BOSTON -- Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki was cruising against one of MLB's top offenses on Tuesday night. But things unraveled in the seventh inning as momentum shifted in favor of the Red Sox, who scored four runs in the frame and went on to hand the Jays a 7-2 loss
BOSTON -- Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki was cruising against one of MLB's top offenses on Tuesday night. But things unraveled in the seventh inning as momentum shifted in favor of the Red Sox, who scored four runs in the frame and went on to hand the Jays a 7-2 loss at Fenway Park.
Borucki started with a 1-2-3 first and was only two batters over the minimum through five innings, needing only 61 pitches to that point. The left-hander had allowed no runs through six.
"I've faced this team twice now. I felt a lot more comfortable than I did last time," Borucki said. "The Fenway anxiety wasn't there as much as the first time I came here. I love competing against all of these guys and their unbelievable lineup."
Borucki stymied the top part of Boston's order, holding its top four batters hitless in 11 at-bats with one walk.
"He attacked, the sinker was working to both sides of the plate," Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen said. "Throwing the changeup and the slider off of that, that's just normal Borucki. More attack mode, I think."
Borucki threw 86 pitches, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five.
"He was tremendous tonight, no doubt about it. That's probably as good as I've seen him throw," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "It's tough to shut a team down. He pretty much did that. He's got good sink on his fastballs. You've got to stay aggressive. They've got a real good lineup."
Entering the seventh with a 2-0 lead, Borucki walked Xander Bogaerts, and Steve Pearce followed with a long triple to center field that Kevin Pillar couldn't catch as he crashed into the wall. Bogaerts scored on the play, prompting Gibbons to bring in Dennis Tepera while looking to preserve a one-run lead.
Tepera stuck out Ian Kinsler, but a two-out walk to Eduardo Nunez put runners on the corners. Though the Red Sox initially had Mitch Moreland on deck to pinch-hit, they opted instead to go to Brock Holt, who launched a three-run homer to right field to give Boston a 4-2 lead.
"He walked a guy on some close pitches, then Pearce hit the big triple," Gibbons said. "We got the big strikeout on Kinsler, then the walk and you expect maybe a single, chance for a double, but you don't expect a home run to the deepest part of the park. That's what did us in. Then we couldn't keep it close to make a run at it."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Jays start rally with speed: The Blue Jays almost stole the win, literally. Devon Travis led off the sixth with a double and advanced to third on Justin Smoak's flyout to right. Next, Kendrys Morales drew a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Jonathan Davis at first. With Randal Grichuk at the plate, Davis broke for second base, prompting a throw from Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon. The moment the ball went toward second, Travis took off for home and Ian Kinsler's return throw to the dish bounced away from Leon. Both Davis and Travis were credited with stolen bases on the play, with Davis advancing to third on the throwing error. Two batters later, Davis scored on a Pillar single to give the Jays a 2-0 lead.
"Figured runs are tough to come by, we can plate one or two," Gibbons said. "We caught a break on the low throw. ... But you never feel good with two runs here."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
After Borucki walked Pearce with one out in the second, Kinsler hit a sharp grounder down the third-base line. Toronto third baseman Aledmys Diaz made a diving stop to his right, then quickly jumped to his feet to throw to second, starting an inning-ending double play.
HE SAID IT
"When I was warming up, I kept peeking at him warming up. It was cool to go head-to-head against him for [an inning]. He was a big part of the pitcher I am now. I looked up to him when I was watching the White Sox. It was pretty cool." -- Borucki, a native of Mundelein, Ill., on opposing Red Sox ace Chris Sale
Right-hander Aaron Sanchez (4-5, 5.17 ERA) gets the ball in the Blue Jays' penultimate game against the Red Sox this season on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. In three starts vs. the Red Sox this season, Sanchez is 0-1 with a 6.19 ERA. Boston counters with left-hander David Price (14-6, 3.57) who is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break.
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.