TORONTO -- The Boston Red Sox are a middle-of-the-pack team in most of the major defensive rankings, so it stands out when they make three errors in a game. When they have two three-error games within a week, it becomes a cause for concern, especially when both games are losses.
The Sox committed three errors in their 5-1 loss to the Royals on Aug. 8 and suffered through another tough defensive outing in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays.
Two of the three errors came on the same play, a Rajai Davis single to the pitcher's mound in the third inning that ended up being a scoring play after Jon Lester threw the ball past first base. As Davis headed to third, right fielder Shane Victorino's throw bounced off of Davis and rolled into foul territory as the Toronto center fielder easily made it home for the unusual run.
"Obviously, [Davis'] speed makes you rush a little bit," Lester said. "For me it was kind of a balls-out play, I had to sell out to try to get him, not knowing where the ball is. Obviously, I'm not trying to throw the ball down the line, but it would've been nice to keep him on third there. But the ball takes a bad hop, hits off him and scores a run."
It was a seemingly routine play that spiraled out of control for the Sox, manager John Farrell explained.
"It's something that we've worked on from Day 1 in spring training," Farrell said. "The underhand flip kind of just gets inside the baseline, [first baseman Mike Napoli] is looking to avoid a collision there and unfortunately it leads to a guy who's flying around the bases on a couple of throws."
Lester also erred when he fumbled Munenori Kawasaki's grounder back to the mound in the seventh, thus giving Lester the first two-error game of his career.
More bad fortune befell the Sox in the fourth, when Jays DH Mark DeRosa hit a soft liner behind first base that Napoli looked to have a play on, except he mistimed his jump. The ball fell for an RBI double that scored Edwin Encarnacion from second.
Even the game-winning run had a chance at being an out. With two men on scoring position in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Sox infield was playing in against Brett Lawrie. The third baseman delivered a line drive to shortstop Stephen Drew that bounced off of Drew's glove and ricocheted past second base, easily scoring Davis for the walk-off victory.
While the play was rightly scored as a hit, Drew was disappointed at coming so close to making the catch.
"[I was] just trying to get a good read because [Davis] on third can really run," Drew said. "Kind of unfortunate. I thought I had a bead on it, and at the very end it started taking off on me. It hit the very end of the web. At first off the bat, I thought I might be able to catch it out of the air real quick, but there was no shot."
The Red Sox hitters made plenty of hard contact but had trouble finding the holes. Drew smashed a liner right into pitcher Esmil Rogers' glove in the sixth, Jonny Gomes' liner into left in the fifth was snagged by a diving Kevin Pillar and Napoli was robbed of a single on a diving grab up the middle by Kawasaki in the fourth.