As the ball started its descent, Dustin Pedroia could not find it in the bright sun over Fenway Park.
“Help!” he yelled, hoping a teammate would bail him out. But no assistance was coming. The ball fell in and the Toronto Blue Jays scored another run.
Pedroia glanced around, wondering what had happened. His expression captured what kind of season this has been for the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays handed the Sox another embarrassing loss on Sunday, 13-5, before an angry crowd of 36,296 at Fenway Park.
Like so many other games this season, the Sox played erratically. Several balls were misplayed in the outfield, adding fuel to a Toronto lineup already scoring runs in bunches. The fans booed throughout.
The 27-37 Red Sox have lost six straight games and are eight games out of first place in the American League East. Since winning seven of their first 10 games, the Sox are 20-34 and reeling toward another summer of irrelevance.
“There’s an upset clubhouse,” manager John Farrell said.
Ownership is upset, too. But sources said after the game that Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington remain safe for now.
How long can that last? The Sox have the third-highest payroll in the game and the fourth-worst record. Since the start of last season they are 30 games under .500.
“We’re not in a good place right now as a team. It’s not because we’re not giving effort. We’re not executing completely,” Farrell said.
Not even Eduardo Rodriguez was immune. The exciting rookie lefthander, who allowed one run in his first three starts, left this game in the fifth inning. He was charged with nine runs on eight hits and three walks.
Toronto has won 11 consecutive games. They scored 31 runs on 43 hits in the three-game sweep of the Sox.
The Blue Jays had problems early in the season, much as the Sox did. But as they and the other teams in the division emerge, the Sox fall farther behind.
“Frustrated. Disappointed,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “No one expected it to be like this.”
Rodriguez blanked the Jays for three innings. Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion opened the fourth inning with singles, scoring one run.
A better right fielder would have caught Donaldson’s flare, but Alejando De Aza was late arriving. It was a sign of follies to come.
Chris Colabello grounded into a force at second base. The Sox did not turn a double play because Encarnacion slid wide of the base to impede Bogaerts. Farrell argued for interference to no avail.
Russell Martin followed with an RBI single to right field, a bloop that dropped before De Aza could catch it. After Danny Valencia walked, Pedroia lost a popup off the bat of Kevin Pillar and Colabello scored.
The Sox got a force out at second on the play, which saved them a run as Ryan Goins homered to right field. Rodriguez appeared stunned.
“I need to make better pitches,” he said.
The fifth inning was another cringe-worthy one for the Red Sox.With two outs and the bases empty, Rodriguez walked Encarnacion. Colabello followed with a popup behind second base. Bogaerts was under the ball, but De Aza charged in and called for it.
“Once an outfielder calls, he’s coming in,” Bogaerts said. “You’ve got to get out of the way.”
As Bogaerts and Pedroia peeled away, the ball fell untouched.
De Aza, who did not make himself available to reporters after the game, is 4 for 21 in eight games with the Sox since being obtained from the Orioles on June 3.
Meanwhile former first round pick Jackie Bradley Jr., a Gold Glove finalist last season, is hitting .335 in Triple A Pawtucket with a .903 OPS.
Encarnacion scored on that misplay. Martin followed with a line drive into the corner in left field. Predictably, the ball got past Hanley Ramirez after it deflected off the wall. That allowed Colabello to score.
That was it for Rodriguez, who saw his earned run average go from 0.44 to 3.55. Steven Wright came out of the bullpen and his first pitch was launched over everything in left field by Valencia.
Toronto sent 17 batters to the plate in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring 10 runs on nine hits and two walks.
At 10-0 the crowd was mutinous. Their anger was briefly assuaged in the fifth inning when the Red Sox scored five runs off Marco Estrada.
Rusney Castillo walked and Blake Swihart singled to start the rally. Pedroia followed with a popup that was lost in the sun by Bautista in right field. Ramirez singled to center field and Swihart scored.
David Ortiz continued to heat up, driving a fastball into the Toronto bullpen in right field. It was his ninth home run of the season.
At 10-5, witty Fenway music man T.J. Connelly played “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.
Whoa, the Red Sox were halfway there. But Toronto kept scoring.
Wright put two runners on base in the seventh inning. When Tommy Layne came in, Goins belted a two-run double to center. Jose Reyes followed with another double.
“Today we got beat up,” Farrell said. “Looking back on the energy inside in the game, the energy is there. We didn’t field every ball cleanly, that goes without saying.”