TORONTO (AP) -- Boston’s hopes of turning a dismal season around took a big hit against the Blue Jays.
Marcus Stroman and two relievers combined on a one-hitter, Juan Francisco drove in four runs and came within a double of the cycle and Toronto beat the Red Sox 8-0 on Thursday, last-place Boston’s third straight loss.
"We were behind the eight-ball right from the first or second inning, and were never really in this one," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Boston set season-highs in runs, hits (18) and home runs (four) in Monday’s 14-1 rout, their fifth straight win and eighth in nine games, but managed just seven runs over the final 27 innings of the series.
The one-hitter was Toronto’s first against the Red Sox in 550 all-time meetings. Boston was shut out for the 10th time this season.
Slugger David Ortiz felt back spasms on a check swing in the ninth and was replaced by Jonny Gomes, who flied out to end the game.
"Hopefully it’s not anything serious," Ortiz said.
Stroman’s no-hit bid ended when Shane Victorino blooped a single to center to lead off the seventh. One out later, Victorino was erased on Mike Napoli’s double-play grounder.
Stroman (6-2) only allowed two other baserunners on walks and matched a season-high by striking out seven in seven innings. The rookie right-hander is 5-1 with an 1.54 ERA in seven home starts.
"He’s pitching like a veteran who’s been around a long time and he’s been very successful," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He shuts down good-hitting teams, he’s a great competitor."
Todd Redmond worked the eighth and Rob Rasmussen finished.
Red Sox right-hander Rubby De La Rosa allowed seven runs, six earned, in a season-low four-plus innings, raising his ERA from 2.64 to 3.54.
"He had a hard time neutralizing their left-handed hitters," Farrell said. "Francisco had a big day."
De La Rosa (3-3), who lost for the first time since June 11 at Baltimore, walked two and struck out one. He’s 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA in four road starts, but 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts at Fenway Park.
"I try to have everything the same," De La Rosa said of the disparity. "It doesn’t make sense for me."
Francisco tripled and scored in the second, hit a two-run homer in the third and added a two-run single in the fifth as the Blue Jays won for the fifth time in six games.
Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera went 3 for 4 with a walk and two RBIs. Cabrera scored a run and doubled three times.
After getting the day off Wednesday, Red Sox rookie Brock Holt returned to the lineup at second base. Holt has started at every position this season except pitcher, catcher and designated hitter. Dustin Pedroia, who is stuck in a 2-for-24 slump, got the day off.
Cabrera opened the scoring on a bases-loaded passed ball in the first. Toronto made it 3-0 in the second when Francisco tripled off the glove of Jackie Bradley Jr. and scored on Ryan Goins’ double, with Goins coming home on Cabrera’s first double.
Francisco made it 5-0 with his two-out homer in the third, then added a bases-loaded single off Burke Badenhop in the sixth.
Toronto loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Badenhop got Dan Johnson to ground into a double play.
Cabrera made it 8-0 when he doubled home Jose Reyes against Edward Mujica in the eighth.
Yankees 4, Rangers 2
NEW YORK (AP) -- Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees.
Acquired earlier this month from NL West also-rans, they teamed up Thursday to help the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-2. McCarthy threw six more solid innings, Headley delivered another timely hit and New York won for the sixth time in seven games.
"From the beginning of spring training, it’s about giving yourself a chance in the postseason," said Headley, obtained this week in a trade with San Diego.
"What an opportunity for me," he said. "I take it as an honor and privilege to be here."
McCarthy improved to 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three starts since the Yankees got him from Arizona. He was 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA at the time of the trade.
"I really felt I wanted more pressure," he said. "It’s ramped up all the way. I feel like I’ve responded."
"It’s the opposite of how I felt earlier in this year. I was a burden on the team and holding things up," he said.
With the Yankees, the newcomers are now in the thick of the race for the AL East crown and the wild-card spots.
"When you go out and get players that produce, it’s a lift for your team," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Texas fell to 3-17 in July and dropped 22 games under .500 for the first time since the final week of the 1988 season.
"Right now, we’re just not getting it done," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
McCarthy limited Texas to one run and four hits in six innings. He struck out five, and fanned Alex Rios to finish off an 11-pitch at-bat that ended the first inning.
Rios almost got even in the eighth with Texas trailing 3-2, hitting a drive off All-Star reliever Dellin Betances that was caught on the warning track in right field.
David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances.
Colby Lewis (6-8) gave up three runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. He took the loss, but kept his composure -- in his previous start, he got rankled when Toronto’s Colby Rasmus bunted for a two-out single midway through the game.
There were no problems with the field at Yankee Stadium, either. New York won 2-1 Wednesday night when a sudden, heavy storm prevented the grounds crew from quickly putting the tarp down in the fifth inning. The rain stopped soon enough, but the field was too wet to continue.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Elvis Andrus.
Brett Gardner doubled in the fourth and scored on Headley’s two-out single off the right-field wall. Headley was acquired from the Padres on Tuesday and beat Texas that night with a single in the 14th inning.
Francisco Cervelli hit a go-ahead double in the fifth and later scored when left fielder Shin-Soo Choo made a fine running catch on Gardner’s sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead. Earlier, Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin ran way back to grab Ichiro Suzuki’s drive.
J.P. Arencibia homered in the Texas seventh. Brian McCann had an RBI double in the New York eighth.
"I’m not frustrated, I think it’s going to happen, I think we’re going to turn the hitting around," Arencibia said.
NOTES: The Yankees evened their home record at 24-24. They have 33 home games left, most in the AL. ... A day after Texas traded closer Joakim Soria to Detroit, RHP Neftali Feliz will inherit the role for the time being, Washington said. ... Yankees SS Derek Jeter got a day off for rest. ... Toronto LHP Mark Buehrle (10-6, 2.86) starts Friday night at Yankee Stadium against RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 3.88). Buehrle is 1-11 lifetime vs. the Yankees. ... Texas RHP Yu Darvish will remain on regular rest after pitching 4 1-3 innings in the rain-shortened loss, Washington said. ... Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux will miss the weekend series vs. Oakland to see brother Greg inducted into the Hall of Fame. Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins will fill in for Maddux, and Triple-A pitching coach Brad Holman will be the bullpen coach for the three games against the A’s.