Estrada walks career-high seven in Jays' 7-4 loss to Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marco Estrada throws during first inning AL baseball action against the Boston Red Sox, in Toronto on Friday, June 30, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill)
Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, July 1, 2017 9:22AM EDT
TORONTO -- Marco Estrada summed up his outing Friday night in two succinct words.
"It sucked," said the right-hander, visibly frustrated after allowing a career-high seven walks in the Toronto Blue Jays' 7-4 loss in 11 innings to the Boston Red Sox.
Estrada allowed only two runs on two hits, but lasted just 4 1/3 innings with the seven walks contributing to his elevated pitch count -- 96 in total, 46 for strikes.
"Seven walks, I had no feel for anything ... Every pitch sucked," Estrada continued. "It's hard to take right now, you know?
"I'm just mad at myself for not going deep in this game. We had a great chance to win. The boys put up runs early and I let it get away, I guess. Walking seven guys is unacceptable."
Estrada, who has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in four of his last six starts, came into the game with a 10.03 ERA in the month of June.
He appeared to be turning things around over his last outing, going seven innings and allowing just three runs despite taking the loss in a 3-2 defeat to Kansas City.
"I was lost with every pitch out there," Estrada said. "I don't understand why it happened. Obviously I've been struggling but I've had feel for the ball and today I just didn't have any feel for it.
"All I can say is you can't walk seven guys and expect to win."
The Blue Jays (37-42) went up 3-0 early on a three-run home run from Justin Smoak in the first inning, but the Red Sox stormed back to take a 4-3 lead. Toronto tied it on a solo shot from Troy Tulowitzki in the sixth but couldn't get anything going from there.
Pinch-hitter Xander Bogaerts drove in Hanley Ramirez for the tiebreaking run in the 11th inning with a single to right field off Aaron Loup (2-2).
Deven Marrero extended the lead for Boston (45-35) with a two-run single off Glenn Sparkman. The Rule 5 right-hander was making his major league debut after breaking his thumb during spring training.
Loup was charged with three runs on three hits with three walks -- two intentional -- and a wild pitch.
Blaine Boyer (1-1) pitched the 10th for the win and Craig Kimbrel got his 23rd save in the nearly five-hour opener of the three-game series between division rivals. Dustin Pedroia picked up two RBI's and Andrew Benintendi had another.
Doug Fister started for Boston, pitching five innings and allowing three runs on three hits while walking three and striking out five.
Both teams combined for 20 walks, four of them intentional.
"It took a lot of guys for this one to be finished off," Boston manager John Farrell said.
Estrada walked three straight batters to load the bases with nobody out in the third but got two pop flies and a strikeout to escape unscathed.
The Jays starter wasn't so lucky in the fifth, walking his seventh batter to lead off the inning before allowing Boston's first hit, a single to Mookie Betts. Pedroia followed with a one-out, two-run double to cut the Red Sox deficit to 3-2 and end Estrada's night. Danny Barnes got the final two outs of the inning.
"I've never seen him like that and I guarantee you it's never happened to him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Estrada. "Maybe he was rushing a little bit, something was out of whack. He didn't give up many hits, that's for sure. But all the walks, that's uncharacteristic of him.
"Wash it off and move on."
The Red Sox tied the game when Marrero, the nine-hole hitter, drove in Jackie Bradley Jr., from second base on a single off Barnes in the sixth. Benintendi followed with a double of his own off Jeff Beliveau to bring in Christian Vasquez for the go-ahead run.
Tulowitzki's fifth homer of the season, off Heath Hembree in the sixth, tied the game 4-4.
The home series continues Saturday and it won't get any easier for Toronto with left-handed ace Chris Sale starting for the AL East leaders.
Estrada said Friday's game was crucial to starting the series on the right track.
"Just losing games in general is frustrating," he said. "We know it's an important time but every game is important. Right now we do need to win games.
"I'm frustrated, obviously, because of my performance today. I just wish we could have pulled this one out and if I had pitched better we would have."
NOTES: Smoak's homer was the 1,070th hit in the majors in June, the most in any month in MLB history. ... Attendance was 41,357.