BOSTON – In a season filled with bullpen issues, Red Sox relievers turned in what might have been their most calamitous effort to date Saturday.
The Boston bullpen blew a five-run lead, giving up seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings en route to an 8-7 loss to the lowly Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto is now 28-49 on the year.
Mike Shawaryn, tasked with holding a 6-1 lead in the seventh, gave up a two-run homer to Freddy Galvis and a solo shot to Rowdy Tellez before being pulled from the game. Marcus Walden came on and walked .176 hitter Luke Maile, who later scored on a wild pitch.
Matt Barnes was no better trying to hold a one-run lead in the eighth. He gave up a run-scoring single to Cavan Biggio and was pulled from the game after issuing two walks to load the bases. Ryan Brasier came on, but the results were the same. He walked two men, bringing home two more runs.
The Sox would cut Toronto’s lead to 8-7 with a Xander Bogaerts double in the ninth, but J.D. Martinez struck out with the tying run on base to end the game.
Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. had two-RBI days. Christian Vazquez hit a solo home run and Michael Chavis also drove in a run.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays will wrap up their series Sunday. Rick Porcello (5-6, 4.31) will take the ball against Marcus Stroman (4-9, 3.23 ERA)