Slumping Toronto hitters shut down by Buchholz in 3-1 loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — That high-powered Blue Jays offense has lost a little punch over the past few games.

Facing an in-form Clay Buchholz on Monday night wasn't much help, either.

Buchholz pitched eight strong innings to win his third straight start, Xander Bogaerts drove in two runs and the Boston Red Sox beat Toronto 3-1.

The Blue Jays have scored a major league-leading 421 runs, but have totaled just four in their past three games. They've scored one run or fewer in three of the past five.

"We were bound to cool off," manager John Gibbons said. "We were so smoking hot."

The Blue Jays hurt themselves by running into a pair of outs.

Russell Martin was hit by a pitch in the second but went too far around third on Kevin Pillar's double to left before being chased down and tagged out by Pablo Sandoval to end the inning.

"I don't ever remember being able to get out of an inning with something like that," a grateful Buchholz said. "You say thanks for that."

Devon Travis singled to begin the third but was caught stealing second as Ryan Goins struck out.

Slugger Jose Bautista went 0 for 4 and is hitless in 22 at-bats.

Bautista nearly hit a game-tying homer in the sixth but his two-out drive to left was caught on the warning track.

"In this ballpark, you always think it has a chance," Gibbons said. "I don't think he necessarily got all of it but I thought he got enough."

Buchholz (6-6) improved to 10-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 15 career starts in Toronto as the Red Sox won back-to-back games for the first time since June 19.

"I like pitching here," Buchholz said. "I like the mound here. I've said it before, I'm just comfortable on it."

Buchholz allowed one run and five hits in matching his longest outing of the season. He's won four straight decisions since losing at Minnesota on May 26.

"He was outstanding," manager John Farrell said. "He threw four pitches for strikes."

Koji Uehara finished for his 17th save.

Bogaerts hit a two-run double in the third and Brock Holt singled home Mookie Betts after his leadoff triple in the fifth as the Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead against R.A. Dickey, who has won only once in seven starts.

Dickey (3-8) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. He's 0-3 with a 5.76 ERA in four starts against Boston this season.

"I'm in a stretch where I'm pitching just good enough to lose," Dickey said. "I feel like I'm capable of more."

Toronto cut it to 3-1 in the sixth when Travis reached on an infield single and scored on Josh Donaldson's two-out double.


Donaldson received 2.7 million All-Star votes last week, moving past Kansas City's Mike Moustakas at third base. Donaldson has drawn over 11.7 million votes, already a record for any player in any season. Voting continues through Thursday night.


Shifted well off the line, Donaldson raced into foul territory to make a spectacular sliding catch on Sandy Leon to begin the seventh.


Red Sox: OF Hanley Ramirez (left hand) could return this week after an MRI on his injured left hand confirmed no structural damage. ... 2B Dustin Pedroia (right hamstring) is expected to take batting practice during the series in Toronto. ... C Ryan Hanigan (broken right hand) is expected to come off the 60-day disabled list when he's eligible Wednesday.

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (strained back muscle) threw on flat ground and is scheduled to work off a mound Wednesday. It will be the first time Sanchez (5-4, 3.55 ERA) has thrown from a mound since June 5. He is expected back by mid-July.


Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-2, 4.33 ERA) has allowed 16 earned runs over his past three outings. He's 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA in three road starts.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (5-3, 3.45) has taken a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his past two starts. Estrada has won his past four decisions and is unbeaten since May 22 against Seattle.

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