- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - R.A. Dickey might be starting to lose his element of surprise.

After allowing just three runs in his season debut, the knuckleballer has given up 11 over his past two starts - both against Boston - and allowed four in 4 2/3 innings as the Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Red Sox 5-3 on Friday night.

“These guys are starting to get a lot of at-bats off him now,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “In this division, the element of surprise isn’t what it used to be. It’s going to be tough.”

Dickey (1-2) gave up seven runs on eight hits over five innings in a loss to Boston last Saturday.

“I’m not disappointed in my knuckleball,” Dickey said. “I’m disappointed in the result, obviously. My knuckleball has been pretty good. It’s moving late, I’m keeping the ball in the ballpark.

“It just seems like every one that doesn’t do something gets hit, and that’s not always going to happen. It’s going to even out here soon.”

Edwin Encarnacion hit his first two homers of the season, drove in all three runs for Toronto and had all of three of the Blue Jays’ hits. Last season, he hit 39 homers for the AL East champs.

“I hit the ball good,” Encarnacion said of his first homer. “I’m looking for my pitch, and he threw me a pitch right there, and I don’t miss it.”

Travis Shaw hit a two-run double and David Ortiz added a run-scoring double for Boston.

Rick Porcello (2-0) pitched 6 1/3 solid innings for the Red Sox, giving gave up three runs and two hits while striking out eight and walking one.

Craig Kimbrel got the final three outs for his third save. He allowed two runners to reach before fanning Justin Smoak.

Coming off consecutive wins over the Yankees, the Blue Jays were held to one hit until Encarnacion’s two-run shot in the seventh.

The Red Sox jumped ahead 3-0 in the first against Dickey. Ortiz made it 1-0 with his double halfway up the center-field wall.

Shaw then hit his double after Hanley Ramirez had an adventurous at-bat.

Ramirez fouled a ball off his left foot and sat down in the batter’s box before limping around a bit. He then reached on a passed ball when he struck out as the bat went flying past Toronto’s dugout. He raced home from first on Shaw’s hit, sliding in safely.

Encarnacion’s first homer went into the last row of Green Monster seats in the second. His second just cleared the Monster in the seventh.

Mookie Betts’ RBI single made it 4-1. Dustin Pedroia also had an RBI single.


With 12 more strikeouts Friday, the Blue Jays have struck out an MLB-high 112 times through 11 games.

“We’re very aggressive, that’s kind of our mentality,” Gibbons said. “That’s not initially uncommon when you start pressing a little bit, you try to make something happen. That will change.”


Blue Jays: Dickey has lost twice to Boston in seven days.

Red Sox: President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said 3B Pablo Sandoval would see orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his strained left shoulder. He was placed on the 15-day DL before Wednesday’s game.


Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is set to make his second start Saturday. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Red Sox on Sunday.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (1-0, 5.73) was moved up a day to get back on a regular five-day turn. He looks to bounce back from a rough home opener when he gave up five runs in five innings.

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