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Red Sox lose to Jays; magic number still 3

The Sports Xchange

September 25. 2017 11:50PM
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Ryan Goins reacts after hitting a home run during the ninth inning of Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON — Sixteen-game winner Drew Pomeranz lasted just two-plus innings and the Boston Red Sox failed to move a step closer to clinching the American League East, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series on Monday night.

The loss may have been painful as both Eduardo Nunez (knee) and Mookie Betts (wrist) left the game with injuries.

The defeat left the Red Sox’ magic number to clinch their second straight East title at 3 after the New York Yankees won earlier in the day. So, the earliest Boston can clinch is Wednesday night.

Pomeranz, who has been a rock in the Boston charge to the top, allowed a solo homer to Josh Donaldson (No. 31, an AL-leading 22 since the All-Star break) in the first inning. Then, he gave two-out two-run doubles to Teoscar Hernandez and Donaldson in the second.

Pomeranz (16-6) gave up a leadoff single to start the third inning and was gone after just 47 pitches. It was his second loss since June 11 and his first after defeating the Blue Jays three times this season.

Brett Anderson (4-4) worked the first five innings for the win — Betts driving in two runs for the Red Sox (his 100th and 101st RBIs of the season). But he was in pain at first base after a fifth-inning RBI single and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth.

Andrew Benintendi was the replacement and hit his 20th homer of the year, off Dominic Leone, to cut the deficit to one, but Ryan Goins homered off Addison Reed in the ninth as the Jays won for only the fifth time in 17 games against Boston this season.

The struggling Roberto Osuna nailed it down with his 38th save but is just 12 of 18 in saves and is 0-4 in his last 21 games.

Donaldson was 3-for-3 with a walk, following a 3-for-22 homestand.

Toronto’s Jose Bautista was ejected by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild in the eighth inning after being called out on strikes for his second straight at-bat.

NOTES: Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia rested his sore knee and is expected to play tonight. … LHP Chris Sale, who hasn’t allowed a run in three starts (22 innings, 11 hits) against Toronto this season, pitches against J.A. Happ in the second game of the series tonight. … Several photographers were close to the Red Sox dugout during the national anthem but nothing out of the ordinary took place.

Red Sox/MLB