TORONTO -- As Joe Kelly spoke to the media after Friday's 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays, a false fire alarm rang throughout the clubhouse. But the most damaging amount of noise the Red Sox dealt with in this one came from the dangerous bat of the American League's reigning
TORONTO -- As Joe Kelly spoke to the media after Friday's 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays, a false fire alarm rang throughout the clubhouse. But the most damaging amount of noise the Red Sox dealt with in this one came from the dangerous bat of the American League's reigning Most Valuable Player.
It isn't much of an exaggeration to say that Josh Donaldson almost single-handedly destroyed Kelly and the Red Sox in the opener of this three-game series.
The third baseman smashed a solo homer that was projected by Statcast™ to land 398 feet away from home plate in the first. In the third, there was Donaldson again with an RBI double to right-center. Donaldson also did damage in the fourth, this time stinging an infield single in the hole to bring in another run.
And even after the Red Sox had roared back from a 5-2 deficit to tie the game in the eighth, it only set them up for more heartbreak from Donaldson.
This time, Koji Uehara felt the wrath, as Donaldson went to the opposite field and sliced one just fair and barely over the wall in right for a two-run shot in the eighth that proved to be the difference.
"The story of this one was being unable to contain Donaldson," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "In that situation, the night he's having, he sneaks one inside the foul pole down the right-field line. Like I said, huge night for Donaldson."
Yes, huge indeed. Donaldson went 4-for-5, scored twice and drove in five of Toronto's seven runs.
Lifetime against Kelly, Donaldson is 12-for-20 with two homers and nine RBIs.
Kelly just wishes Donaldson would have come up with first base open at some point.
"Then you could walk him," Kelly said. "Both of those pitches were missed locations. Obviously he did a good job with those pitches he usually pulls, and he stayed inside of them and took them the other way for a homer and a double. The 2-0 slider, I thought, was a pretty good pitch, and he put it in a good spot where we couldn't really make a play on it."
Kelly had dominated against the Indians in his first start back from the disabled list, giving up one hit over 6 2/3 innings.
There was still plenty of power to his stuff in this one, as he struck out eight over 4 2/3 innings. But Kelly's command wasn't as sharp as he needed it to be.
"My stuff was good," said Kelly. "I just missed too many spots. When you fall behind these hitters with a good lineup like this, they make you pay for it. Obviously there were some borderline calls that could have went either way, and from there, falling behind or not getting your pitch, these guys are a good-hitting team, and if you don't get ahead of these guys and throw strike one, it's tough to pitch to them."
"He's just a bad man," said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.