BOSTON – It’s hard to say which was more atrocious -- Clay Buchholz’s performance, Felix Doubront’s performance, or the Red Sox’ offensive ineptitude – in their 14-1 loss to the Blue Jays at Fenway Park Monday night.
Just a week ago, the Sox beat the Jays 14-1 in Toronto. Well, now Boston knows exactly how that felt.
Buchholz lasted just five innings (plus three batters in the sixth), giving up seven runs on seven hits and four walks, with four strikeouts, a home run, and a hit batter. He took the loss, falling to 6-6, as his ERA rose from 5.50 to 5.87. The seven earned runs were one shy of his career high.
Buchholz walked Jays lead-off hitter Jose Reyes hitter before giving up a first-pitch home run to Melky Cabrera. That would be all the runs Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey would need, but the Jays' offense was relentless, eventually chasing Buchholz, who left two runners on base and a run already with no outs in the sixth.
Doubront replaced Buchholz, and delivered what was arguably the Sox' ugliest pitching performance of the season. Doubront, who has made no secret of his desire to get out the bullpen and into the starting rotation – with the Sox or another team – may have eliminated any chance he had to go to another team in a trade.
Doubront faced 10 batters, recording just two outs. While allowing both inherited runners to score, he gave up six total runs on six hits and two walks with a three-run home run – Cabrera’s second homer of the game.
Burke Badenhop came in to face Steve Tolleson, pinch-hitting for Jose Reyes. He ended the inning, striking out Tolleson looking at a slider.
Facing 14 batters, the nine runs Buchholz and Doubront allowed in the sixth were a season high for one inning, and the most by Sox pitching since giving up nine runs in the second inning on Oct. 1, 2012, at Yankee Stadium, also a Buchholz start, when he was charged with his career-high eight earned runs.
Meanwhile, Red Sox batters could do little with Dickey. Their lone run came in the sixth when David Ross led off with a walk, went to second on Dustin Pedroia’s ground out, and scored on David Ortiz’s single to left.
The Sox had five hits in the game, giving them a total of just six in their last two games against the Jays.
Dickey earned the win, improving to 9-10 (3.91). He went seven innings, giving up one run on three hits and a walk, matching a season high with 10 strikeouts. He now has wins in consecutive starts for just the second time this season, with his last two wins against the Sox.
MVP: R.A. Dickey
Dickey went seven innings, giving up one run on three hits and a walk, matching a season-high 10 strikeouts.
GOAT: Clay Buchholz
Buchholz took the loss, going five innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts, a home run, and a hit batter. It was the most earned runs he’s allowed since giving up eight in 1 2/3 innings on Oct. 1, 2012, at Yankee Stadium.
Of his four walks allowed, three were to lead-off batters, with all three scoring. It was the second consecutive outing in which he’s allowed four walks, after a 35 2/3-inning stretch over five starts in which he allowed a total of one walk.
Cabrera’s first-inning, two-run home run snapped a streak of 24 straight innings By Buchholz without allowing a home run.
Cabrera’s first-pitch, two-run home run in the first would provide all the runs the Blue Jays would need.
QUOTE/TWEET OF THE GAME:
“If the role is not sitting well and affecting his pitching, then there needs to be, I think, a different focus.” – Manager John Farrell, if Doubront’s desire to be in the starting rotation is affecting his work out of the bullpen.
NUMBERS TO KNOW:
The 14-1 loss was the Sox’ widest margin of defeat this season, and the widest in a lost at Fenway since a seven-inning, 13-0 loss against the A’s on April 23, 2103… Facing 14 batters, the nine runs Buchholz and Doubront allowed the in the sixth was a season high, and the most by Sox pitching since giving up nine runs in the second inning on Oct. 1, 2012, at Yankee Stadium, also a Buchholz start, when he was charged with his career-high eight earned runs…Buchholz hit Anthony Gose with a pitch, giving him six hit batters this season, his second-highest career total to 12 in 2012. His last three HBs have been Gose, in his last two starts…David Ortiz drove in the Sox only run in the game, giving him 13 RBI in his last eight games, while batting .290, going 9-for-31, with two doubles, five home runs, and six runs. He drove in the Sox’ only runs (4) in the last two games…Shane Victorino went 1-for-4, extending his season-long on-base streak to eight games, in which he is batting .367, going 11-for-30, with a double, a home run, two RBI, and two walks, for a .406 OBP…Doubront inherited two runners from Buchholz, the first time this season he has been in an inherited-runner situation. He allowed both to score…The 14 runs matched a season high for Toronto…Ryan Goins entered the game with four RBI in 30 games this season. He went 4-for-5 with a double, a run scored, and four RBI, with career-highs in hits and RBI.
WHAT IT MEANS:
After a five-game win streak, the Sox have lost for the sixth time in their last seven games, and are now 18-28 against the American League East…The Red Sox continue to sink further in the division. Although first-place Baltimore had an off day, the Rays – the team just ahead of the Sox – beat the Brewers, putting more room between the two teams. The Rays are now four games ahead of the Sox in the division.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays play the middle of their three-game set Tuesday at Fenway. Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa (3-3, 3.54) is scheduled to start, opposed by right-hander Marcus Stroman (6-2, 3.21).
The two faced each other on July 24 at Toronto. De La Rosa took the loss, giving up a career-high seven runs (six earned) on nine hits. In his last five starts, spanning 30 innings, he is 2-1 (3.30), giving up 25 hits and 10 walks with 16 strikeouts.
Stroman allowed one hit, a Shane Victorino single, over seven scoreless innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks in his win over the Sox.