J.P. Arencibia and Colby Rasmus both homered, J.A. Happ allowed just one hit over 5 1-3 scoreless innings and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-0 on Saturday afternoon.
Arencibia and Rasmus provided the offensive fireworks for Toronto (2-3), delighting a vocal Rogers Centre gathering of 45,797 for a Jays squad that was minus slugger Jose Bautista (ankle) for a second straight game.
Boston (3-2) won the series opener 6-4 on Friday night but received a huge scare when right-hander John Lackey (0-1) came off the mound in the fifth clutching his right arm following an inside pitch to Toronto’s Jose Reyes.
Lackey was making his first major league appearance since Tommy John surgery in 2011 on his right elbow and his obvious discomfort brought Red Sox manager John Farrell and the club’s medical staff running in from the dugout.
Lackey left with what was later diagnosed as a right biceps strain, although the severity wasn’t immediately clear. He allowed five hits and two runs (both earned) and a walk while fanning eight before giving way to right-hander Alfredo Aceves.
Watch highlights of the game courtesy of Sportsnet
Happ (1-0) was solid, allowing one hit and no runs with a wild pitch. He walked three and fanned six before giving way to fellow right-hander Steve Delabar with one on and one out in the sixth.
After surrendering a game-opening double to Jacoby Ellsbury, Happ retired seven straight batters before Pedro Ciriaco walked in the top of the third. He landed at third on a wild pitch and Arencibia’s throwing error and tried scoring on Ellsbury’s fielder’s choice but was thrown out at the plate by Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. After Ellsbury stole second and Shane Victorino walked, Happ got Dustin Pedroia to pop up and end the threat.
After allowing Reyes’s single to open the first, Lackey retired eight straight before Reyes — who was a triple short of hitting for the cycle Friday night — and Rajai Davis registered consecutive two-out singles before Lackey fanned Melky Cabrera to end the inning.
Arencibia opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the fourth, his third of the season. The one-out blast to deep centre field also brought home Adam Lind, who had singled.
Rasmus then took Aceves deep in the sixth with a three-run shot, his second of the season, after both Lind and Mark DeRosa walked.
Pedroia delivered Boston’s second hit of the game — a two-out single off reliever Sergio Santos in the ninth — before Rasmus showed great range tracking down Mike Napoli’s long fly ball at the fence to register the final out.