Blue Jays recap: Drop series opener to Red Sox, move to 2-11

Apr 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak (14) gets Boston Red Sox center fielder Andrew Benintendi (not pictured) out at first in the fifth inning at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak (14) gets Boston Red Sox center fielder Andrew Benintendi (not pictured) out at first in the fifth inning at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Blue Jays mustered more offence than they have for much of the season, but still dropped yet another game, this time at the hands of the Boston Red Sox.

The Blue Jays just can’t seem to catch a break lately, as they continue to struggle out the gate to open the 2017 regular season, losing 8-5 on Tuesday night. Even in a game when the bats started off well, they couldn’t cash in enough runners on base, stranding 5 in the first two innings, and 12 total for the game.

That said, they finally saw a bit more life from their offence, it just wasn’t enough to overcome the Red Sox in their series opener. The Blue Jays sent Marcus Stroman to the hill against youngster Brian Johnson, with Stroman taking his second loss of the young season, and Johnson picking up his first big league win.

The Jays jumped out to an early lead, with Kevin Pillar hitting the first of his three doubles on the night to lead off the game. He eventually came around to score on a RBI single from Kendrys Morales, to make the game 1-0. Morales also came around to score on a Justin Smoak double, giving Stroman an early lead to work with. Smoak would later add a solo shot in the third inning as well, having a solid night at the plate.

Unfortunately the talented righty couldn’t get through 5 complete innings, as he threw a lot of pitches in the outing following his complete game in his last time out. He didn’t have the same stuff on Tuesday, giving up 6 earned runs and 11 hits in his 4.2 innings of work. He was lifted in favour of Aaron Loup who immediately surrender a 2 run single to Pablo Sandoval to close the book on Stroman’s afternoon.

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Russell Martin finally snapped out of his hitting funk, sending a pitch over the left-centre field wall in the 5th inning, his first home run of the season. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the Red Sox answered the blast in the following inning, with Mookie Betts sending his first home run of the season into the left field bleachers.

The Blue Jays had to use a good portion of their bullpen, on the night using 5 pitchers on the evening. Stroman and Loup were followed by Dominic Leone (1.1 IP), Joe Smith (1.0 IP), Ryan Tepera (0.2 IP), and Danny Barnes (1.1 IP).

Barnes just joined the club on Tuesday and was joined by utility infielder, Ty Kelly. The Blue Jays will need some reinforcements in their starting rotation, so it’s likely we’ll hear more announcements to that end on Wednesday.

They did make a late attempt to come back in the ninth inning, with Russell Martin scoring on a RBI single from Steve Pearce, his first as a Blue Jay. Ezequiel Carrera then came on as a pinch hitter and promptly sent a fastball over the left field wall, his 3rd career pinch-hit home run, and 12th of his career. Unfortunately Devon Travis lined out to follow Carrera, to finish the game.

Next: Blue Jays trade catcher Juan Graterol to the Angels

The Blue Jays will send Francisco Liriano to the hill tomorrow night against last year’s AL Cy Young winner, Rick Porcello. That game will get underway at 7:07 EST at the Rogers Centre, with the Blue Jays looking to finally turn things around.

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