Red Sox overpowered by Donaldson in 7-5 loss to Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) A false fire alarm did nothing to lift the mood in the Boston Red Sox's locker room Friday night. After being repeatedly burned by the red-hot Josh Donaldson in a 7-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the players were left with little in the way of cheer.
The reigning AL MVP bookended the scoring for the Blue Jays with a pair of home runs, his 12th and 13th of the season, going 4 for 5 and driving in five runs as the Red Sox were handed a second consecutive loss after winning four straight.
Boston starter Joe Kelly, who gave up the first home run to Donaldson, as well as a fifth-inning no-doubter to Justin Smoak, surrendered five runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings of work, striking out eight.
Kelly, who is still riding a streak of 10 consecutive wins after Friday's no-decision, refused to get down on himself.
''Stuff was good. Just missed too many spots tonight,'' he said. ''When you fall behind to these hitters in a lineup like this, they make you pay for it.''
The Red Sox had their chances, loading the bases with one out in the fourth inning and tying the game at 2 on Hanley Ramirez's single. But just when it looked as though they might get in front for the first time, Donaldson again came up with the decisive play, making the grab on Marco Hernandez and turning the double play.
''We're in a bases-loaded situation, chance to tack one on with just one out and Hernandez puts a good swing on the ball, but a very heads-up play to double up Hanley at second,'' manager John Farrell said.
Boston's Xander Bogaerts was 1 for 4, extending his career-best hitting streak to 20 games, longest active run in the majors. It is also the second-longest in the league this year behind teammate Jackie Bradley Jr., whose 29-game streak ended Thursday.
Travis Shaw had tied the game at 5 in the eighth when he drove in Dustin Pedroia, who has at least one hit in 21 straight games against the Blue Jays.
Koji Uehara (2-2) worked the eighth inning, allowing Ezequiel Carrera to reach on a bunt before surrendering the winning home run to Donaldson
Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez allowed three runs and five hits and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings. Joe Biagini (2-1) got four outs for the win, and Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Toronto manager John Gibbons, who saw his team end a run of five consecutive home losses with Friday's win, said Donaldson's performance was simply endemic of the kind of all-around talent that his third baseman possesses.
''He's a special player,'' Gibbons said. ''He can beat you so many ways - with the bat, with the glove, things like that.''
For Donaldson, who now has the same number of home runs as he had on May 27 last year, but is six RBIs off his MVP season pace, he said it was about time that things started to come together.
''I've been putting in a lot of work and I've been feeling I've been getting right where I have that feeling where I'm about to start producing,'' he said. ''Tonight was just kind of a result of the process that's been going on.''
AIRING IT OUT - PART I
For the first time at home this season, the Blue Jays could feel a breeze blowing through the stadium as the retractable Rogers Centre roof was cranked open. It was Toronto's 23rd home game of the season. Last year, the team played 52 of 81 regular-season home games under an open sky.
AIRING IT OUT - PART II
In the seventh inning, a male fan jumped on the field and sprinted through the infield throwing his clothes aside as he ran. Down to just his underwear, the fan ran through an attempted tackle from one member of the security staff before finally being dragged down in right field and escorted away.
Red Sox: DH David Ortiz, who has more home runs (39), doubles (33), RBIs (104) and extra-base hits (72) than any visiting player in Rogers Centre history, was given the day off, with Hanley Ramirez taking his place in the lineup. Ramirez is now 10 for 21 with seven RBIs as a DH in 2016.
Blue Jays: Reliever Aaron Loup, out since spring training with a forearm issue in his pitching arm, made his third straight appearance for Triple-A Buffalo on Friday night. The left-hander gave up one hit and struck out one in two-thirds of an inning as he nears a return to the majors.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (7-2, 3.47) has had four consecutive quality starts vs. the AL East, but is 2-5 with a 7.15 ERA all-time in seven appearances at Rogers Centre.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (5-1, 3.89) is 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in five career starts against Boston.