BOSTON (AP) — For the second time in eight days, Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright held the Toronto Blue Jays offense at bay but got little run support and took the loss.
Wright allowed two runs on six hits, struck out six and walked none in six innings, as the Red Sox lost 5-3 to the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Sunday.
Wright (0-2) allowed two runs on four hits, including a solo home run by Jose Bautista and a RBI-single by Chris Colabello last Sunday, before shutting out Toronto for the next five innings.
“Outstanding job,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said about the knuckleballer. “He threw a lot of strikes. He was able to change speeds effectively. And against that lineup, which as we know is very powerful, he was able to slow them down for six innings and clearly keep us in the ballgame.”
The Red Sox had one run on two hits in seven innings against Toronto starting and winning pitcher Aaron Sanchez (1-0). Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning against Toronto closer Roberto Osuna.
“Sanchez threw the ball well. Steven gave us a chance to win but offensively we just couldn’t gather any momentum off of him,” Shaw said.
Bautista drove in two runs with a solo homer and a double and Edwin Encarnacion added two singles and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who had lost two straight and were 1-4 against the Red Sox.
Toronto’s Kevin Pillar had three singles and made two nice catches in center after being dropped from leadoff to eighth in the batting order.
The teams meet in the finale of the four-game series on Monday in Boston’s annual Patriots’ Day game, which is scheduled for an 11:05 a.m. EDT start and coincides with the running of the Boston Marathon.
Sanchez held Boston hitless until Marco Hernandez’s broken-bat single with two outs in the fifth, his first major league hit. Sanchez struck out seven and walked four.
After scoring just five run in the previous two days, the Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the first.
Bautista’s homer caromed off the left-field foul pole and rolled behind the infield, where it was picked up by third-base umpire Angel Hernandez. They followed with three straight singles, with Chris Colabello driving in a run.
Hernandez, making his major league debut, had his soft liner drop into left in the fifth when his bat shattered and went back into the new protective screen along the first-base line. He stole second, advanced on catcher Russel Martin’s throwing error and scored on Mookie Betts’ single.
Josh Donaldson’s RBI double off the Green Monster made it 3-1 in the seventh. Encarnacion had his RBI single in that inning.
Blue Jays: Colabello was hit on the head by an 87 mph fastball from Wright. After being seated on the ground for a few minutes and checked out by a trainer, he got up and trotted to first. Wright walked down and the two briefly spoke, which appeared cordial.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia was given the day off, and Hernandez played second and batted ninth. LF Chris Young also was inserted into the lineup to give Brock Holt a break.
Farrell was happy with Hernandez’s first game. He was 1-for-2 with a walk.
“I don’t think the moment or the day was something that he didn’t handle emotionally,” the manager said. “He gets a good read to get the stolen base. He advances on an error, scores. But I thought he took some good swings, controlled the count with the base on balls. A very good first day.”
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (0-0, 3.00 ERA) hopes to keep his string of solid starts going Monday. He’s given up two runs or fewer in each of his initial two starts.
Red Sox: RHP Clay Buchholz (0-1, 10.00) has allowed five runs in each of his two starts.