jays.


Stroman evidently has the Red Sox number. The rookie turned in his third strong start against them, pitching into the eighth while allowing just two runs -- one of them unearned.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Junichi Tazawa

Tazawa has always seemed to struggle against the Jays and Wednesday night was no different. He gave up a go-ahead, three-run pinch-hit homer to Valencia.

TURNING POINT: Tommy Layne got Dioner Navarro to pop up in foul territory between third and home but David Ross had trouble tracking it and dropped it. Instead of one out, Navarro had another chance and singled to set up the  big inning.

BY THE NUMBERS: Junichi Tazawa has given up 20 homers in his career -- eight have been hit by the Blue Jays.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I looked at the video and the pitch leaked back quite a bit inside. I missed my location.'' -- Junichi Tazawa on the three-run homer to Valencia.