Omar Vizquel, in the last Fenway Park at-bat of his terrific career, lifted a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to left against Clay Buchholz to score the game-winning run as the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep with a 4-3 win over the Red Sox. The Sox dropped to 63-78, two games behind Toronto for last place in the division. It is the first time that the Sox have been 15 games under .500 since the final day of the 1992 season.
Vizquel's sac fly was an appropriate final note for Buchholz, on a day when he was at times dominant and consistently prevented the Jays from making solid contact yet had a loss to show for his efforts. Buchholz logged 8 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits (all singles) while striking out four and walking three.
He gave up his other three runs in the fourth inning, when he was victimized by four singles -- two on hit-and-runs that turned potential double-play grounders into singles. The third run of the inning -- which gave the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead -- came when Mike Aviles cut off a two-out throw from left fielder Scott Podsednik that seemed likely to nab Jeff Mathis at the plate, instead electing to cut down the runner at second, but only after the Jays had scored the go-ahead run.
Buchholz was unfazed, retiring the next 13 batters he faced before permitting a one-out single to Rajai Davis in the ninth that eventually turned into the game-winning run. Still, it continued a somewhat remarkable run by Buchholz, who has worked at least seven innings in each of his last three starts and in nine of his last 10 outings, with a 3.12 ERA in that time.
The Sox received their offense from a pair of homers. Jacoby Ellsbury, batting sixth for the 10th time in his career and the first time since 2009, launched a two-run homer over the Red Sox bullpen in the bottom of the second to give his team an early 2-0 lead. After the Jays took their lead, Dustin Pedroia tied the game with a solo homer to left in the bottom of the sixth, his 14th of the year.
Pedroia went 2-for-4, continuing a stretch in which he has performed at elite levels. Over a span of roughly five weeks dating to Aug. 6, he's hitting .367 with a .426 OBP, .609 slugging mark and 1.035 OPS along with five homers and eight steals in 32 games.
The Sox have lost four straight and 11 of their last 12. They will have Monday off before a three-game series against the first-place Yankees starts Tuesday.
For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
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