The vibes were immaculate at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, those vibes were not of the feel-good variety, and instead reminiscent of what the team endured in 2020.
Sox pitchers — including two position players — combined to give up eight home runs in a blowout 18-4 pounding at the hands of the Blue Jays.
With the defeat, their second straight to Toronto, Boston falls to 39-27 on the season while dropping three full games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East.
A historic day at Fenway
The eight homers Red Sox pitchers surrendered on Sunday are the most the team has ever given up in a single game in franchise history.
Perez gets rocked in another short outing
Martin Perez made his 13th start of the season for Boston on Sunday, fresh off what was his shortest outing of the year in his last time out against the Astros.
This time around, Perez was unable to turn the page, and he instead got bombarded in yet another brief showing on the mound.
Over just 1 1/3 innings of work, the veteran left-hander yielded five runs — all of which were earned — on six hits, one walk, and zero strikeouts on the afternoon.
Three of the six hits Perez gave up to the Jays went over the fence, with Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. crushing a three-run and solo homer in the first, and Marcus Semien going yard with one out in the second, at which point the lefty’s day came to a quick close.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 38 (22 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler ultimately fell to 4-4 on the year while inflating his ERA to 4.52. He has allowed a total of 11 runs over his last two starts, but will look to turn things around in his next start against the Royals in Kansas City on Saturday.
Weber takes one for the team
In relief of Perez, Ryan Weber was deployed sooner than he likely expected with just one out in the top of the second.
Just selected from Triple-A Worcester, Weber was called up in the event that the Red Sox would need a long reliever out of the bullpen on Sunday, and that they did.
While he did provide 5 2/3 innings of relief in his 2021 debut, the right-hander was shelled for 11 earned runs on 13 hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts.
Nine of the 11 runs Weber surrendered came by way of the home run ball, with Teoscar Hernandez, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggo, and Vladimir Guerror Jr. taking the righy deep over the course of his 95-pitch outing.
Position players get in on the action
Trailing 16-2 going into the eighth inning, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to preserve his bullpen and instead turned to Marwin Gonzalez to pitch.
Making his first career appearance as a pitcher, the versatile Gonzalez turned in the only 1-2-3 inning the Sox enjoyed all day by retiring Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Riley Adams in order.
Of the 11 pitches Gonzalez needed to get through the scoreless frame, six were strikes. He also showed off a 90 mph cutter in addition to a mid-40s curveball.
Christian Arroyo, meanwhile, got the call for the ninth inning in what was also his big-league debut on the mound. The right-hander served up a two-run home run to Rowdy Tellez, which put Toronto up 18-4.
Another quietish day for the Sox lineup
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup has typically found success this season when scoring four-plus runs. But that was not the case against the Blue Jays on Sunday.
Matched up against Toronto left-hander Robbie Ray, Xander Bogaerts and Enrique Hernandez provided some early offense with a solo home run and two-run double, respectively.
Bobby Dalbec stayed hot by mashing his eighth homer of the season to lead off things in the eighth, but at that point the Sox’ deficit was already too large to mount a comeback.
Next up: Looking to salvage a series split
Right-haner Nathan Eovaldi will take the hill for the Red Sox on Monday night as the club looks to bounce back and settle for a four-game series split with the Blue Jays.
Toronto will send rookie righty Alek Manoah as they look for a series win.
First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Kevin Plawecki and Ryan Weber: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)