TORONTO – The Boston Red Sox crushed the Vladimir Guerrero Jr.-less Toronto Blue Jays on Victoria Day.
The defending World Series champions belted four homers, including a pair of early two-run blasts from infielder Michael Chavis and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., for a dominant 12-2 win at Rogers Centre on Monday afternoon.
The 20-year-old Guerrero was given a scheduled day off, even though he hit his first four career Major League homers on the Blue Jays’ six-game road trip that ended Sunday.
After going homerless in his first 13 outings, Guerrero not only smacked four homers in six games, he hit .333 with nine RBIs to be named the American League player of the week.
Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo explained that with 16 consecutive games without a day off each player was scheduled to take a seat in the dugout for at least one game.
Guerrero’s turn came in the four-game series opener against the Red Sox, the seventh day in a row for Toronto.
The news disappointed the Victoria Day crowd of 26,784.
The Blue Jays (19-28) managed only three hits. They were also without leadoff hitter and second baseman Eric Sogard. He sprained his left thumb diving back into first base in Toronto’s 5-2 win in Chicago against the White Sox on Sunday.
The 16-hit Red Sox attack helped ease Boston starter David Price back into action after a recent bout with tendonitis in his left elbow.
The left-handed Price, who spent the final three months of the 2015 season with the Blue Jays, last pitched on May 2. He ran his streak to 9-0 in his last 11 starts against Toronto at Rogers Centre.
Price yielded only two hits, two runs (none earned) and struck out four Blue Jays in his 66-pitch five innings.
The Red Sox, now 19-9 in their last 28 games, jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead. Toronto starter Edwin Jackson downed the first batters he faced. But three consecutive singles from Mitch Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers scored Moreland.
An errant throw from Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile when Devers stole second base allowed Bogaerts to score.
Maile made up for his miscue in the second inning. He belted a two-run homer into the left-field seats after Toronto outfielder Billy McKinney reached base on an error from Chavis at second base.
The Red Sox, however, took the lead for good with a four-run third inning. The big blow was Chavis’ ninth homer of the year, a two-run shot to left field after Bogaerts had delivered a two-run single.
Bradley smashed a two-run shot in the sixth off Toronto reliever Elvis Luciano. Bogaerts and Devers added back-to-back solo shots in the ninth.
The 35-year-old Jackson lasted five innings. He gave up seven hits, six runs (five earned) and struck out four Red Sox. The Blue Jays are Jackson’s big-league record 14th team.
Notes: Toronto claimed off waivers 33-year-old right-handed reliever Javy Guerra from the Washington Nationals … Blue Jays closer Ken Giles was unavailable because of a wrist injury … Montoyo confirmed Aaron Sanchez (3-4) will start for Toronto on Wednesday. He departed with a right middle-finger blister problem in the fourth inning of his last start in Chicago on Friday.
© 2019 The Canadian Press