Red Sox miss opportunities as Peavy tires late
Righty cruises until sixth, while offense lets Jays off hook until eighth
TORONTO -- After opening their four-game series against the Blue Jays with a bang, the Red Sox's offense went quiet for seven innings Tuesday. And when it finally did come to life, it was too little, too late.
The same bats that posted 14 runs on 18 hits a day earlier couldn't muster a run off Toronto starter J.A. Happ over six innings, and a late showing of power wasn't enough as the Red Sox saw their five-game winning streak to come an end.
David Ortiz hit a solo homer in the eighth and Stephen Drew knocked a two-run shot in the ninth, but the Red Sox could not overcome a middle-innings deficit and suffered a 7-3 loss at Rogers Centre.
"There's no bank we can take runs and put them in and take a loan out the next day, unfortunately," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It would've been nice to do that today."
Trailing, 5-0, in the eighth, David Ortiz gave Boston a bit of life when he hit his third homer in two games to break the goose egg. The solo shot was Big Papi's 36th career homer at Rogers Centre, tying him with Alex Rodriguez for the most by a visiting hitter in Toronto.
After the Blue Jays put up a pair of insurance runs in the bottom half, Drew hit his second homer in as many nights in the ninth -- a two-run shot -- to give the Red Sox one last jolt, but it wasn't enough.
Farrell said the late runs by the Blue Jays, particularly in the eighth, proved crucial.
"Those loomed a little bit more large," he said. "That's a 5-3 game, we've got the go-ahead run at the plate, and it changes the entire complexity. And again, which we've made a strong push in the ninth to come back, but we're down six, and it's a major difference."
Red Sox starter Jake Peavy's search for the win column reached 14 starts as the right-hander pitched 6 1/3 innings while allowing five earned runs on eight hits, two of which were homers. He hasn't won since April 25.
Peavy pitched well for the first five innings, surrendering a single run on three hits as the Blue Jays carried a 1-0 lead into the sixth.
But it quickly unraveled when Jose Reyes led off the frame with a homer, followed by a ground-rule double from Melky Cabrera. Jose Bautista moved the runner to third on a flyout before Dioner Navarro went deep to right for a two-run shot and a 4-0 Blue Jays lead.
Peavy has been the victim of low run support, but he didn't blame a lack of offense for his inability to win.
"It's frustrating to lose," said Peavy, who was visibly frustrated. "I'm so sick of sitting here, I'm sorry to not have the best attitude in the world. I try, I promise you I try, but no run support or not, it's not fun to lose and the only way I know how to stop that is for me to be better."
Happ, meanwhile, managed to make it through six scoreless innings. The Red Sox had the lefty on the ropes several times throughout the middle innings, but couldn't deliver a knockout blow.
Three times the Red Sox had a runner 90 feet away from scoring with two outs, and all three times, they weren't able to convert.
The biggest missed opportunity came in the fourth. Down 1-0, Boston had the chance to break the game open when Ortiz doubled before Happ plunked Jonny Gomes. With two on and two out, Shane Victorino singled to load the bases for Drew, but the shortstop popped out and Happ escaped unscathed to keep the one-run lead.
The Sox had another chance in the fifth with two out and two on, but Ortiz popped out to end the inning. And gain in the sixth, when Drew fanned with two away and Mike Napoli standing on third.
"It's a confidence builder," said Happ of working himself out of those jams. "It gives you more confidence to keep going out there and try to execute pitches. I'm just trying to get these guys in, I know they're battling, try to hold them down as long as we can. We kept on them and we scored several ... which turned out to be great."
After hitting a single in the ninth, a visibility hampered David Ross came out of the game in place of pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr. Farrell said the veteran catcher has been dealing with a heel injury since Spring Training, though he stressed it's nothing beyond day to day.
"He was able to get through it, through the nine innings, but on the last base hit, you could tell it was starting to get a little more sore and we got him out there," Farrell said.