Blue Jays’ 15-1 loss bad omen for July

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GRE­GORY STRONG

TORONTO — Mookie Betts hit two homers and drove in eight runs as the Bos­ton Red Sox crushed the Toronto Blue Jays, 15-1, on Sun­day to com­plete a three-game sweep.

Betts had four of Bos­ton’s 21 hits — in­clud­ing a three-run shot in the fourth in­ning and a two-run blast in the sixth — and scored three times. He helped turn the game into a laugher with a two-run sin­gle in Bos­ton’s eight-run sev­enth in­ning.

The Amer­i­can League East-lead­ing Red Sox (47-35) have won four in a row and six of their past seven base­ball games. The last-place Blue Jays wrapped up their sixgame home­s­tand with a 1-5 mark. Toronto (37-44) has dropped four in a row and eight of 10 over­all.

Toronto’s bats have gone silent of late and the tim­ing is less than ideal.

The Blue Jays en­tered the home­s­tand with op­ti­mism that they were close to be­ing in the mix with the con­tenders in the East. In­stead they will head to New York for a three­game se­ries start­ing Mon­day in des­per­ate need of vic­to­ries.

July is make-or-break time for bub­ble teams and team brass may start shift­ing fo­cus from the present to the fu­ture if the los­ing con­tin­ues.

With the loss, Toronto fell 9½ games be­hind the Red Sox in the di­vi­sional race. Only Detroit, Chicago and Oak­land were be­low the Blue Jays in the Amer­i­can League stand­ings en­ter­ing Sun­day’s games.

Bos­ton touched up starter Joe Bi­agini (2-8) for sin­gle runs in the first two in­nings and Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Mar­rero reached on back-to-back bunts in the fourth. Betts fol­lowed by turn­ing on a 2-0 pitch for his 14th homer this sea­son. Betts ended Bi­agini’s af­ter­noon in the sixth with a homer that just curled around the left-field foul screen.

Ramirez led off the sev­enth with a sin­gle and added a two-run shot — his 12th homer of the sea­son — later in the in­ning as the Red Sox sent 12 bat­ters to the plate.

Drew Pomer­anz (8-4) gave up his lone run in the sec­ond in­ning when Justin Smoak scored on a sac­ri­fice fly. The Bos­ton starter worked six in­nings and al­lowed five hits and two walks while strik­ing out three.

The game took three hours 34 min­utes to play.

Be­fore the game, the Jays got out­field prospect Ed­uard Pinto from Texas for vet­eran re­liever Ja­son Grilli and cash con­sid­er­a­tions.

CHRIS YOUNG, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Blue Jays starter Joe Bi­agini stands on the mound as Bos­ton Red Sox hit­ter Mookie Betts rounds the bases af­ter blast­ing a two-run homer in the sixth.

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