The last straw?
The last thing the Jays needed at this time of the year, was another injury.
Riding a five-game winning streak, after sweeping the Rays in Tampa Bay, the Jays stormed into Boston with a high dose of optimism, hoping that a sweep against the celler-dwelling Red Sox would put them back in the race to the series.
The first game in Tampa Bay could have been the turning point of the season as the Jays faced a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the 9th inning with the score tied at 0-0. But Brett Cecil got himself out of the jam by striking out the next three hitters!
Then, despite being frustrated after being benched, Colby Rasmus hit a pinch-hit homer. And Casey Janssen, bypassed in favor of Aaron Sanchez in the previous game, registered his 21st save and the Jays had swept the Rays, in Tampa Bay, for the first time in their history.
Mark Buehrle, although not involved in the decision, held the Rays in check over the first eight innings on five hits and one walk.
The Jays had won the first game of the series thanks to their favorite weapon: the homerun. Danny Valencia (4th), Jose Reyes (9th) and Dioner Navarro (11th) had one each but Jose Bautista’ string of five games with a homer came to an end. R.A. Dickey notched his 11th win, allowing two runs, on two hits, three walks and two hit batters.
In the second game, the Jays won 7-4 using the long ball to drive in four of the seven runs as Edwin Encarnacion (29e) and Navarro (12e) both connected.
Marc Stroman held the Rays hitless for five innings, but was reached for two runs in the sixth en route to his 9th win of the year and Sanchez got his second career save.
But everything came crashing down in Beantown.
The Jays played with fire late in the game and this time they got burned.
With the game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Dustin McGowan got himself in trouble by allowing the first two hitters he faced to reach base. But he got the next three Sox out to put out the fire.
The Jays scored twice to lead 8-6 in the top of the 10th inning.
Then, the Jays called upon Casey Janssen for a second game in a row and the closer could not preserve the lead as the Red Sox scored three runs on four hits. The five-game winning streak ended with a crushing 9-8 loss.
The game was not the only thing the Jays lost.
Melky Cabrera had to leave the game with a hand injury and X-Rays showed a right pinkie fracture. He will be operated on and his season is over.
The injury to the Jays best hitter came at the most inopportune time and probably means that all hopes of making it to the series are to be forgotten.
Bautista and Encarnacion, one of the most dangerous offensive duo in baseball, both hit their 30th homeruns and young Daniel Norris made his major league debut as he struck out David Ortiz.
The next day, the Jays could not muster any decent attack against Clay Buchholz as they got only one hit in seven occasions with runners in scoring position.
They lost 4-3 and fell four and one half games out of the race for the third qualifying spot for the post-season series.
J.A. Happ was not in top form, as he gave up four runs over the first six innings allowing 10 runners to reach base.
Colby Rasmus supplied the only offensive spark as for the second time during this road trip, he came off the bench and hit a homerun, a two-run blast in the 7th inning.
Finally, les Jays averted the sweep as Bautista supplied the three-run homer R.A. Dickey need to notch his 12 win of the season.
Bautista hit his 31st homerun in the fifth inning with Reyes and Gose aboard.
Dickey mastered his knuckleball as he allowed only one run on six hits, no walks and six strikeouts over the first seven innings and Janssen pitched a perfect ninth to register his 22nd save of the year.