Red Sox stumble again, beaten in home opener by Blue Jays

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. stole home plate and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox.

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox blanketed Fenway Park with pieces of the city’s championship past to welcome the newest members of their World Series title club.

It wasn’t enough to ward off another setback for a team yet to resemble the one that hoisted the trophy last year.

Chris Sale let a Toronto runner steal home , Mookie Betts fanned with two on for the final out and the Red Sox stumbled again, losing to the Blue Jays 7-5 Tuesday in their home opener.

After getting their World Series rings that had 185 diamonds, rubies and sapphires during a ceremony that included the Super Bowl champ New England Patriots, the Red Sox fell to 3-9. A return to Fenway failed to shake the doldrums that plagued Boston during a season-opening, 11-game trip to Seattle, Oakland and Arizona. The Red Sox dropped to last place in the AL East.

“We’re not playing very right now as a team and it’s showing,” outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. “It’s early and these games still count. We have to get better and get better faster.”

Red Sox sparkplug Dustin Pedroia went 1 for 4 in his first major league game since May. He played only three times last year while slowed by a knee injury.

The game also made history: It was the first big league matchup of managers born in Puerto Rico, with Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo topping Boston’s Alex Cora.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. stole home and had an RBI single as Toronto ended a four-game losing streak. Freddy Galvis drove in two runs to back Matt Shoemaker (3-0), who allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: C Luke Maile and INF Justin Smoak both sat with neck issues. Smoak missed two of Toronto’s three games in Cleveland last week due to the issue, which appeared again before the series finale.

Red Sox: Cora said LHP Brian Johnson (left elbow inflammation) went through some testing and that the injury is not as bad as originally thought. “At one point, we thought it was the end of the season. It’s not that,” Cora said. But there is still no timetable for his return

CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATION

The Red Sox pulled out all the stops to celebrate their latest title.

While being serenaded by the Boston Pops orchestra giving a rendition of Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” a giant banner honouring the 2018 champions was unfurled in front of the Green Monster.

Pedro Martinez, Mike Lowell and David Ortiz carried out the 2004, ’07 and ’13 trophies. Then the 2018 team began filing down the red carpet to collect the championship rings. Cora led the coaching staff and David Price was the first player to receive one.

Also taking part in the ceremony were former Red Sox Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling, who have been absent from previous commemorations.

MILESTONE

Cora and Montoyo became the first pair of Puerto Rican-born managers to face each other in a major league game.

“It was a special moment,” Montoyo said.

Cora said it is yet another promising milestone for managers with Puerto Rican ties getting opportunities in Major League Baseball. Nationals manager Dave Martinez was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents.

“At one point before I got hired here we had no Puerto Rican managers,” Cora said. “And all of a sudden we have three out of 30. That’s a pretty good rate.”

UP NEXT

Red Sox host Blue Jays again on Wednesday night.

CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATION

The Red Sox pulled out all the stops to celebrate their latest title.

While being serenaded by the Boston Pops orchestra giving a rendition of Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” a giant banner honouring the 2018 champions was unfurled in front of the Green Monster.

Pedro Martinez, Mike Lowell and David Ortiz carried out the 2004, ’07 and ’13 trophies. Then the 2018 team began filing down the red carpet to collect the championship rings. Cora led the coaching staff and David Price was the first player to receive one.

Also taking part in the ceremony were former Red Sox Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling, who have been absent from previous ceremonies.

MILESTONE

Cora and Montoyo became the first pair of Puerto Rican-born managers to face each other in a major league game.

Cora said it is yet another promising milestone for managers with Puerto Rican ties getting opportunities in Major League Baseball. Nationals manager Dave Martinez was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents.

“At one point before I got hired here we had no Puerto Rican managers,” Cora said. “And all of a sudden we have three out of 30. That’s a pretty good rate.”

UP NEXT

Red Sox host Blue Jays again on Wednesday night.

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