After fast start, Red Sox slide in May
Boston Red Sox's Jarrod Saltalamacchia breaks his bat on a ground out during the eighth inning of their 12-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
From left to right, Boston Red Sox's Jarrod Saltalamacchia, John Farrell, Mike Carp, Will Middlebrooks, Dustin Pedroia and Stephen Drew wait on the mound during a pitching change during the sixth inning of a 12-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
With his finger nails painted pink for Mother's Day, Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, left, talks with relief pitcher Clayton Mortensen during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park in Boston, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes writes "MOMMA STRONG" on his wrist band prior to their baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista rounds the bases after his home run off of Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) during the third inning of an American League MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks comes down from getting a high throw too late to tag Toronto Blue Jays' Emilio Bonifacio stealing third during the sixth inning of an American League MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
BOSTON – The fast start by the Boston Red Sox already seems like a distant memory.
Jose Bautista hit two of Toronto’s five home runs, and the Blue Jays beat the Boston, 12-4, yesterday and sent the Red Sox to their eighth loss in 10 games.
In their first season under new manager John Farrell, the Red Sox had spurted to a 20-8 opening.
“I know it’s a cliché, but things are evening out,” Farrell said.
Ryan Dempster (2-4) gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings, his shortest start this season. The British Columbia native had been 6-0 against Toronto and Montreal in his big league career.
“They don’t hand out trophies in April or May or June or July or August,” he said in the middle of a quiet clubhouse as his teammates packed for three-city, nine-game trip. “We just have to keep grinding out for the whole year, and at the end of the year see how it works out. The guys in here will continue to do that and bounce back and get on a winning streak.”
Boston opened the season with its best start since 2002, but the past nearly two weeks have seen the club lose two closers to the disabled list, including Joel Hanrahan to a season-ending forearm injury.
The Red Sox were a big league-best 18-8 in April.
“I think we’ve got a number of guys dealing with frustration right now. There’s no question about it,” Farrell said. “The key for us is maintaining our level of preparation and our work routine. Those are the two things that we can control. I know with the attitude of this group, we’re going to continue to work, but we’re getting tested right now. There’s no question about it.”
Mike Napoli and Pedro Ciriaco homered for Boston, which opens a three-game series at Tampa Bay tomorrow.
Boston’s Shane Victorino crashed into the right-field wall in the fourth while catching Colby Rasmus’s drive and fell to the ground, writhing in pain. After being attended to by team personnel, Victorino remained in the game but left after the sixth inning. The team said after the game that he went to a hospital to be further evaluated.
Emilio Bonifacio, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie also homered for the Blue Jays, who took two of three in the weekend series but have won just seven of their last 20.
Chad Jenkins (1-0) got his second major league win and first since Oct. 2, allowing two runs and seven hits in five-plus innings. It was just the fourth big league start and 14th appearance for Jenkins, who missed most of spring training and the start of the season with shoulder inflammation.
Munenori Kawasaki hit a two-run single in the second and Bautista sent Dempster’s first pitch of the third into the seats above the Green Monster in left.
Bonifacio hit a two-run homer in the fourth for a 5-0 lead, his first home run since last July 23 for Miami.
Napoli led off the fourth with his seventh homer, and Encarnacion homered in the fifth to make it 6-1. Lawrie homered off Andrew Miller leading off the sixth and Bautista hit a two-run drive off Clayton Mortensen later in the inning for a 10-1 lead, Bautista’s ninth homer this year. He has 18 career multi-homer games.
Ciriaco opened the eighth with his first home run since Aug. 26.
∎ Red Sox DH David Ortiz had a scheduled day off after playing in 19 games since returning from an injury April 20. He is in a 1-for-17 slump after hitting .414 with four homers and 17 RBI through his first 15 games.
∎ Bautista has reached safely in 18 of his last 19 games.
∎ Farrell said the other closer, RHP Andrew Bailey, on the DL with a right biceps strain, likely will throw off a mound tomorrow and the team then will decide whether he will require a rehab stint.
∎ Boston C David Ross was placed on the seven-day concussion DL. The team recalled C Ryan Lavarnway from Triple-A Pawtucket.
∎ Ciriaco entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh, making his first big league appearance at first base.