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Red Sox rally falls short, skid hits 5 in 7-4 loss to Blue Jays

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BOSTON - The bottom of the ninth opened as if it was scripted for the defending World Series champion Red Sox.

With Boston down by three, Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino hit consecutive singles to start the ninth and give slugger David Ortiz a chance to tie it. Ortiz hit a towering shot to right, but it drifted foul and he wound up striking out. One double play later, Toronto wrapped up a 7-4 win Tuesday night and extended Boston's losing streak to five.

"We're in a little rut right now but we'll find a way to get out of it. That's what we do," Pedroia said. "We've just got to go out there and play."

The Red Sox couldn't complete the comeback after Toronto scored the first six runs of the game. Edwin Encarnacion hit a pair of two-run homers and Melky Cabrera and Erik Kratz each hit solo shots for the Blue Jays.

J.A. Happ (3-1) struck out six in the first three innings and picked up his third win in four starts since joining the rotation.

Jonny Gomes hit a two-run homer for Boston. It was one of the few times the Red Sox came through at the plate, going 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine on base.

Pedroia said too many players are trying to end the streak by themselves with one big hit.

"You've got to trust the guy behind you," he said. "It starts with me and all the other hitters. We've just got to trust each other."

The losing streak is the longest for the Red Sox since 2012.

Casey Janssen picked up his fourth save, with a rocky ninth inning. After striking out Ortiz, Janssen got Mike Napoli to ground into a double play to end it.

Encarnacion hit a two-run homer in the third and Kratz added a solo shot in the fourth off Felix Doubront (2-4), who left the game after Jose Reyes and Cabrera opened the fifth with back-to-back doubles. The Red Sox said Doubront was pulled because of fatigue in his left shoulder.

"His stuff was diminishing even in the early innings, particularly between the fourth and fifth," Boston manager John Farrell said.

Edward Mujica replaced Doubront and struck out Jose Bautista, but Encarnacion followed with a towering shot to left for his second two-run homer of the night and Toronto led 6-0.

Boston scored twice in the fifth, and then Cabrera added a solo shot to left in the sixth.

Happ started the sixth but was pulled after Gomes' two-run homer cut Toronto's lead to 7-4. He allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out six.

Napoli led off the sixth with a single and Gomes followed with a homer that bounced off the top of the Green Monster. Crew chief Gary Cederstrom needed only about 30 seconds to review the video before confirming it was a home run, pulling Boston within 7-4.

Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia doubled in the fifth as Boston scored twice to cut Toronto's lead to 6-2.

Boston loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but third baseman Brett Lawrie helped get Happ out of the jam.

Lawrie lunged at a line drive by Xander Bogaerts that was headed for left field. The ball bounced out of his glove when he landed, but Lawrie quickly grabbed it, tagged third for the force out and threw it to Kratz to double-up David Ortiz at the plate.

Doubront allowed five runs on five hits, striking out two and walking three.

Notes: Toronto RHP Drew Hutchison (2-3) is scheduled to face Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz (2-3). ... Encarnacion hit multiple homers for the third time this season and 14th in his career. ... Red Sox manager John Farrell said before the game that Boston had re-signed veteran SS Stephen Drew, a member of last year's World Series championship club who turned down a $14.1 million offer from Boston and become a free agent. ... Toronto LHP Rob Rasmussen made his major league debut when he came in from the bullpen with one out in the seventh.

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