Jays sink to bottom of AL East

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kyle Drabek pitches to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of...

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kyle Drabek pitches to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto, June 2, 2012. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Mike Rutsey, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 6:35 PM ET

The thunk you heard was the sound of the Blue Jays falling into the basement.

Thanks to consecutive losses to the Boston Red Sox, the Jays now sit in fifth spot in the American League East - one full game back of the Red Sox - a team that is streaking along having won 16 of their past 22 games.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, hit the basement for the first time this season and have lost seven of their past 10 games.

Given the significance of the game, the hope was the Jays would come out with one of their better efforts.

Instead they made mistake-upon-mistake with the result a 7-4 Red Sox victory.

The icing on the cake as far as Blue Jays blunders went occurred in the eighth after the Jays had scored a gift run off a two-base throwing error to cut the deficit to 6-4.

They had two out, Brett Lawrie on second with David Cooper at the plate and they were one swing away from tying it up.

With a 2-0 count on Cooper, Lawrie bolted for third and was thrown out. It was an aggressive mistake by Lawrie but a blunder just the same and after the game manager John Farrell put it on himself for not taking the green light off of his uber-aggressive third baseman.

“He’s certainly an aggressive player,” Farrell began. “Again, we’re not going to temper that. He’s got the green light, but at the same time in situations (like Saturday’s) we’ve got to shut him down. And that’s on me, that’s on no one else.

“In a situation where we’re down to runs with a man on second in scoring position, if he’s going to attempt that bag he’s got to make sure that he can walk in there. I’ll take that one.”

One would hope Lawrie knows better.

But it was clear that he doesn’t.

“I tried to move up a base and it ended up working against me,” Lawrie said.

Should he tone it down in situations like that?

“Not necessarily tone it down,” he replied. “I think just thinking of the situation at hand, it may not necessarily be the best time to go but I thought I could get there. He fell (third baseman Kevin Youkilis) right in front of the bag and cut off the way I wanted to slide. We’ve got to suck that one up and move on.”

Lawrie’s misdeed was not the first for the Jays.

In the second inning with a runner on first and two out, starter Kyle Drabek gave up four consecutive hits to allow four runs to score. Then in the fourth Drabek failed to properly back up second and when a throw from right fielder Jose Bautista got by Yunel Escobar, the ball bounded to the wall by the Jays dugout. That allowed Youkilis to trot to third. He later scored on a double-play grounder.

In Boston’s four-run second, the final two runs came home when centre fielder Colby Rasmus couldn’t make the play on a sinking liner by Daniel Nava. The ball seemed to knuckle and change direction and tipped off the heel of his glove.

Offensively the Jays couldn’t come up with the big hits when they needed them.

Now the Jays are looking up at every team in the AL East.

“It’s just a number,” Lawrie said. “We’re not out by 10 games, we’re out by three. There’s a lot of baseball to be played. We can’t worry about the numbers right now.”

Drabek, who has lost his last two starts and six of his last eight was unhappy with his command in the second when he left a number of pitches up.

So, too, was Lawrie.

“I thought he worked better as the game got on,” Lawrie said of Drabek. “I think early, we had a couple things that went against us. But at the same time, I can’t emphasize enough getting strike one over.

“A team that has gotten hot over the past little bit here, you gotta be able to make pitches in certain situations. I felt like he did a better job as the game went on, but I think they got us early.”


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