Red Sox avoid no-hitter but can’t complete comeback vs. Toronot

  • Boston Red Sox's Marco Hernandez, right, reacts after he struck out swinging to end the baseball game as Toronto Blue Jays' Russell Martin, left, looks on, Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. The Blue Jays won 5-4. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Boston Red Sox's Eduardo Rodriguez, left, adjusts his cap as Toronto Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion, back right, runs the bases on his two-run home run in the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Boston Red Sox's Chris Young reaches unsuccessfully for a home run ball hit by Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Toronto Blue Jays' Darwin Barney, left, slides out at second base as Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia, right, throws to first to complete a double play in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Boston Red Sox's Chris Young (30) hits a home run in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Toronto Blue Jays' Marco Estrada celebrates after striking out Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts to end the seventh inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Boston Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez hits an RBI-double in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays ,Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. The Blue Jays won 5-4. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Boston Red Sox's Chris Young, right, is welcomed home by Boston Red Sox's Christian Vazquez, left, after Young hit a home run in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Toronto Blue Jays' Russell Martin (55) celebrates with relief pitcher Roberto Osuna after they defeated the Boston Red Sox in a baseball game Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

Associated Press
Published: 6/5/2016 7:53:33 PM

BOSTON — Eduardo Rodriguez thought every time he made a bad pitch, it went over the Green Monster.

The left-hander gave up four home runs in his second start since opening the season on the disabled list with a right knee injury, and the Boston Red Sox were held hitless by Marco Estrada into the eighth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

“I feel like I made just bad (pitches) four times, two with a change and two with a heater,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez (1-1) allowed five runs, walked three and didn’t have a strikeout in 5 2/3 innings.

“We’ve talked about when we execute and stay out of the middle of plate, that’s usually going to lead to positive results,” Boston manager John Farrell said.

Estrada took a no-hitter into the eighth for the third time in a year before it was broken up by Chris Young’s home run with one out.

Boston rallied for three runs in the ninth, but Roberto Osuna ultimately preserved the win for Estrada.

“He kept us off stride,” Farrell said. “He’s deceptive, stayed out of the middle of the plate.”

Jose Bautista opened the game with a home run, the first of four Toronto hit over the Green Monster in left field. Edwin Encarnacion added a two-run shot, and Darwin Barney and Russell Martin each had a solo homer.

Estrada (4-2) walked three, struck out five and was lifted with a 5-1 lead after giving up his second hit, Dustin Pedroia’s leadoff double in the ninth.

Osuna got the final three outs — but not before giving up RBI doubles to David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. Jackie Bradley Jr. added an RBI single, but pinch-hitter Marco Hernandez struck out with two runners on to end it.

Last June, Estrada took no-hitters into the eighth in consecutive starts before they were broken up. He did it against Baltimore on June 19 and at the Tampa Bay Rays on June 24.

“He’s a master at his craft. He’s not going to light you up with that changeup, but he’s a pitcher — a very good pitcher,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “He’s been doing that for two years. It shouldn’t surprise anybody.”

The Red Sox haven’t been held hitless at Fenway Park since Detroit’s Jim Bunning did it on July 20, 1958.

The day didn’t start well for Estrada, who walked his first two batters before Xander Bogaerts bunted into a force at third on an attempted sacrifice. Ortiz then lined out to center and Travis Shaw struck out swinging.

Estrada walked Ramirez leading off the second before retiring 19 straight. Young then hit a cutter into the Green Monster seats. Estrada dropped his head briefly when the ball cleared The Wall.

Center fielder Kevin Pillar made a nice over-the-shoulder catch on Shaw’s deep drive in the fourth and right fielder Bautista made a running grab on Ramirez’s liner to end the seventh.

Bautista homered into the first row of Monster seats on the fourth pitch of the game, with the ball caroming back onto the field.

In the third, Toronto hit two more long balls. Barney’s went off a light stanchion and Encarnacion hit his into the last row of seats.

TRAINER’S ROOM — Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan (neck strain) and outfielder/catcher Blake Swihart (sprained left ankle) were placed on the 15-day DL after getting hurt Saturday. The team recalled outfielder Rusney Castillo and pitcher Heath Hembree, and selected catcher Sandy Leon from Triple-A Pawtucket. Pitcher Noe Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A. Farrell said Swihart had a “severe” sprain and his ankle will be immobilized for two weeks.

LONG-BALL TROUBLES — Boston’s pitchers have allowed 13 homers in the last four games even though they didn’t give up any on Saturday.

HITLESS AGAIN — The Red Sox were held hitless for five or more innings for the third time in four games against Toronto.

UP NEXT — Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ (6-2, 3.06 ERA) is slated to start the opener of a three-game series in Detroit on Monday. He’s allowed just one run in each of his last two starts — both against the Yankees.

After an off day Monday, RHP Rick Porcello (7-2, 4.00) is lined up to start the first of a two-game interleague series at San Francisco. He’s had two straight no-decisions, giving up nine total runs in 12 1/3 innings.


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