TORONTO (AP) - Boston’s hopes of turning a dismal season around took a big hit against the Blue Jays.
Marcus Stroman and two relievers combined on a one-hitter, Juan Francisco drove in four runs and came within a double of the cycle and Toronto beat the Red Sox 8-0 on Thursday, last-place Boston’s third straight loss.
“We were behind the eight-ball right from the first or second inning, and were never really in this one,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Boston set season-highs in runs, hits (18) and home runs (four) in Monday’s 14-1 rout, their fifth straight win and eighth in nine games, but managed just seven runs over the final 27 innings of the series.
The one-hitter was Toronto’s first against the Red Sox in 550 all-time meetings. Boston was shut out for the 10th time this season.
Slugger David Ortiz felt back spasms on a check swing in the ninth and was replaced by Jonny Gomes, who flied out to end the game.
“Hopefully it’s not anything serious,” Ortiz said.
Stroman’s no-hit bid ended when Shane Victorino blooped a single to center to lead off the seventh. One out later, Victorino was erased on Mike Napoli’s double-play grounder.
Stroman (6-2) only allowed two other baserunners on walks and matched a season-high by striking out seven in seven innings. The rookie right-hander is 5-1 with an 1.54 ERA in seven home starts.
“He’s pitching like a veteran who’s been around a long time and he’s been very successful,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He shuts down good-hitting teams, he’s a great competitor.”
Todd Redmond worked the eighth and Rob Rasmussen finished.
Red Sox right-hander Rubby De La Rosa allowed seven runs, six earned, in a season-low four-plus innings, raising his ERA from 2.64 to 3.54.
“He had a hard time neutralizing their left-handed hitters,” Farrell said. “Francisco had big day.”
De La Rosa (3-3), who lost for the first time since June 11 at Baltimore, walked two and struck out one. He’s 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA in four road starts, but 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts at Fenway Park.
“I try to have everything the same,” De La Rosa said of the disparity. “It doesn’t make sense for me.”