Game over: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6
After enjoying a two-day hiatus -- call it a mental break from a woeful 2-9 start -- the Red Sox returned to action Friday night and submitted another frustrating performance in a 7-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays that was enough to make the Fenway Park crowd of 37,467 boo throughout.
The Sox (2-10) gave starter Clay Buchholz a 3-0 lead on home runs by Dustin Pedroia (solo) and Kevin Youkilis (2-run shot) in the third, only to squander that lead when Buchholz, who threw four scoreless innings, wound up getting charged with three runs on three hits before departing in the sixth.
In the seventh, the Blue Jays (7-6) erupted for four runs on four hits, all against reliever Bobby Jenks, who had entered the game having thrown four hitless innings in his four previous outings.
But the Sox rallied in the eighth for three runs on two hits, including a 2-RBI double to left by Marco Scutaro.
Jonathan Papelbon came into the game in the ninth and got out of the inning on a brilliant double play when Adam Lind lined out to Kevin Youkilis, who doubled off Jose Bautista (walk) at first.
The Sox went down in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom of the ninth. Adrian Gonzalez, who earlier in the day had signed a 7-year, $154 million extension through 2018, grounded out meekly to first to end the game.
Top of 9th: Blue Jays 7, Sox 6
The Sox threatened in the bottom of the eighth when Jays reliever Marc Rzepcynski issued back-to-back walks to Youkilis and David Ortiz. After strikiing out J.D. Drew on a 91-mile-per-hour fastball, Rzepcynski threw a wild pitch to pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie to advance Youkilis and Ortiz to third and second, respectively.
Lowrie reached on an RBI single down the line to third, scoring Youkilis to make it 7-4. It prompted Toronto manager John Farrell to summon RHP Casey Janseen from the bullpen to face Marco Scutaro with men on the corners and two outs.
Scutaro rifled a 2-run double off the wall in left to pull the Sox within 1, 7-6, but wound up getting stranded by Jacoby Ellsbury's pop fly to right.
Top of 8th: Blue Jays 7, Sox 3
Pitching change, Sox: RHP Dan Wheeler now in the game for Doubront. Wheeler retires the side in 1-2-3 fashion, recording a pair of strikeouts on Jayson Nix (swinging) and Yunel Escobar (looking).
Bottom of 7th: Blue Jays 7, Sox 3
Blue Jays have just taken a 5-3 lead on the Sox on back-to-back RBI singles to left by Jose Bautista and Adam Lind off Sox reliever Bobby Jenks. After Bautista and Lind advanced to third and second, respectively, on a double steal, Jenks threw a wild pitch to Aaron Hill, scoring Bautista to make it 6-3. Hill then hit an RBI single to left (the third in a row Jenks allowed) to score Lind for a 7-3 lead. Jenks handed it over to Felix Doubront who got the last two outs to get out of the inning, mercifully. Jenks' line: 1/3 IP, 4 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 1 wild pitch.
Middle of 6th: Sox 3, Blue Jays 3
Pitching change: Alfredo Aceves is now in the game for Buchholz, who walked lead-off hitter Adam Lind and issued a single to left to Aaron Hill, putting men in scoring position with no outs. After getting J.P. Arenciba to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, Aceves gave up a towering RBI double to left that eluded Carl Crawford's reach and bounced off the wall, tying the the game, 3-3. Buchholz's line: 5 IP, 3 runs, 3 hits, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts,
Bottom of 5th: Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
Buchholz scuffled in the top of the fifth, walking two consecutive batters after getting Travis Snider to pop up to third. With two out, Corey Patterson tripled to right, scoring Juan Rivera and Jayson Nix. Buchholz got out of the inning when he struck out Jose Bautista (swinging) with an 88-mile-per cutter. Through five innings, Buchholz has allowed two runs on two hits and has three strikeouts and three walks and one hit batsman. He has thrown 88 pitches, 44 for strikes.
Middle of 4th: Sox 3, Blue Jays 0
Over the strong objection of Carl Crawford, who was ruled out on a close call at first in his first at-bat, Aaron Hill legged out a single by beating out the throw of short stop Marco Scutaro to break up Clay Buchholz's no-hit bid. After allowing two of the first three batters he faced to reach base, Buchholz proceeded to retire the next 10 consecutive batters before giving up his first hit to Hill.
Top of 4th: Sox 3, Blue Jays 0
Dustin Pedroia hit a solo homer to left field and Kevin Youkilis followed with a two-run shot to center off Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil to give the Sox a 3-0 lead. It was Pedroia's second homer of the season and Youkilis' first. Leave it to the Sox' bats to start warming up on a night where the temperature at game time was a balmy 39 degrees.
Middle of the 3rd: Blue Jays 0, Red Sox 0
The Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the second but Ellsbury struck out. They were 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position and are now 7 of 46 in the last five games. Buchholz, meanwhile, has retired eight straight, six on groundballs.
Middle of the 2nd: Blue Jays 0, Red Sox 0
Buchholz settled down and retired the side in order in the second inning. The first inning took 28 minutes by the way. Just what fans need on a cold night.
Top of the 2nd: Blue Jays 0, Red Sox 0
The Sox went in order against Cecil.
Middle of the 1st: Blue Jays 0, Red Sox 0
Adam Lind has hit an apparent three-run homer, which looked to have curled foul right in front of the Pesky Pole in right. First base umpire Paul Nauert ruled it fair, but Sox manager Terry Francona protested. The play was reviewed and crew chief Dana DeMuth overruled the play, sending Lind back to the plate facing a 1-2 count with two men aboard.
Lind grounded to second and Hill struck out to end the inning.
Pre-game: Good evening from a chilly Fenway Park, where the Sox are back from a two-day hiatus to face John Farrell and the Blue Jays.
It's 40 degrees in Boston right now and headed to the mid 30s. Fenway may be sold out tonight but there will be some empty seats.
Hang out here for updates from Mike Vega and please feel free to leave your comments. Enjoy the game.