AL East champion Red Sox fall to Blue Jays 4-2
Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew, right, catches Toronto Blue Jays' Anthony Gose trying to steal second base in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. (AP / Michael Dwyer)
Published Saturday, September 21, 2013 10:56PM EDT
BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz lost for the first time this season, and the AL East champion Boston Red Sox rested a couple of regulars while falling to Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 Saturday night.
A day after the Red Sox clinched the division title, they lost for just the sixth time in 21 games. Manager John Farrell didn't start second baseman Dustin Pedroia and first baseman Mike Napoli, and used starter Ryan Dempster for an inning of relief.
Buchholz (11-1) gave up two earned runs on six hits and two walks in six innings. He had pitched 11 scoreless innings in his previous two starts, his first since spending three months on the disabled list with a strained neck.
Buchholz was the first Boston pitcher to start a season 11-0 in his initial 14 starts since Roger Clemens went 13-0 in 1986.
Boston's lead over Oakland dropped to 1 1/2 games for the AL's best record and home-field throughout the post-season.
Dempster made his first relief appearance since 2007, working a scoreless eighth. Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks shifted to first for the first time in his career.
Jonny Gomes and David Ross each drove in a run for the Red Sox.
Adam Lind's RBI double highlighted a three-run fourth that carried the Blue Jays.
Buehrle (12-9) held Boston to one run for the third time in five starts that he's faced them this year. He allowed five hits, striking out five without walking a batter. He reached 200 innings for the 13th straight season.
Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 33rd save in 35 chances.
Toronto's Munenori Kawasaki was ejected by first base umpire Eric Cooper in the eighth after slamming his helmet when he was called out on a close play.
The Blue Jays scored all three runs with two outs in the fourth after Brett Lawrie beat out a routine grounder to short for an infield hit. Lind followed with an RBI double, Rajai Davis added a run-scoring single and Moises Sierra scored from third on Buchholz's errant pickoff throw to first.
Gomes' RBI single cut it to 3-1 in the sixth. Ross' run-scoring grounder sliced it to 3-2 in the seventh after Xander Bogaerts reached second on Lawrie's fielding error at third base.
J.P. Arencibia snapped an 0-for-27 stretch with an RBI single off the Green Monster in the Toronto ninth.