Blue Jays finish sweep of Red Sox
BOSTON — Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista hit back-to-back home runs off Boston ace Jon Lester in the first inning and the Toronto Blue Jays finished off a three-game sweep of the reeling Red Sox with a 7-2 victory Thursday.
Mark Buehrle pitched seven sharp innings to earn his major league-high eighth win of the season, and shortstop Jose Reyes drove in two runs during a five-run second as the Blue Jays jumped out to a 7-1 lead and won for the eighth time in 10 games.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts homered for the Red Sox, who were outscored 37-16 during their current seven-game losing streak, their longest slide since dropping eight straight to end the 2012 season.
It was Boston’s first 0-6 homestand since 1994 after getting swept by Detroit last weekend.
Buehrle’s lone blemish this season came against the Red Sox on April 25, when he allowed a season-high seven runs and 12 hits in an 8-1 loss.
What a difference a month can make.
The left-hander yielded two runs on seven hits, retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced. Buehrle (8-1) struck out five, walked none and got all the support he needed early on.
Cabrera, Toronto’s left fielder, hit Lester’s sixth pitch of the game over the Green Monster and Bautista, the Blue Jays’ right fielder, belted his 12th of the season on the ensuing offering for a 2-0 lead before most of the fans had found their seats.
The Red Sox cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by left fielder Jonny Gomes, but the Blue Jays continued their relentless attack by batting around in the second.
Reyes delivered a two-run base hit, Bautista and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion added RBI singles and third baseman Brett Lawrie plated another when he reached on a fielder’s choice.
Lester (4-6) eventually settled down, retiring 11 straight during one stretch before departing after 6 1/3 innings. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
NOTES: The game was delayed eight minutes at the start by rain. ... Boston DH David Ortiz went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 17 at-bats. ... LHP Jon Lester fell to 11-5 in 19 regular-season starts following a Red Sox loss since the start of 2013. ... RF Jose Bautista’s first-inning homer was the 180th of his Toronto career, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the club’s all-time list. It was his 18th homer in 40 games at Fenway Park. ... Bautista and DH Kevin Pillar had three hits apiece. ... Toronto 3B Brett Lawrie snapped an 0-for-17 slump with a double in the ninth.