BOSTON (AP) - So much for the good start.
The Toronto Blue Jays fell behind early, made a pair of key errors and added a base-running blunder when they attempted to rally in their 8-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
It was Toronto's seventh loss in 10 games.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer to cap a four run second for Boston, and the Jays allowed three unearned runs late.
``We don't make a pitch to Ellsbury for the three-run homer and then we have a chance to get out of the inning where they scored another couple of runs late,' manager John Farrell said.
Trailing 6-1 in the eighth, Corey Patterson was picked off second when he broke for third early with runners on second and third and as the Blue Jays attempted to mount a comeback.
``We gambled in the first-and-second situation late in the game, down by five,' Farrell said. ``Corey has very good instincts on the base paths, it just so happened (Felix) Doubront ran the inside move after we broke early. We've had a lot of success running the bases. You``re not going to be right 100 percent of the time. We don't want our aggressiveness to be curtailed for the fact we gambled wrong in that situation.'
Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in three runs and Jon Lester pitched a solid six innings to help the Red Sox win for the second straight day.
It's Boston's first consecutive victories of the season. The Red Sox began the day 3-10, the worst record in the major leagues, and can win the series against Toronto when Daisuke Matsuzaka faces Ricky Romero in the traditional Patriots Day game Monday.
Lester (1-1) gave up one run, six hits and three walks while striking out five. He was pulled with two on and no out in the seventh after an error by shortstop Jed Lowrie. Daniel Bard relieved and Juan Rivera lined into a double play before Yunel Escobar struck out.
Bobby Jenks struck out J.P. Arencibia to end the eighth with two runners on base, and Dan Wheeler got the final three outs to secure the win.
Arencibia had two hits for the Blue Jays.
Boston trailed 1-0 before getting four straight hits off Jesse Litsch (1-1) in the second inning. Saltalamacchia's RBI single tied it after Lowrie and J.D. Drew singled. Ellsbury then belted his homer to right field, a drive that twisted around the Pesky Pole for his team-leading third of the season.
Litsch, making his third start since shoulder surgery last August, allowed six runs - four earned - on eight hits, while striking out five and walking one in six innings.
Saltalamacchia, who entered the day hitting just .138 with two RBIs, added a two-run single in the sixth to make it 6-1 after Lowrie reached on third baseman Jayson Nix's fielding error with two outs. Drew then walked before Saltalamacchia's single to right.
The Red Sox added two runs in the eighth off Shawn Camp when first baseman Adam Lind booted Lowrie's grounder with the bases loaded.
The Blue Jays, relying on stolen bases at a higher rate this season, used some clever baserunning to grab a 1-0 lead in the second. With Rivera on first, Aaron Hill on third and two outs, Rivera broke for second. Saltalamacchia threw to second, Rivera stopped and Hill raced home before Rivera was tagged out after a rundown.
Carl Crawford, given the day off Saturday to help him relax during his tough start with the Red Sox, was back in the lineup and leading off Sunday. He didn't hit the ball out of the infield, going 0 for 4 to drop his average to .127.
The left fielder signed a seven-year, $142-millon contract during the offseason.
NOTES: Toronto swiped two bases to raise its total to 21. ... Lester had to scurry off the mound as the jagged edge of Escobar's broken bat came bouncing at him in the fourth. ... Lowrie was back in the lineup, batting sixth and playing shortstop after hitting leadoff with a two-run homer in Saturday's win. ``Jed's so hot right now, I don't know how you can keep a guy like that out,' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. He went 1 for 4 with an RBI on his 27th birthday. ... Patterson had gone 0 for 7 in the series - three on diving plays on grounders by Boston 1B Adrian Gonzalez on Saturday - before a double in the third. He entered the weekend 7 for 17 after coming off the DL on April 11. ... Monday's game starts at 11:05 a.m.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved