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Red Sox in AL East cellar with 9-2 loss to Toronto

Associated Press Published: September 9, 2012

BOSTON (AP) — The free fall has taken the Boston Red Sox to depths that has them in danger of finishing in last place for the first time in 20 years.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was tagged for five runs in 1 1-3 innings and the Toronto Blue Jays jumped over the Red Sox in the AL East with a 9-2 win on Saturday night in a game twice delayed by rain for a total of 2 hours, 3 minutes.

Like his teammates, this season has been disappointing for Matsuzaka, who began the year late after ulnar collateral surgery last season.

"Honestly I don't know if I'll wear this Red Sox uniform next year," he said. "It's been an honor to wear this Red Sox uniform. I don't know what next year will bring, but it hasn't been (hard)."

It was his second straight rough start. He gave six runs in 3 2-3 innings in a loss at Oakland on Sept. 2.

"I'm real disappointed that I haven't been able to be there for the team the past two games," he said. "I'm real frustrated that I haven't been consistent."

Matsuzaka (1-5) took the loss, lasting just four outs and giving up five runs and five hits. He is in the final year of a six-year, $52 million contract.

"Even with the expanded rosters, to keep asking what you're asking out of the bullpen it seems like it's every night, it's tiring," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. "Guys are tired of playing from behind, I'll guarantee that. The bullpen is tired of just eating up innings. It's tough. It's tough."

Anthony Gose hit his first major league homer and drove in five runs for Toronto.

Yunel Escobar added a solo homer to spark a five-run second inning for Toronto, which has won five straight in Fenway Park — its longest streak since winning all six meetings in 1989.

It was the first time since July 29 that the Blue Jays haven't been in last place after they won their third straight to climb over the Red Sox.

Scott Podsednik and Ciriaco had RBI singles for Boston, which lost for the 10th time in 11 games.

With Toronto leading 5-2 and two outs in the fifth — one away from an official game — heavy rain started when Jacoby Ellsbury was at-bat. Aaron Laffey threw two balls before crew chief Jeff Nelson called for the tarp for the second time.

After a 65-minute delay, Laffey became ineligible for the victory when he was replaced by Brad Lincoln, who got Ellsbury to ground out. Under baseball rules, the starter must go five innings to get a win.

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