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Bats unable to come to Dickey's rescue

TORONTO -- Prior to the start of the Blue Jays' four-game series with the Boston Red Sox, manager John Gibbons noted his team's inability to provide run support for knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

Things didn't change in Monday's 3-1 loss at Rogers Centre.

Despite tossing his fourth quality start, Dickey saw his record drop to 3-8 in 16 starts.

"Definitely a blip in my mind," said Toronto manager John Gibbons, "but when you look back, we've run in to some good pitching. [Clay] Buchholz was on today. We've seen him like that, and it's tough, because he's having himself a good year. We were bound to cool off a little bit, because we were so smoking hot. Good pitching can shut down good hitting. Not all the time, but a lot of the time."

Dickey went six innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out three and walking three. The 40-year-old is winless in four starts against the Red Sox this season.

Boston got to Dickey in the third. After issuing a walk to Brock Holt to load the bases, Xander Bogaerts doubled to right scoring a pair.

"I'd thrown a knuckleball, which seemed to be right down the middle, it gets [called a] ball," said Dickey of the at-bat. "So I'm thinking, 'I'm going to get back into the count.' I'd gotten him to ground out to Jose [Reyes] in his first at-bat on a little sinker, and so I was trying to repeat that pitch.

"Didn't execute it well and he hit a double over Jose [Bautista's] head. If that's strike one, it's probably a different at-bat for me. But I still have to execute."

Then in the fifth after Mookie Betts led off with a triple, Holt singled in the Red Sox's third run.

"It's always frustrating when you give up runs no matter how you give them up," said Dickey. "I'm kind of in a stretch where I'm pitching just good enough to lose."

Buchholz meanwhile held the Blue Jays to just one earned run on five hits over eight innings while striking out five.

"These guys have scored a gargantuan amount of runs, so you feel like they're going to keep scoring runs," Dickey said of Toronto's offense. "I happen to be matching up with some of their better guys lately -- [Chris] Archer and Buchholz, [Jordan] Zimmerman, etcetera, etcetera.

"You know, you got to hold the guys to a minimal number of runs on the other side when you face guys like that. That's why I'm here. It's part of my job, and I take pride in that. I surely feel like I've been pitching better than what the win-loss column shows."

Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to
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