Closing time: Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 5
|07.10.10 at 4:38 pm ET|
TORONTO — John Lackey was sub-par in the second game of the Red Sox‘ series with the Blue Jays on Saturday, failing to escape the fifth inning and taking the loss in a 9-5 defeat. Though the game’s early innings featured offense that suggested a potential continuation of Friday’s 14-run showing, the Red Sox were unable to keep up with the Toronto bullpen. The Sox have now lost their last five games not started by Jon Lester.
Jose Bautista was among the mashers for the Blue Jays on Saturday, as he hit his major-league-leading 24th homer in the eighth inning. Sunday’s matinee with the Blue Jays will be their final game before the All-Star break, which should prove beneficial as many of their bigger contributors continue to recover from injuries.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– The Red Sox gave Lackey every chance to be the team’s third 10-game winner (Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz), but it simply wasn’t the right-hander’s day.
Lackey consistently fell behind in the count and the Blue Jays hit him hard, as they mustered eight hits and seven runs in Lackey’s 4 2/3 innings. All of the runs were earned for Lackey, but it didn’t end there. He walked six batters to bring his season total to 43. Lackey’s WHIP is now 1.54, which is fifth-highest in the American League.
Statistically, Lackey wouldn’t have fit in well among the other American League pitchers to reach the plateau this season. Of the seven other 10-game-winners as of Saturday in the AL, none had an earned run average of 4.00 or higher and only CC Sabathia had allowed 100 hits, as he had given up 102.
– Old friend Alex Gonzalez was a problem for the Red Sox, as he crushed his 17th homer of the season in the top bottom of the fourth off of Lackey. He also doubled in the game.
– Two of the stars of Friday night’s game, Mike Cameron and Terry Francona, were both ejected in the top of the seventh inning by home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg. Cameron was tossed for arguing balls and strikes after being struck out looking by Jason Frasor. Francona emerged from the dugout and received the same treatment, upon which he mockingly gave Kellogg the hook.
For Cameron, it was just the third ejection of the of the 37-year-old’s career. Not Surprisingly, Francona is a bit more accustomed, with it being his second of the season (the other came against the Blue Jays on May 12) and 28th of his career.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– The Red Sox bats were loud for the second day in a row and made up for whatever struggles Lackey had early on. They were able to rack up five runs off of Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow in his four innings of work, including a three-run third that saw Gustavo Molina, Marco Scutaro, and Daniel Nava cross the plate.
Four of the five runs the Red Sox put up against Morrow were earned, as Marco Scutaro scored the games first run in the top of the first after reaching on an error at third by Edwin Encarnacion.
– Daniel Nava looked impressive in the No. 2 spot, hitting two doubles and making good contact to center field in three of his at-bats. He also scored two runs.
It was the outfielder’s seventh multi-hit game since joining the Red Sox on June 12. He is now hitting .316 with a homer and 16 RBI. Nava also contributed defensively, gunning Edwin Encarnacion out trying to stretch a single into a double.
– That’s now two clean appearances for Scott Atchison who aside from a sloppy two-run inning on the Fourth of July against Baltimore, has actually strung together a nice little stretch. He was called on Saturday to stop the bleeding when Lackey couldn’t get out of the fourth inning and promptly ended the frame by getting Alex Gonzalez to foul out. He retired the first two batters of the sixth before being pulled. In his last two appearances Atchison has been perfect in 2 1/3 innings. He also had a perfect inning on June 30th, the appearance prior to the Fourth of July game against the Orioles.
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