Extra Bases

Red Sox can’t reach .500

TORONTO – The Red Sox could have made it to .500 for the first time this season, but instead bowed to the Blue Jays, 7-6, in 10 innings.

Both starter Jon Lester and catcher Jason Varitek shouldered the blame for the loss.

Lester’s blamed his long first inning when he allowed three runs and got distracted by close calls that didn’t go his way from home plate umpire Paul Emmel. Varitek blamed himself for not nailing Rajai Davis on a stolen base after a pitch out in the 10th inning with Matt Albers on the mound, bouncing a throw to Jose Iglesias rather than getting it in the air. Davis then stole third and rode home on rookie David Cooper’s walkoff sac fly.

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“We had the pitch-out I wasn’t able to throw him out,” Varitek said. “I don’t know what to say. I wasn’t able to throw him out. We knew he was going to run, so in that case it hurt us and I’ll take the blame. I sure will.”

Francona concurred with Varitek’s conclusion.

“If we get the ball in air to second base we got him because we had a pitch out. Then Bogie (third base coach Tim Bogar) was trying to get Iggy’s (Iglesias) attention to hold him on more. Davis has the ability to do it. Johnny (Farrell) is letting him do it. Maybe inexperience on Iggy’s part not getting tight enough certainly changes the way you have to defend,” Francona said..

Davis had an interesting night on the base paths in that he legged out a triple in the third inning and then got picked off when he was hung up between home and third when Yunel Escobar missed a squeeze signal. Davis had dashed down the line and couldn’t get himself back to third in time.

Lester kicked himself for a first inning in which he let his emotions get the best of him.

“The first inning was magnified because I gave up three runs. All in all it wasn’t very good. Bullpen needed a break and I didn’t do a good job going deep into the game. Just got to find a way to do a better job than what I did,” he said.

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Asked about the close ball-strike calls he said, “Yeah, but I mean, not missing by much is the interpretation of the guy behind the plate. I have to do a better job controlling my emotions and worrying about the next pitch. I didn’t do a very good job. I let it get to me and it went longer than it should because of that.”

Lester was upset because the offense – particularly two homers by Adrian Gonzalez to left field – including the one which gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning – “did a great job keeping us in the ballgame. Adrian had a great game. But I decided I didn’t do a good enough job shutting down innings that we needed to have. That was big when Adrian hits a two-run homer to take lead and I didn’t do a good job keeping it there. I wasted a good offensive night for these guys.”

The Sox had won three straight while the Blue Jays had played terribly against the Tigers over the weekend. The Sox certainly had enough offense with 16 hits and six runs. Besides Gonzalez, David Ortiz homered, his fifth, off Kyle Drabek in the fourth inning. But Sox pitching couldn’t keep down the Jays’ power.

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Jose Bautista hit his 11th homer off Lester in the fifth. Catcher J.P. Arencibia also homered and David Cooper, who won the game, hit his first major league homer off Daniel Bard in the eighth inning to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead before Gonzalez tied it up off Frank Francisco in the ninth.

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