Marcus Stroman sparkles on hill as Blue Jays crush Red Sox

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Marcus Stroman brought a no-hitter into the seventh inning while Juan Francisco was a double short of a cycle as the Toronto Blue Jays blanked the Boston Red Sox, 8-0, Thursday in front of a sellout crowd of 46,683 at Rogers Centre.

Stroman (6-2) threw seven scoreless innings, settling for a one-hit gem in which he walked two and fanned a career-high-tying seven batters as the Blue Jays improved to 54-49 after taking three of four from the Red Sox.

After taking two of three games from Texas, the Blue Jays concluded their seven-game homestand with a 5-2 mark.

It was Stroman’s eighth quality start, lowering his ERA to 2.21 since joining Toronto’s rotation May 31. He had a chance to join Dave Stieb as the only pitchers in franchise history to throw a no-hitter but Shane Victorino hit a bloop single to lead off the seventh.

Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa (3-3) took the loss after allowing seven runs – six earned — on nine hits with two walks and a strikeout in four innings as the Red Sox slipped to 47-55.

The Blue Jays got to De La Rosa in the first, giving Stroman an early lead with which to work.

After De La Rosa allowed a pair of walks and a single to load the bases, catcher Christian Vazquez allowed a passed ball, which enabled Melky Cabrera to score from third to put Toronto ahead, 1-0.

Toronto added two more in the second on a pair of doubles to take a three-run lead. Ryan Goins drove in Francisco, who led off the frame with a triple, before Cabrera won an eight-pitch battle with De La Rosa to give the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead.

Francisco was back at it an inning later. He hit a two-run homer — his 15th — to put the Blue Jays in front, 5-0, in the third, and busted the game open in the fifth.

With the bases loaded, Francisco went the other way for a two-run single, giving Toronto a commanding 7-0 lead.

Francisco, looking to become the third player in Blue Jays history to hit for the cycle and first since Jeff Frye in 2001, lined out to left field in his final at-bat. He went 3-for-4 and drove in a season-high four runs.

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