Closing Time: Russell Martin home run off Matt Barnes lifts Blue Jays to 10th straight win against struggling Red Sox

John Tomase
June 13, 2015 - 1:07 pm
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Losses are like snowflakes. No two are alike, but too many of them can be an avalanche. Unlike a night earlier, the Red Sox didn't fold against the Blue Jays on Saturday. They overcame a 4-0 deficit to force extra innings, but once there, it was a familiar story, with Russell Martin's homer to left-center in the 11th breaking a 4-4 tie, lifting the rampaging Jays to their 10th straight victory, and dropping the Red Sox to their fifth straight loss. At 27-36, the Red Sox are now nine games under .500 and 7.5 back of the Yankees in the American League East. The lost season continues. "Everybody in here knows we're not playing like we want to play," said starter Clay Buchholz. "We've got to find a way to win." The Red Sox entered the game not just on a losing streak, but with the last two defeats particularly brutal '€“ Wade Miley berated manager John Farrell in the dugout in Baltimore on Thursday, and then Friday's 8-1 lead turned into a 13-10 defeat. They featured a revamped lineup on Saturday, with slumping first baseman Mike Napoli getting the day off in favor of Brock Holt, and Mookie Betts sidelined by a bad back after a nasty collision with with the fence in center on Friday. The lineup got even thinner in the seventh when third baseman Pablo Sandoval departed with right quad tightness, forcing Jeff Bianchi onto the field. The Red Sox came out of the gates looking like it'd be another long afternoon. They fell behind 3-0 in the second on five singles, including one by Ryan Goins that plated a pair of runs. It had a chance to get worse before Clay Buchholz settled down. The veteran right-hander allowed hits in only two of his six innings, limiting the high-powered Jays to four runs. Not a great line, but good enough to give the offense a chance. And the Red Sox clawed back with three runs of their own in the fourth, the big blow a two-run single to center by Pablo Sandoval. They had chance to do more damage, but Rusney Castillo and Sandy Leon stranded runners on first and second to end the threat. The Red Sox finally pulled even in the sixth on David Ortiz's mammoth 438-foot home run to right field, and then it was on to extra innings, where Martin made a loser of reliever Matt Barnes. Another game, another crushing defeat. "You look at our team on paper, we're probably one of the best in the game," said shortstop Xander Bogaerts. "But we haven't showed that on the field, and that's what matters." SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Veteran catcher Russell Martin continued tormenting the Red Sox by going 2 for 5 with the game-winning homer. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Slugger David Ortiz blasted a no-doubt-about-it 438-foot homer to right in the sixth to tie the game at 4-4. Ortiz's eighth homer was one of his longest in a while and suggested that his baby steps towards regaining his past form might be leading somewhere after all. -- Left fielder Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-5 with a run. -- Relievers Tommy Layne, Alexi Ogando, and Koji Uehara combined to toss three scoreless innings. WHAT WENT WRONG -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval left the game in the seventh with right quad soreness. Sandoval recorded two hits, but also collided with catcher Sandy Leon to let a foul popup fall. Leon was charged with the error. -- The bottom third of the order (Alejandro De Aza, Rusney Castillo, Leon, Blake Swihart) combined to go just 1 for 14. -- About 12 hours after allowing three runs and three hits without retiring a batter in a 13-10 loss, reliever Matt Barnes served up the game-winning homer in extras. WHAT WENT RIGHT AND WRONG -- Right-hander Clay Buchholz put the club in an immediate hole by allowing three runs in the second, but he at least settled down from there to allow only one further run in six innings.

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