Sox lose seventh straight
BOSTON -- Mark Buehrle won his major league-leading eighth game, Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista homered on consecutive pitches, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 on Thursday for a three-game sweep.
Toronto improved to 8-2 in its last 10 games, while Boston lost its seventh straight. The Red Sox went 0-6 on their home stand, the first time since June 1994, when they also lost six in a row at Fenway Park, that they were winless on a homestand of at least six games.
Buehrle (8-1) allowed two runs in the first two innings and left after giving up seven hits and no walks with five strikeouts in seven innings. He retired 11 of his last 12 batters.
He began the day tied with Zach Greinke, Rick Porcello and Adam Wainwright with seven wins each. The Dodgers’ Greinke was scheduled to pitch against the New York Mets on Thursday night.
Buehrle’s only loss came at home against Boston on April 25 when he allowed seven runs in an 8-1 loss.
Jon Lester (4-6) had his worst outing of the season, allowing seven runs on seven hits through 1 1-3 innings. Then he settled down and retired 12 straight batters before giving up a single to Kevin Pillar with one out in the seventh. But Pillar was caught stealing.
Lester left with one out in the seventh after allowing 10 hits and striking out just three. He had averaged an AL-best 10.83 strikeouts per nine innings.
Lester retired the first batter of the game, Jose Reyes, on a grounder. But Cabrera hit a 1-0 pitch for his eighth homer and Bautista followed with his 12th. Both were to left field.
Toronto kept rolling in the second when six of its first seven batters reached base on five hits and a walk. Steve Tolleson and Pillar singled and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Anthony Gose. Reyes then doubled in both runners and stole second. Cabrera walked and Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion followed with RBI singles. Bautista came across with the fifth run of the inning when Brett Lawrie grounded into a forceout at second, making it 7-1.
The inning ended when center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. made a diving catch on a fly ball by Dioner Navarro.
Boston scored in the first on a leadoff double by Dustin Pedroia and a single by Jonny Gomes, then added a run in the second on Xander Bogaerts’ third homer.
NOTES: Toronto manager John Gibbons lost a challenge in the sixth when the on-field ruling that Pillar was caught stealing was upheld. ... Bautista has reached base in 48 of his 49 games. ... Boston has been outscored 37-16 in its seven-game losing streak, its longest since dropping its last eight games in 2012.
The Red Sox open a three-game series against Tampa Bay on Friday night with John Lackey (5-3) facing Chris Archer (3-2) of the Rays. Toronto returns home to start a three-game set with Oakland, with R.A. Dickey (4-4) pitching against Scott Kazmir (5-1) of the Athletics.
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