TORONTO — Life as a starter continues to be a struggle for Joe Biagini.
The right-hander went 4 2/3 innings allowing four earned runs on four hits while striking out three and walking three as the Blue Jays fell 5-3 to the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon.
"It’s definitely a challenge to come up here, make a couple starts. Go down there (the minors) make some starts and come back and forth, and be in different places and things," said Biagini.
"Disappointing for me to be on the wrong end of it, but try to do the best as you can."
J.D. Martinez got to Biagini early taking his first pitch fastball over the wall in right field for a two-run home run, his 10th of the season, in the first.
Then with the bases loaded in the fourth, Biagini walked Mitch Moreland making it a 3-0 game.
However, Biagini (0-2) settled down in the fourth and retired the side in order.
Biagini hasn’t won a start with the Blue Jays this season in three attempts, and is 0-3 with a 4.57 ERA in four starts with triple-A Buffalo.
"He’s a sinker baller and he’s got a good curve ball. When he’s on, he’s throwing that fastball over the plate, it gets a lot of action on it so it gets some quick ground balls," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "He’s got a good curve ball, so I think sometimes maybe he over throws, but no different than anybody else.
"That lead off walk to (Jackie) Bradley Jr. (to lead off the third) really hurt, kind of set everything in motion but he battled. After that tough inning, he came back out and did a nice job."
Boston (28-12) took two of three from the Blue Jays and have won six of 10 overall.
Justin Smoak had a two-run double and Russell Martin drove in a run for the Blue Jays (21-20), who have dropped seven of their last eight Mother’s Day games. Toronto has lost six of 10 overall.
Red Sox right-fielder Mookie Betts showed off his defensive skills in the bottom half of the fourth, running down a Richard Urena fly ball and making a diving catch just in front of the wall in foul territory.
With John Axford on in relief, Martinez drove in Andrew Benintendi with a single to right giving Boston a 4-0 cushion.
Toronto finally got to Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz in the fifth, as Smoak doubled off the wall in centre field, driving in a pair and cutting Boston’s lead in half.
Two batters later, with Hector Velazquez on in relief, Martin pulled the Blue Jays to within one with an RBI single.
Velazquez (5-0) allowed two hits over two innings while striking out two for the win.
Joe Kelly pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save of the season.
With Toronto trailing 4-3 in the seventh, Yangervis Solarte thought he had the game’s tying run while trying to score from first on a Martin double, but the Blue Jays second baseman couldn’t beat the Red Sox relay and was tagged out at home.
"He got thrown out at the plate. One thing about (third base) coach is the toughest job," said Gibbons. "Luis (Rivera) does a good job over there, trying to make something happen. When the team’s struggling, you try to score some runs. Those kind of things happen."
Benintendi gave Boston a 5-3 lead scoring on a Xander Bogaerts ground out in the eighth.
Notes: Prior to Sunday’s game the Blue Jays recalled RHP Deck McGuire from triple-A Buffalo and optioned INF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to the Bisons. RHP Carlos Ramirez was designated for assignment to make room for McGuire on the 40-man roster. â€¦ Following the game Toronto optioned OF Anthony Alford to Buffalo with a corresponding move to come prior to Tuesday’s game against the Mets.