TORONTO (AP) — Toronto’s Kevin Gausman gave the Red Sox a rough time as Boston got back to playing its biggest foes in the AL East.
Gausman matched a season high with 10 strikeouts over seven innings, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit one of three Toronto home runs and the Blue Jays halted Boston’s seven-game winning streak, beating the Red Sox 7-2 Monday night.
“The first game of the homestand you’re trying to set the tone, especially as the starter,” Gausman said
The Red Sox, who came in 7-14 against AL East opponents, lost the opener of a stretch in which they face Toronto, Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees 20 times in 23 games.
“Every team in this division can pitch, every team in this division can hit the ball out of the ballpark.” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “It’s going to be a grind. We’re going to be banging heads for the rest of the season.”
The Red Sox have 16 games remaining against both the Rays and Yankees.
Boston hadn’t faced the Blue Jays, Rays or Yankees since losing three of four in Toronto from April 25-28.
“It’s always a dogfight in this division, especially in recent years,” Boston’s Bobby Dalbec said.
Only five of Boston’s previous 50 games had been against division foes, all of them against Baltimore. The Red Sox went 2-3 in those games, while going 31-14 against other opponents.
Guerrero hit a two-run home run, his 18th of the season, Matt Chapman also hit a two-run blast and George Springer added a solo shot as Toronto improved to 6-2 against Boston.
Guerrero has nine home runs in June. Only Aaron Judge (10) has more among AL hitters.
Gausman (6-6) snapped a four-start winless streak, winning for the first time since May 31 against the White Sox. Three of the four hits Gausman allowed were…