The Boston Red Sox blanketed Fenway Park with pieces of the city’s championship past to welcome the newest members of their World Series title club.
It wasn’t enough to ward off another setback for a team yet to resemble the one that hoisted the trophy last year.
Chris Sale (0-3) let a Toronto runner steal home, Mookie Betts fanned with two on for the final out and the Red Sox stumbled again, losing to the Blue Jays, 7-5, Tuesday in their home opener.
After getting their World Series rings that had 185 diamonds, rubies and sapphires during a ceremony that included the Super Bowl champ New England Patriots, the Red Sox fell to 3-9. A return to Fenway failed to shake the doldrums that plagued Boston during a season-opening, 11-game trip to Seattle, Oakland and Arizona. The Red Sox dropped to last place in the AL East.
“We’re not playing very well right now as a team and it’s showing,” outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. “It’s early and these games still count. We have to get better and get better faster.”
Red Sox sparkplug Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-4 in his first major league game since May. He played only three times last year while slowed by a knee injury.
The game also made history: It was the first big league matchup of managers born in Puerto Rico, with Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo topping Boston’s Alex Cora.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. stole home and had an RBI single as Toronto ended a four-game losing streak. Freddy Galvis drove in two runs to back Matt Shoemaker (3-0), who allowed two earned runs in 5 2⁄3 innings.
Indians 8, Tigers 2: Corey Kluber earned his first win of the season in his third start, powered by four home runs by visiting Cleveland.
Kluber (1-2) allowed one earned run over six innings. A two-time Cy Young Award winner who went 20-7 last season, he struck out eight.
Leonys Martin, Brad Miller, Roberto Perez and Jake Bauers all entered with sub-.200 batting averages before hitting their first homers of the season. Cleveland had hit a total of only four home runs this year before connecting at Comerica Park.
Rays 10, White Sox 5: Austin Meadows homered and set a career high with four hits and Avisail Garcia connected against his former team for visiting Tampa Bay.
The Rays pounded Ervin Santana (0-1) and improved to 9-3, their best start in nine years. They also extended a club record by clinching their fourth straight series victory to start a season.
Three get suspensions
Pittsburgh pitcher Chris Archer has been suspended for five games, Cincinnati outfielder Yasiel Puig for two and Reds manager David Bell for one for their roles in a bench-clearing fracas last weekend.
The commissioner’s office said Tuesday that Archer has appealed his penalty and will play pending a decision. Puig and Bell were to serve their discipline starting Tuesday.
Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre also fined all three for their behavior Sunday.