John Lackey has become synonymous with poor pitching, and he didn't veer from the course on Monday.
Lackey was shelled in two and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits and struck out two as the Toronto Blue Jays posted a 9-7 victory in the series opener at Fenway Park on Independence Day.
Toronto (41-44) scored early and often, putting up one run in the first inning, two in the second and four in the third inning, taking a 7-0 lead and ousting Lackey.
Rajai Davis scored the game's first run, scoring on a throwing error from Kevin Youkilis in the first inning. Aaron Hill hit a solo home run and John McDonald singled to center, plating Travis Snider and putting the Blue Jays up 3-0.
Adam Lind doubled home Eric Thames, Hill singled home Jose Bautista and Snider doubled to right, bringing both Lind and Hill around to score, giving Toronto a 7-0 advantage.
To make matters worse, the Red Sox lost Youkilis in the bottom of the fourth inning when he was hit by a pitch in the back by Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow, forcing him to leave the game.
Boston (49-34) broke onto the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Jacoby Ellsbury tripled to center, scoring both J.D. Drew and Marco Scutaro. Ellsbury later scored on a passed ball. Adrian Gonzalez then doubled to left, bringing Dustin Pedroia home and cutting Toronto's lead to 7-4.
Lind scored to get the run back for the Blue Jays in the top of the seventh, scoring on a fielding error from Yamaico Navarro, who entered the game in place of Youkilis.
Davis doubled home McDonald to give Toronto its final run in the eighth, but Boston made a late push in the bottom half of the inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia tripled to center plating both Navarro and David Ortiz. Drew then brought Saltalamacchia home with a sacrifice fly to left, trimming Boston's deficit to two runs.
Frank Francisco didn't have any trouble in the ninth inning, giving up one hit but striking out three to slam the door shut on the Red Sox and pick up his 10th save.
Morrow earned the win, his fifth, allowing four earned runs and three walks while striking out five batters in five innings for Toronto.
Dan Wheeler had the best day of any pitcher, setting down all eight batters he faced. Alfredo Aceves allowed two runs (one earned) in two and two thirds innings and Franklin Morales had one walk in a third of an inning. Matt Albers walked one and surrendered one hit in the ninth for Boston.
Boston hosts Toronto in the second game of the series on Tuesday night.
|Final - 7.4.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Toronto Blue Jays||1||2||4||0||0||0||1||1||0||9||13||0|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||0||4||0||0||3||0||7||11||2|
|WP: Brandon Morrow (5 - 4)
SV: Frank Francisco (10)
LP: John Lackey (5 - 8)