Sale gives up 4 HRs in playoff tuneup, Jays beat Red Sox
BOSTON (AP) —
Chris Sale matched a career worst by giving up four home runs in a playoff tuneup, including a pair to Josh Donaldson, and the Boston Red Sox lost 9-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Teoscar Hernandez hit one of his two homers off Sale, and Kendrys Morales had the other against Boston's ace lefty. Sale (17-8) allowed five runs in five innings and surrendered multiple homers for the third time in five starts. Sale last allowed four homers in a game Aug. 23, 2013 against Texas.
Boston's magic number over the Yankees in the AL East is three with five games remaining. New York beat Tampa Bay 6-1.
The Red Sox dropped their second straight, their first skid since losing three in a row from Sept. 2-4.
Sale did have eight strikeouts, giving him 308 for the season. The AL Cy Young Award candidate has a 2.90 ERA for the season with one scheduled start remaining.
J.A. Happ (10-11) pitched seven strong innings for the last-place Blue Jays, holding Boston to a run on four hits with nine strikeouts.
Donaldson homered in the first inning for the second straight game, then led off the third with his 33rd this season. The latter shot cleared the bullpen and reached the right-field seats to put Toronto ahead 2-1. Hernandez led off the fifth with a homer to left, and Morales added a two-run shot later that inning.
Boston was missing three injured starters in Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts and Eduardo Nunez, and it struggled against Happ. Xander Bogaerts led off the game with a single and scored on Chris Young's double, but Happ got the next 16 batters in a row and kept the Red Sox off the bases until Bogaerts' one-out single in the sixth.
Toronto added four runs in the eighth, two of them on Hernandez's two-run shot to left that nearly cleared the Green Monster, and the Blue Jays led 9-1.
Sandy Leon led off the eighth with a homer, and Young hit an RBI triple for Boston in a three-run eighth.
Red Sox: Pedroia (left knee swelling) was out of the lineup for the second straight game. Manager John Farrell said the club wants Pedroia to heal up and have him back for the playoffs. ... Betts (left hand/wrist) and Nunez (knee) are listed as day-to-day.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (10-8, 4.70 ERA) has won his last five decisions and gets the start in Toronto's final road game of the season.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (10-17, 4.55) is 1-2 in three starts against the Blue Jays this season.