Rough weekend for Boston teams


TORONTO — Marco Estrada came off the disabled list and promptly put a stop to a Blue Jays losing streak.

Estrada pitched seven shutout innings, Josh Donaldson hit a solo home run and Toronto beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0 on Sunday, avoiding a three-game sweep.

Estrada's efficient outing helped Toronto ended its four-game skid.

"It's early in the season but we needed that game," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Activated off the 15-day DL before the game after missing the start of the season with a sore lower back, Estrada (1-0) gave up five hits, walked two and struck out eight.

"The three times I faced him, he didn't give me one good pitch to hit," Boston's Dustin Pedroia said. "He was on the corners, his changeup was great."

Estrada, however, said he still has room for improvement as he shakes off some rust.

"I feel pretty good," Estrada said. "Still a little off. Things are going to get better. Just not quite 100 percent with the feel for things but it's really close."

Drew Storen worked the eighth and Roberto Osuna finished for his third save to complete the seven-hitter.

The Red Sox came up empty after scoring at least six runs and getting at least 10 hits in each of their first four games of the season.

"(Estrada) pitched a heck of a game against us," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We've been swinging the bat well here and throughout this road trip and he shut us down."

Toronto used two singles and a walk to load the bases with nobody out in the first. Jose Bautista was forced out at second on Edwin Encarnacion's RBI grounder to short, but Pedroia threw high to first as he tried to complete the double play, allowing a second run to score.

After reaching on a fielder's choice in the third, Pedroia was thrown out at home plate trying to score from first on Xander Bogaerts' double into the right-field corner. Second baseman Ryan Goins took the throw from Bautista and made a perfect relay to catcher Russell Martin, who tagged Pedroia on the lower left leg just before he slid across the plate.

"That was a huge play," Estrada said. "I'm thinking I'm going to give up a run there and the game was going to be a little closer. It pumped me up."

Estrada wasn't troubled again, retiring 12 of the final 15 batters he faced.

Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright (0-1) allowed two runs, one earned, and five hits over 6 2-3 innings in his season debut. He's the first Boston starter this season to pitch into the seventh inning, and the first to take a loss.

Donaldson made it 3-0 with a first-pitch drive off Noe Ramirez in the eighth. The homer was his fourth, tying him with Seattle's Robinson Cano for the AL lead.

Hawks 118, Celtics 107

ATLANTA >> Paul Millsap had a season-high 31 points and 16 rebounds, Jeff Teague added 24 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Boston Celtics 118-107 on Saturday night.

Kent Bazemore finished with 21 points for Atlanta, which moved one game ahead of Boston to take sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference.

With two regular-season games left for both teams, the Hawks moved 1 games ahead of Southeast Division rivals Miami and Charlotte while Boston has just a half-game lead over the Heat and Hornets.

Marcus Smart finished with 19 points and Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas each scored 16 for the Celtics, whose four-game winning streak ended.

Senators 6, Bruins 1

BOSTON >> With Boston goalie Tuukka Rask out sick for the Bruins' last-gasp run at a playoff berth, backup Jonas Gustavsson allowed four goals in the first half of the second period and the Ottawa Senators went on to win the regular-season finale 6-1 on Saturday.

The Bruins can still make the playoffs if the Philadelphia Flyers get no more than one point in their last two games, including one later Saturday against Pittsburgh.

Chris Neil, Zack Smith, Matt Puempel and Mika Zibanejad scored over 8:18 in the second period, and Andrew Hammond stopped 39 shots for the Senators. Ottawa also had a pair of empty-net goals in the third when the Bruins pulled the goalie to create a two-man advantage on the power play.

David Pastrnak scored for Boston, and Gustavsson stopped 30 shots.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions