TORONTO—The Toronto Blue Jays’ usually smooth defence was due for a misfire.
Toronto had three errors and other defensive miscues as the Boston Red Sox rallied to a 4-3 victory yesterday afternoon.
“We’ve been playing outstanding defence so we’re due for a clunker like this,” said Jays’ starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, who was charged with an error in the fourth inning.
“We’ve just got to come back tomorrow [Monday] and be ready for the Yankees,” he stressed.
The Jays, losers of two-straight, open a crucial three-game set with New York tonight in Toronto.
Yesterday’s loss, combined with the Yankees’ 11-2 win over the N.Y. Mets last night, narrowed the Jays’ lead in the AL East standings to 2.5 games.
Buehrle, who has won four Gold Gloves (2009-12), pitched six solid innings, giving up eight hits and three runs.
Relievers Liam Hendriks, Brett Cecil, Mark Lowe, and LaTroy Hawkins all came out of Toronto’s bullpen.
Lowe allowed Pablo Sandoval’s decisive run for the Red Sox (71-77), although he had reached base on an error by Cecil.
Cecil (3-5) was tagged with the loss as a result.
“Unfortunately, a lot of things didn’t go our way,” said catcher Dioner Navarro.
“But we’ve got to go through that adversity.
“We’ll be all right,” he added. “We’re right where we want to be.”
Navarro homered for Toronto (85-64) while Ben Revere had an RBI single.
Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Sandoval with a sacrifice fly to centre-field for the winning run in the eighth inning.
Outfielder Kevin Pillar made an impressive throw to try to get Sandoval out at home, but the ball skidded on the hop to Navarro and bounced away.
“I knew if I was going to move to go get [the ball before it bounced], I wasn’t going to have time to go back and tag him, so I stood my ground,” said Navarro.
“Unfortunately, the ball hit the lip of the grass and kinda shot up on me.
“I think if the ball would’ve hit the grass only, I would’ve had a better chance,” he added.
Russell Martin, pinch-hitting for shortstop Ryan Goins in the ninth, brought the 46,743 in attendance to their feet with a two-out double.
But that was as close as Toronto got to tying the game and forcing extra innings.
Rich Hill (1-0), making just his second major-league start since 2009, struck out 10, giving up seven hits and three runs over seven innings for Boston.
Noe Ramirez pitched an inning of scoreless relief before Robbie Ross Jr. came in for the save.
Elsewhere in the AL, Minnesota dumped L.A. 8-1, Kansas City pounded Detroit 10-3, Tampa Bay topped Baltimore 7-6, Cleveland doubled Chicago 6-3, Houston beat Oakland 5-1, and Seattle upended Texas 9-2.
In NL action, Washington pounded Miami 13-3, Atlanta nipped Philadelphia 2-1, Milwaukee doubled Cincinnati 8-4, St. Louis edged Chicago 4-3, San Francisco beat Arizona 5-1, Pittsburgh shaded L.A. 4-3, and San Diego dumped Colorado 10-4.