Red Sox Stomped, Drop to Third in AL East

Ryan Dempster has been impressive for the most part this season; Tuesday, he was anything but.  The Toronto Blue Jays tallied six earned off of Dempster, including three home runs, in the 12-4 rout of the Boston Red Sox on Sunday afternoon.  The loss capped a 2-5 homestand, and the Sox have dropped eight of ten to fall to third place in the American League East.

Boston never led in the game, and Toronto got a 2-0 lead in the second on a two-out, two-run single by Blue Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki.  After that point, Toronto bats started launching pitches out of Fenway Park that needed passports. Jose Bautista led off the third on a first-pitch shot to left, and he would add another two-run bomb off of Sox reliever Clayton Mortensen in the sixth.  Gaining an early five-run lead against the Sox allowed Toronto to play loose all day and make solid contact.

“You get three or four runs ahead,” Bautista said, “that’s when some guys come out and are able to take some big hacks and we get the types of results we got today.”

The most costly long-ball to the Red Sox was Emilio Bonifacio’s two-run homer into the bullpen in the fourth inning.  With Shane Victorino tracking the flight of the ball, and reaching to attempt a catch, he slammed into the wall pretty hard as he appeared not to realize how close he was.  He stayed on the ground a while, but chose to stay in the game.  While he was able to grind through the pain, he was pulled after the sixth and evaluated at a local hospital.

Shane Victorino tracks a shot by Emilio Bonifacio in the fourth, but loses sight of the wall.  He would leave after the sixth inning.

Shane Victorino tracks a shot by Emilio Bonifacio in the fourth and hits the wall. He would leave after the sixth

The closest Boston could get was to 5-1 when Mike Napoli connected on his seventh home run of the year in the fourth that hit atop the centerfield camera-well.  Boston strung together a run in the sixth and two more in the eighth, including Pedro Ciriaco’s first home run of the year, but the game was very out of hand by then.

As the Red Sox head into an off-day on Monday, and with injuries and inconsistencies mounting at an alarming rate, the Sox will look to make some much needed adjustments.  They will be heading on a very difficult nine-game road trip that will take them through Tampa Bay, Minnesota (with a recent sweep still very fresh in Sox fans’ memories), and Chicago.  Tuesday night should be a very tall task for the Sox bats as they face sensational lefty Matt Moore, who is 6-0 with a miniscule .176 opponent average.  After Sunday’s massacre, manager John Farrell sounded off on the recent struggles of a team that is all of a sudden behind Baltimore and New York, and losing ground to Tampa Bay.

“I think we’ve got a number of guys dealing with frustration right now,” Farrell said. “The key for us is maintaining our level of preparation and our work routine. Those are the two things that we can control. I know with the attitude of this group, we’re going to continue to work, but we’re getting tested right now. There’s no question about it.”

Inside the Game

-In the midst of a 1-17 spell, David Ortiz was given a day off against rookie right-hander Chad Jenkins

-Edwin Encarnacion hit his AL leading 11th home run (tied with Cleveland’s Mark Reynolds and Baltimore’s Chris Davis).

-Need to find what went wrong at home?  Boston bats hit just .190 with RISP, and the bullpen compiled an ugly 6.33 ERA.

-Dustin Pedroia had his fifth straight multi-hit game (11-21).

-Boston is now just 4-8 in May after an 18-8 April

-Rookie Jose De La Torre made his MLB debut, pitching an inning and allowed two runs on two hits

-Before the game, David Ross was placed on the 7-day concussion DL as a precaution, after his collision with Will Middlebrooks earlier this week.  Ryan Lavarnway was called up from Pawtucket.  Lavarnway was hitting .313 with two home runs, and an .883 OPS for the AAA affiliates.

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