Relievers Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez struggle as Blue Jays fall to Red Sox 7-6

TORONTO — Roberto Osuna and the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen are going to dust themselves off and get right back at it.

Osuna and fellow Toronto reliever Aaron Sanchez gave up five runs in the ninth inning as the Boston Red Sox rallied past the Blue Jays 7-6 on Saturday.

“It’s one of those bad days, but we’ve got the opportunity to be back tomorrow,” said Osuna (1-5), who gave up three earned runs in an inning of work. “That’s what I’m going to try to do. Be better tomorrow.”

R.A. Dickey struck out three over six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. Relievers Mark Lowe and Brett Cecil held the Red Sox scoreless before Osuna blew his save opportunity in the ninth. Sanchez and Ryan Tepera also came out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays.

Dickey still has confidence in Osuna and Sanchez despite their struggles against the potent Red Sox lineup.

“I think Greg Maddux told me when I was on the World Baseball Classic team, he said ‘the key to being a good pitcher is to have a bulletproof confidence and a short-term memory,’ so that’s my advice,” said Dickey. “They don’t need to be reminded.

“Same situation tomorrow, they’ll be in there. They’ve been great and they’ll continue to be great. There was just a hiccup today.”

Jackie Bradley Jr., had a home run in the ninth off Osuna to tie it 4-4 while also adding a double in the sixth for Boston (70-77).

Wade Miley started for the Red Sox and was dominant, striking out seven batters and giving up two runs but earning a no decision. Noe Ramírez gave up two runs out of the bullpen, while Jean Machi and Tommy Layne (2-1) also pitched relief.

Robbie Ross Jr. gave up two runs in the ninth but also earned his third save of the season.

Edwin Encarnacion had a home run and an RBI single as Toronto (85-63) had its three-game win streak snapped. Jose Bautista added a two-run homer.

Bradley blasted a pitch from Osuna into the right-field seats in the top of the ninth, bringing home Brock Holt and tying the game 4-4.

In the clubhouse Osuna said veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins gave him a pep talk after blowing the save.

“I’ve got great teammates,” said Osuna. “They support me every time. I’ll just try to do better tomorrow and that’s it.”

Boston took the lead four batters after Bradley’s home run when David Ortiz stroked a single to left field off Sanchez, cashing in Dustin Pedroia.

The Red Sox made it 6-4 in the next at bat when a wild pitch got past Toronto catcher Russell Martin, allowing Xander Bogaerts to score. Rusney Castillo added another run to Boston’s lead, singling to centre field to drive Deven Marreno across the plate.

Josh Donaldson and Bautista combined to bring the Blue Jays close in the bottom of the ninth. Donaldson walked with two out, then Bautista hit a home run, cutting the Red Sox’s lead to 7-6.

Minor league callup Matt Hague followed that up with a double off the outfield wall, but Justin Smoak grounded out to end the game.

Bogaerts broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth, putting a Dickey knuckleball into the left-field stands for a 1-0 Boston lead.

Encarnacion responded for Toronto in the bottom of that inning, hitting a sharp line drive, driving home Donaldson.

Dickey left the game to a standing ovation in the seventh after Holt hit a ground-rule double over the left-centre field wall.

Holt tied it 2-2 for the Red Sox, crossing home after Bradley Jr.’s double handcuffed Cliff Pennington and bounced into shallow right field before the Blue Jays second baseman could recover.

Encarnacion had his second hit of the game in the bottom of the eighth, putting a single through the gap and into shallow left field to drive in Donaldson for a 3-2 Blue Jays lead. Donaldson and Bautista were both aboard after back-to-back walks.

Chris Colabello loaded the bases in the next at bat, again putting a single through the gap.

Kevin Pillar kept the rally alive after Martin struck out, hitting an RBI single to shallow right field, plating Bautista for a 4-2 Toronto lead.

___

Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press