Doubront's troubles continue in loss to Blue Jays

Doubront's troubles continue in loss to Blue Jays

Doubront's troubles continue in loss to Blue Jays
BOSTON -- After a 1-8 West Coast trip, the Red Sox were hoping the start of a homestand could bring them some badly needed positive vibrations.

They'll have to wait another day. The homestand picked up right where the road trip left off, as the Red Sox lost, 7-5, to the Blue Jays on Friday night.

Since Aug. 1 the Red Sox are 10-25.

"I'll tell you what, it's not fun," said shortstop Mike Aviles. "I know it's a tough game to play. In all honesty, we're out there trying to win. We're not trying to lose. It's just unfortunate we can't get anything going in the right direction. It's just not fun."

In the most recurring theme of the season, the Red Sox were again forced to play from behind.

Felix Doubront has never thrown more innings in a season than the 134 2/3 he's logged in 2012. The workload seems to be taking a toll on the lefty of late.

For the fifth consecutive start -- and sixth time in the last seven -- Doubront went five innings or fewer while giving up four earned runs or more. He lasted four-plus innings, giving up six hits and five runs. He walked two and struck out four, throwing 84 pitches.

The case could be made that he was the best pitcher the Red Sox had the first two months of the season, but that seems like a long time ago, as the lefty fell to 10-8 and his ERA rose to 5.21.

In the seven starts Doubront has made since July 23, he is 0-4 with an 8.27 ERA.

Might the Red Sox shut him down for the remainder of the season?

"We'll discuss it," said manager Bobby Valentine.

Doubront was unavailable to the media after the game.

Down, 5-0, heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Red Sox did make a game of it.

Dustin Pedroia's fielder's-choice RBI grounder in the fifth -- which would have been an inning-ending double play if first baseman Edwin Encarnacion could have held on to the throw by second baseman Kelly Johnson -- made it a 5-1 game.

Pinch-hitter Mauro Gomez sliced the lead to three runs in the seventh with a bloop single, but he was doubled off first after Rajai Davis made a tremendous twisting catch on a fly ball to deep left.

"Oh yeah, I think it was hit better than I thought initially," said Davis. "Then I just tried to outrun it. Fortunately, I was able to catch it before I hit the wall."

Pedroia belted a solo shot over the Monster in the eighth, making it a two-run game, but Colby Rasmus put the Blue Jays back up by four with a two-run homer off Daniel Bard in the ninth.

Bard has given up a home run in each of his three outings since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

"Daniel's one pitch away from getting out of the darn thing, and he left a slider up," said Valentine. "He threw a couple of 95-mph fastballs. First time we've seen him do that. Looked like it was a big improvement. He got swings and misses on his slider, both sides of the plate, until the last one. I thought the stuff was improved tonight."

Gomez added a two-run homer in the ninth, but the Red Sox couldn't get any closer.

"We're trying to come out and play winning baseball," Pedroia said. "We haven't played well the last few weeks -- basically, the last couple of months. We've got to find a way to put a good game together and come out and build on it."

Doubront quickly put the Red Sox into a deficit in the first, surrendering a leadoff double to Brett Lawrie and a sacrifice fly to Encarnacion.

In the third, Encarnacion hit another deep fly ball, this one a solo homer that soared into the Monster Seats. It was No. 38 of the season for Encarnacion, and it gave Toronto a two-run lead.

The Jays again jumped on a Doubront mistake in the fourth, this one resulting in a two-run homer off the bat of Moises Sierra.

Rasmus led off with a triple to right in the fifth, and that was all for Doubront. Clayton Mortensen came on and gave up a bloop RBI single just over the head of first baseman James Loney, pinning Boston in a five-run hole.

Once again, Mortensen was a bright spot for the Red Sox, firing two shutout innings and striking out four.

"I'm just trying to do anything I can to help us get back in there and get some momentum or something," said Mortensen.

But momentum is something the Red Sox haven't been able to seize for weeks.

Do players see light at the end of the tunnel?

"Absolutely," Aviles said. "We're pretty much rebuilding, and that's pretty much well known. It's just a matter of going through the process, and we have to keep playing hard. Everything will take care of itself at some point."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.