Blue Jays rock Red Sox for fifth straight loss
BOSTON — Edwin Encarnacion hit two of Toronto’s four homers, and the Blue Jays sent the reeling Red Sox to their fifth straight loss, beating Boston 7-4 Tuesday night.
Left fielder Melky Cabrera went 4-for-5 with a homer and catcher Erik Kratz also went deep for the Blue Jays, who won for the sixth time in eight games. Toronto entered the night three homers shy of the Colorado Rockies (62) for the major league lead.
Boston, meanwhile, is enduring its longest skid since dropping the final eight games of the 2012 season.
Encarnacion hit a two-run homer in the third and added another two-run shot in the sixth, his 11th of the season, putting Toronto on top 6-0.
It was the first baseman’s third multi-homer game this year and the 14th of his career.
Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ (3-1) allowed four runs on seven hits in five-plus innings. The lefty struck out six and walked two, leaving the game after allowing left fielder Jonny Gomes’ fourth homer of the year, a two-run blast that made it 7-4 in the sixth.
Four relievers combined on three scoreless innings before Boston brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth against Casey Janssen. However, the closer picked up his fourth save by striking out designated hitter David Ortiz and inducing first baseman Mike Napoli to hit into a game-ending double play.
Boston starter Felix Doubront (2-4) lasted just four-plus innings. The left-hander gave up five runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
He didn’t surrender a hit until Cabrera doubled with one out in the third, but that only opened the flood gates. Two batters later, Encarnacion crushed a changeup over the Green Monster, Kratz made it 3-0 in the fourth with a solo shot and Doubront was knocked from the game after allowing consecutive doubles to shortstop Jose Reyes and Cabrera leading off the fifth.
The Red Sox later announced that Doubront exited the game due to left shoulder fatigue.
Reliever Edward Mujica promptly served up Encarnacion’s second blast of the night.
Boston cut it to 6-2 in the fifth on RBI doubles by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, but Cabrera hit his seventh homer of the year of Mujica in the sixth.
Notes: The Red Sox on Tuesday re-signed SS Stephen Drew after he had rejected a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the club following the 2013 World Series to pursue the free agent market. Drew, who spent one season in Boston, reportedly will make about $10 million and will require a minor league stint before joining the Red Sox. When he is ready, Drew will play shortstop and rookie Xander Bogaerts will be moved to third base. ... Bogaerts committed two errors Tuesday. ... Toronto pitching coach Bob Stanley spent the duration of his 13-year career pitching in Boston. ... The Red Sox began a stretch of 36 games in 37 days. ... Toronto RHP Drew Hutchison (2-3, 3.64 ERA) will oppose Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (2-3, 6.17 ERA) today. ... Toronto 3B Brett Lawrie started a double play in the fourth that helped starter J.A. Happ escape a bases-loaded jam.