BOSTON (AP) - Being back at home in Fenway Park wasn't an elixir for Boston's losing ways.
The Red Sox returned home after going 1-8 on a West Coast trip that left them just one game ahead of Friday night's opponent, the last-place Toronto Blue Jays, in the AL East. After a 7-5 loss, the Red Sox are clinging to fourth place by the very slim margin of .4532 to .4525.
``It's just unfortunate we can't get anything going in the right direction,' shortstop Mike Aviles said.
Starter Felix Doubront (10-8) dropped to 0-4 in his past seven starts. He gave up five runs and six hits before leaving with no outs in the fifth and the Red Sox trailing, 5-0.
``His stuff was pretty good,' Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. ``The first run of the game he jammed the first four hitters. His stuff is alright. He says his arm is fine. He just needs to bust through those middle innings.
``They're a home run hitting team and we tried to stay away from the home run,' said Valentine, whose team gave up three homers, including two off Doubront.
The Red Sox hitting woes also continued. Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez (8-12) allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. He snapped a six-game stretch in which he was 0-5 with a 7.67 ERA.
``Alvarez had good stuff. We couldn't find a way to get runs early,' said second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who hit his 13th homer of the season in the eighth inning and cut the Blue Jays lead to 5-3. ``We scored some runs late but we need to do a better job of putting some runs on the board.'
Edwin Encarnacion, Moises Sierra, and Colby Rasmus all homered for the Blue Jays. Rasmus' 22nd homer of the year in the ninth provided the winning margin when Mauro Gomez hit a two-run shot, his second, for Boston in the bottom of the inning.
Encarnacion drove in the first two runs with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and his 38th homer in the third. Sierra made it 4-0 in the fourth with his fourth homer, following a walk to Kelly Johnson.
After Rasmus led off the fifth with a triple, Doubront was replaced by Clayton Mortensen, who gave up a run-scoring single to Yunel Escobar. Then he retired five straight batters, four on strikeouts.
``He got a lot of swings and misses and continued to be a good pitcher for us,' Valentine said of Mortensen.
The Red Sox cut the lead to 5-1 in the fifth when Ryan Kalish reached on an infield single, took third on a single by Scott Podsednik and scored when Podsednik was forced out at second on a grounder by Dustin Pedroia.
Boston scored again in the seventh but wasted a chance to do better. With one out, Pedro Ciriaco walked, stole second and scored on a single by Gomez. Podsednik then drove the ball to deep left field where Rajai Davis made the catch. Gomez had rounded second by then and was easily doubled up as he ran back toward first base.
``It was amazing. He ran by it and reached back over his head and made a heck of catch. I thought it was off the wall,' Valentine said.
NOTES: LHP J.A. Happ will miss the rest of the season for Toronto with a fractured right foot. Aaron Laffey (3-5) will start in his place on Saturday night against Daisuke Matsuzaka (stats) (1-4). ... Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia and 3B Brett Lawrie were activated from the disabled list and were in the starting lineup. ... Toronto recalled RHPs David Carpenter and Joel Carreno and C-IF Yan Gomes from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... The U.S. national anthem was sung by Andre McClain, ringmaster of Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey circus. ... Pedroia reached base in all four-at bats - on an error, two forceouts and a homer.
The Associated Press News Service
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