MLB

Stroman allows no hits through six as Blue Jays rout Red Sox

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The Canadian Press
7/24/2014 5:58:18 PM
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TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman was nearly unhittable, and his Blue Jays teammates couldn't stop hitting.

Stroman gave up one hit over seven shutout innings as Toronto's bats pounded Boston Red Sox pitching on the way to a 8-0 victory Thursday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays took three of four games against the Red Sox to move within 2 1/2 games of the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles.

Like fellow prospect Aaron Sanchez did over two shutout innings Wednesday night, Stroman (6-2) put on a show that was not only good for an important victory in a division race but tangible evidence of a strong future. The right-hander tamed a dangerous Red Sox lineup with six strikeouts while not giving up a hit until the seventh inning.

At the plate, the Blue Jays kept the good times rolling. Since getting blown out by Boston 14-1 Monday in the series opener, they've scored 20 runs.

First baseman Juan Francisco led the onslaught Thursday, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Francisco finished a double short of being the third player in franchise history to hit for the cycle.

Left fielder Melky Cabrera went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Runs came early and often for the Blue Jays (54-49) against Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa (3-3), whose earned-run average rose from 2.64 to 3.54 with his rough outing that included giving up six earned runs on nine hits in four-plus innings.

A couple of walks and a single in the first inning led to Toronto's first run when catcher Christian Vazquez was charged with a passed ball that Cabrera scored on.

Francisco was credited with a triple to lead off the second, though Red Sox centre fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. got to the ball and couldn't make the catch. Either way, it spelled more doom for Boston (47-55), as Ryan Goins drove in Francisco with an RBI double and scored on one by Cabrera to make it 3-0.

After a leadoff single in the third by catcher Dioner Navarro, Francisco blew the game wide open with a two-run home run, his 15th of the season.

Hitting Jose Bautista and surrendering singles to Navarro and Johnson marked the end of the day for De La Rosa. Reliever Burke Badenhop gave up Francisco's two-run double that gave the Blue Jays a seven-run lead.

All the while, Stroman went about his work with efficiency. The 23-year-old handed out three walks but was otherwise flawless for the first six innings and 91 pitches he threw.

Leading off the seventh, Shane Victorino broke up the no-hit bid with a bloop single that just dropped into centre field in front of Anthony Gose. The sellout crowd of 46,683 then saluted Stroman with a nice ovation.

Stroman's magical day wasn't over, as he managed to get David Ortiz -- who tormented the Blue Jays all week -- to fly out before inducing an inning-ending double play out of Mike Napoli. The rookie finished with 66 strikes on 97 pitches and his sixth career major league victory.

The Blue Jays tacked on another run in the eighth as Cabrera doubled to drive in Jose Reyes and was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.

Notes -- Ortiz appeared to tweak his back on a swing in the ninth and left the game. ... The Blue Jays begin a three-game series Friday at the New York Yankees. ... By starting at second base, Boston's Brock Holt became the first player in franchise history to start a game at every position except pitcher and catcher in a season.




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