Boston Red Sox Fall to Toronto Blue Jays, 7-3, in Daniel Bard's First Start

By Sam Feeley

The Boston Red Sox were unable to capitalize on the momentum from their first win of the 2012 campaign, and instead followed it up with yet another frustrating loss, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-3, Tuesday night at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

In Daniel Bard‘s (L, 0-1) first start for the Red Sox after 192 career relief appearances, he threw 96 pitches (65 strikes) and allowed five runs (all earned), eight hits, and one walk while striking out six in five-plus innings. As might be expected in his new role as a starter, his familiar eighth-inning 99 MPH fastball was nowhere to be found, topping off at about 96.

Dustin Pedroia had another solid outing, going 3 for 5 and raising his average to .364 on the young season. Adrian Gonzalez went 1 for 4 and drove in all three Red Sox runs on a sixth-inning sacrifice fly that scored Jacoby Ellsbury, and a ninth-inning ground rule double that plated Ellsbury and Nick Punto. Kevin Youkilis got his first two hits of the year, a double in his first at-bat in the second inning and a single in the eighth. The Red Sox had five doubles on the night.

Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek (W, 1-0) left after 5 1/3 innings, giving up one run, three hits and three walks while striking out four on 91 pitches (51 strikes). Edwin Encarnacion led the offensive charge, going 2 for 3 with his first home run of the season (off of Michael Bowden) and two runs batted in. Encarnacion also stole a base and scored two runs of his own right. Yunel Escobar, Adam Lind, and Brett Lawrie also had two hits each.

Perhaps the most surprising stat of the series thus far is Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista‘s combined 0 for 8 in the first two games. For all the flack the Red Sox pitching staff has taken in the early going of the season, they have managed to put the cuffs on one of the game’s most dangerous hitters.

The two teams will play the rubber game of this three-game series today at 12:37 p.m. ET before the Red Sox head back to Fenway for their home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays Friday.

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