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Closing Time: Same old story for Jake Peavy as Red Sox’ winning ways halted by Blue Jays

07.22.14 at 10:14 pm ET
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TORONTO — The Red Sox officially are not going to go undefeated in the season’s second half.

After plating 14 runs in the series opener, the Red Sox offense couldn’t keep pace with the Blue Jays this time, dropping a 7-3 decision Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

“There’s no bank we can take runs and put them in and take a loan out the next day, unfortunately,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell.

After 20 starts, Jake Peavy remains on one win for the season. This time the righty took his ninth loss thanks to a 6 1/3-inning outing in which he surrendered five runs.

Once again, Peavy’s cause wasn’t helped by his team’s bats. The starter came into the game with the second-worst run support in the majors, averaging just 2.91 runs from the Red Sox per start.

“Listen, it’s frustrating to lose. I’m so sick of sitting here … I’m sorry to have not the best attitude in the world,” he said. “I try, I promise you I try. Run support or no run support, it’s not fun to lose. The only way I know to stop that from happening is for me to get better.”

The Red Sox couldn’t solve Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ when it counted the most, stranding seven while going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position against the lefty. Happ would finish his outing not allowing a run over six innings, giving up seven hits, striking out four and walking one.

The loss snaps the Red Sox’ five-game win streak, with Farrell‘s team having won eight of nine heading into the night.

With Tampa Bay’s sixth straight win Tuesday night, the Red Sox(47-53) drop back to last place in the American League East, sitting 8 1/2 games in back of first-place Baltimore.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– It looked like for a split second Peavy’s knee was going to save him a run in the third inning, with Melky Cabrera‘s two-out liner back up the middle ricocheting off of the pitcher’s leg. The ball, however, rolled back toward the visitors dugout just far enough that Peavy couldn’t gather it in and throw to first baseman Mike Napoli in time to get Cabrera. While the Blue Jays outfielder was ultimately gunned down at second, the hosts were able to plate the game’s first run, with Anthony Gose coming in on the play.

– The Red Sox stranded the bases loaded in the fourth inning, having filled the bags after a David Ortiz double, Jonny Gomes hit-by-pitch and Shane Victorino single. After Ortiz was forced to hold up at third on Victorino’s base hit due to right fielder Jose Bautista‘s throwing arm, Stephen Drew flew out to shallow left to end the threat.

– The Sox squandered another solid opportunity in the fifth, with David Ross on third and Dustin Pedroia standing at first via a walk. Ortiz jumped on the first pitch from Happ, flying out to left field to end the inning.

– Drew stranded another player at third base in the sixth inning, striking out with Napoli 90 feet from home. Napoli had led off the frame with a single, which was followed by a Gomes base hit. But after a 6-4-3 double play off the bat off Victorino and Drew’s strikeout, the Red Sox still found themselves trailing by a run.

– After the sixth-inning squander by the Sox, the Blue Jays made it hurt a little more with Jose Reyes taking a 2-2 pitch from Peavy and lining it over the right field wall for a solo home run. Three batters later it was Dioner Navarro who went deep, this one counting for a pair of runs to increase the Jays’ lead to four runs. Peavy has surrendered 21 home runs, second most in the majors and two fewer than his entire ’13 total.

– Pedroia suffered through another hitless game, having now gone 1-for-20 since the All-Star break. “Just kind of in between,” the second baseman said. “I mean, I was swinging the bat good before the break, and when we got back, hit some balls hard and not much to show for it. Kind of trying to do too much instead of letting the game come to me. I’ve got to figure it out. Got to try to be better and help us.”

Felix Doubront struggled in his inning of relief, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

– Ortiz went deep for the second straight game, this time launching a solo shot with one out in the eighth inning. The line drive sailed over the left-center field fence and tied the Sox designated hitter with Adam Dunn on the all-time home run list with 454.

– Drew claimed a two-run homer in the ninth inning, giving him four for the season. (Read here for more on why the shortstop isn’t wearing glasses anymore.)

– Victorino and Ross each finished with three hits, while Ortiz totaled a pair.

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