A torrent was unleashed Monday night at Fenway Park. It was accompanied by deafening thunderclaps and frightening cracks of lightning that lit up the sky.
And that was well before Mother Nature got into the act.
The Toronto Blue Jays proved a force of nature in pinning the Red Sox with a 9-6 loss before a Fenway Park crowd of 37,208, many of whom were sent scurrying for cover when a downpour suspended play for an hour and 56 minutes in the seventh inning.
The Blue Jays erupted for 13 hits, including three two-run homers.
Felix Doubront (8-4) absorbed the loss after he spotted Toronto a 4-0 lead in the first inning. He gave up a two-run homer to Colby Rasmus in the first, and after the Sox fought back to tie it, 5-5, in the fourth, he gave up another homer to J.P. Arencibia that made it 7-5.
“I think he was trying to throw a lot of strikes and didn’t want to waste a lot of pitches, but it seemed like a lot of them got hit,’’ manager Bobby Valentine said of Doubront. “They were all hit hard, that’s for sure. It wasn’t his best outing, but he’ll improve on that.’’
Matt Albers came on and made matters worse when he gave up a two-run homer to Jose Bautista (his 24th of the season), extending Toronto’s lead to 9-5.
David Ortiz provided the fireworks for the Red Sox, clubbing a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the eighth, which gave him 20 homers on the season. He now has 398 in his career.
“David was swinging the bat really well,’’ Valentine said. “We kept battling. I liked our at-bats. We just gave up a couple too many runs.’’
It was the 39th multihomer game of his career and 37th with the Sox, tying Ted Williams for the club record.
He reached the 20-homer plateau for the 11th consecutive season, but it was the earliest he had done so since hitting a career-high 54 homers in 2006.
“I can’t tell you what to attribute it to,’’ Valentine said. “His batting practices have been stellar and his games have been terrific. They only time he got outside of himself was a couple of days ago, then he had the offday and he came back with a vengeance tonight.
“I’m not going to analyze it. I’m just going to enjoy it, because it’s what we’ve needed, obviously.’’
Doubront, who was looking for his ninth win, got off to a rocky start when the Jays scored four runs on four hits and an error (by third baseman Will Middlebrooks) in the first.
Brett Lawrie got it started with a leadoff double to right. Rasmus then homered just beyond Pesky’s Pole in right.
Bautista then reached on a misplayed grounder by Middlebrooks, and scored on Edwin Encarnacion’s double to left.
Doubront didn’t get his first out until the fifth batter, second baseman Kelly Johnson, flied to left. Yunel Escobar singled to right, sending Encarnacion to third.
The speedy Rajai Davis sent a ground ball to shortstop, forcing Escobar at second, but he beat Dustin Pedroia’s relay throw to first, which enabled Encarnacion to score. Davis wound up getting caught stealing in a 1-3-4 rundown for the final out, but the damage had been done.
“I was battling,’’ Doubront said. “Just gave up too many runs.’’
Blue Jays righthander Henderson Alvarez, however, gave two runs back when Ortiz drove a 2-and-2 pitch into the bleachers in right. Ortiz’s 19th homer of the season scored Pedroia, who tripled to right.
The Blue Jays tacked on another run against Doubront in the second. Ben Francisco doubled to left and scored on Rasmus’s one-out single to shallow center. Doubront got out of the inning when Bautista hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
The Sox capitalized on some timely hitting and fielding miscues to cut the Blue Jays’ lead to 5-4 in the third.
With two out, Pedroia singled to center, stole second, and moved up a base when shortstop Escobar missed the tag and then threw errantly toward the second base bag as Pedroia was retreating. After Ortiz drew a walk, Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached when Johnson mishandled his sharp ground ball to second base, scoring Pedroia.
Adrian Gonzalez then singled to right, scoring Ortiz.
With men on the corners, Middlebrooks came to the plate looking to atone for his error but flied to right to end the inning.
After Doubront sailed through the fourth with three groundouts, the Sox tied it in the bottom of the frame on Ryan Kalish’s single to center, which pushed across Cody Ross (leadoff double to left). The Sox were unable to go ahead when Nick Punto hit into a 4-6-3 double play and Daniel Nava flied to left.
Doubront, who matched his season high by giving up nine hits in his previous outing, allowed a career-high 11 hits, the last of which Arencibia tattooed for a two-run shot that gave the Blue Jays a 7-5 lead in the sixth.
Arencibia’s blast, which rattled the Sports Authority tarp above the Green Monster seats, scored Francisco, who reached on a two-out double to left. Doubront got out of the inning when he got Lawrie to fly to right.
Alvarez, who seemed to battle some back stiffness early on, came out for the sixth to face Gonzalez, ran the count to 2 and 1, and then was pulled with right elbow stiffness. He threw 95 pitches, 61 strikes. Jason Frasor entered and retired the Sox 1-2-3.
Doubront, who allowed seven runs (five earned), turned it over to Albers in the seventh. Rasmus reached on an infield hit and Bautista rocketed a two-run homer to left, making it 9-5.
With one out Johnson walked, but was forced at second on Escobar’s fielder’s choice. Play was suspended by rain at 9:29 p.m. with Davis at the plate, facing a 1-and-1 count.Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.