BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Red Sox's early season woes continued on Friday when they fell to a 7-6 defeat by the Toronto Blue Jays at a chilly Fenway Park.
The Red Sox, considered a pre-season favorite to win the America League pennant, own the worst record in baseball at 2-10.
The Red Sox jumped to a 3-0 lead on homeruns by Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis in the third inning, but Toronto starter Brett Cecil recovered retiring 11 straight batters as Toronto capitalized on walks to get back into the game.
The Blue Jays converted three walks into three runs in the fifth and sixth innings and scored four times in the seventh inning against reliever Bobby Jenks, who took the loss, to grab a 7-3 lead.
"This was a tough win, there's no doubt about it," Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters.
"We fully anticipate a very difficult series, but given the individual circumstances, yeah this was a good win for us to come from behind again."
Boston charged back into the game with three runs in the eighth but left the tying run stranded at second base.
"I just flat-out stunk today," Jenks said. "I'm not going to make any excuses out there. It wasn't there. All I can say is I stunk.
"Going out there, I've got to do a better job of -- if I do give up runs -- holding it to a one- or two-run inning.
"I can't go out there and leave guys on with four guys already in. That's unacceptable for me."
Jon Rauch pitched a perfect ninth inning to save the win for Cecil, who allowed three runs in six innings on two hits and four walks while striking out five.
"Guys battled all night and gave us a chance to win, especially with our rally," Rauch said.
"Cecil did a heck of a job sticking with his game plan and not getting rattled early on after given up a couple of runs.
"It's a group effort when we go out there and these guys battled. The least I can do is go out there and do my job."
Boston starter Clay Buchholz struggled with command giving up five walks in five innings, allowing three runs on three hits, and benefited from a favorable call in the first inning following video review.
Adam Lind's hit down the right field line was ruled a three-run home run on the field but after video review was ruled a foul ball. Buchholz escaped the inning unscathed.
"I really think there needs to be an adjustment to the wall, there's three lines there and it's very misleading when something like that happens," said Farrell.
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Alastair Himmer)