Closing Time: Rubby De La Rosa’s dominance at home ends as Red Sox fall to Blue Jays
|07.29.14 at 10:13 pm ET|
In what has been a Jekyll-and-Hyde season for Red Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa, an unsightly 6.04 road ERA (four starts) has been balanced by a stellar track record in the friendly confines of Fenway Park.
Entering Tuesday’s game against Toronto, De La Rosa had compiled a 3-0 record with a 1.38 ERA in four starts at Fenway – the lowest home ERA of any AL pitcher with at least four home starts this season.
Unfortunately for De La Rosa and the slumping Red Sox, the young right-hander could not add to his impressive track record at home Tuesday night, as De La Rosa and the Sox fell to the Blue Jays, 4-2.
De La Rosa improved from his previous outing against Toronto Thursday (seven runs over four innings) but still labored on the mound, surrendering three earned runs on nine hits in six innings of work. After compiling a 2.64 ERA in his first seven starts this season, De La Rosa has posted an ERA of 8.10 in his last two outings.
At the plate, the Boston lineup could do little against Toronto starter Marcus Stroman. The 23-year-old – who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last outing against Boston last Thursday – held the Red Sox to just one run and five hits over seven innings.
After scoring a season-high 14 runs on July 21, the Red Sox have only scored 17 runs over their last eight games.
The Blue Jays managed to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth off of Junichi Tazawa, and while Xander Bogaerts hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, the Blue Jays were able to hold the lead and seal the victory.
With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 48-59 and have lost seven of their last eight games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
— One of De La Rosa’s strengths this season has been his ability to maneuver out of jams with little to no damage reflected on the scoreboard. Entering Tuesday’s game, opponents were hitting jut .158 (3-for-19) with two outs and RISP against De La Rosa this season.
De La Rosa could not continue that trend Tuesday, as the 25-year-old righty surrendered an RBI double to Toronto’s No. 9 hitter, Anthony Gose, in the fourth inning, scoring Colby Rasmus and Juan Francisco from second and third, respectively.
— Mike Carp, starting at first in place of Mike Napoli, did little to impress any potential trade suitors as the July 31 trade deadline draws closer, finishing the night 0-for-3. Carp is hitting .198 on the year with no home runs and nine RBIs.
— Boston continued its season-long struggles regarding coming through with a clutch hit, as the Red Sox left eight runners on base against Toronto. Boston is hitting just .148 (7-for-48) with RISP over its last eight games.
WHAT WENT RIGHT WITH THE RED SOX
— After enduring a 0-for-17 skid from July 18-22, Dustin Pedroia appears to have finally found his swing once again. Pedroia drove in Boston’s first run of the game in the third inning after lacing a 93 mph fastball from Stroman off the Green Monster, scoring Brock Holt from second and tying the game. The Sox second baseman finished the night 2-for-4 and now has hit safely in five of his last six games (.400, 8-for-20).
— Holt returned to his productive ways at the top of the Red Sox lineup, going 2-for-5 with a double. Holt had been mired in a 1-for-23 (.043) slump entering Tuesday’s game.
— Bogaerts made things interesting in the ninth, blasting his eight home run of the season into the Green Monster seats off closer Casey Janssen. Bogaerts collected two hits in the game and now has a brief four-game hit streak.
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