TORONTO (AP) — New Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos had no reason to fault the fans who booed him off the mound at his first home opener in Toronto.
Santos blew his second save opportunity in three games, surrendering a sacrifice fly to Adrian Gonzalez and a go-ahead single by Ryan Sweeney, and the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the Blue Jays 4-2 on Monday, spoiling Toronto's home opener and avoiding the first back-to-back 0-4 starts in team history.
Acquired from the White Sox at the winter meetings and handed the closer's role in Toronto's rebuilt bullpen, Santos didn't do much to impress his new fans, giving up three runs, two hits and three walks in 2/3 of an inning before leaving to a chorus of boos from the sellout crowd of 48,473.
"I'd be booing, too," Santos said. "It wasn't pretty. It's tough because you feel you let 24 other guys down that you have been working hard with for the last two months."
Dustin Pedroia homered as Boston bounced back after being swept in Detroit to start the season.
Handed a 2-1 lead to start the ninth, Santos (0-1) surrendered a leadoff double to Pedroia, who advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez.
Kevin Youkilis struck out before David Ortiz and Cody Ross drew consecutive walks. After a visit to the mound by pitching coach Bruce Walton, Sweeney grounded an RBI single through the right side.
Darnell McDonald, pinch-running for Ortiz, slid home safely when Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia couldn't handle the throw from Jose Bautista, a miscue that also allowed both runners to advance. Ross scored soon after when Santos uncorked a wild pitch that bounced into Boston's dugout along the first base line.
Making his first home appearance since being acquired in a December trade with the White Sox, Santos was booed loudly when Blue Jays manager John Farrell came out to replace him with Luis Perez, who ended the inning by getting Mike Aviles to ground into a fielder's choice.
Farrell said Santos may have been trying to do too much.
"I thought he started to overthrow his fastball," Farrell said. "He yanked a number of pitches out of the strike zone."
Despite Santos' struggles, Farrell insisted he had no intention of changing roles.
"Sergio remains our closer," Farrell said.
Continue reading this story on the...