TORONTO — The Boston Red Sox only have one off day this month, and it’s coming at a good time.
John McDonald homered, Rajai Davis had four hits and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 9-3 on Wednesday night to sweep a two-game series.
With a three-game series in Yankee Stadium due to start Friday, the Red Sox could use a little time to clear their heads. They’ll have a day to themselves in New York to do just that.
“Go and enjoy yourself, have fun and live life a little bit because we’ve only got one off day this whole month,” infielder Kevin Youkilis said. “You might as well live it up.”
The Blue Jays pounded struggling right-hander John Lackey (2-5), who lost his third straight start and matched a season high by allowing nine runs. He gave up nine hits, walked a season-high five and struck out one.
Lackey said nothing is working right now.
“Keep working hard, man,” he said. “It’s got to turn sometime.”
Lackey is 1-3 with a 7.03 ERA in four road starts this season.
“He didn’t really have the putaway breaking ball,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He left it over the middle a few times.”
Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz hit solo homers, but it wasn’t enough for Boston.
After starting the season 0-6, the Red Sox took two of three from the Yankees at Fenway Park in early April. This is their first visit to the Bronx this season.
“It’s going to be a good series,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “We’re all going to be hyped up. We know we’re playing against a good team so we’re going to do the best we can.”
Davis went 4 for 4 with two RBIs. He also swiped two bases and scored twice. McDonald was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and scored twice.
Davis is 8 for 20 in his past five games, boosting his average to .240. His four hits against the Red Sox tied a career high.
“It’s just good to see him with the confidence he has currently, the way he’s swinging the bat,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s hitting fastballs and breaking balls alike.”
Jesse Litsch (4-2) won his second straight, allowing three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. Casey Janssen pitched 1 1-3 innings, Jon Rauch worked the eighth and Frank Francisco finished for Toronto.
Youkilis hit a two-out RBI single in the first but the Blue Jays responded with two runs in the third. Corey Patterson had a run-scoring single and Aaron Hill drove in another run with a groundout.
Toronto added two more in the fourth. After McDonald hit his second homer, Davis singled, stole second and third and scored on Yunel Escobar’s sacrifice fly.
“We’ve been a station to station club for a long time,” McDonald said. “We hope to see more of that from (Davis).”
Escobar returned to Toronto’s lineup after leaving Tuesday’s game when he was hit on the left ankle by a pitch from Jon Lester.
Boston pulled within one on homers by Gonzalez and Ortiz in the sixth. It was Gonzalez’s seventh of the season and third in two days, with all three hit to the opposite field. One out later, Ortiz chased Litsch with a drive to right.
Toronto blew it open with a five-run seventh, doing all its damage with two outs. David Cooper drew a bases-loaded walk, McDonald chased Lackey with a two-run double to left and Davis capped it with a two-run single off Tim Wakefield.
“Everything went wrong that could go wrong,” Lackey said. “Pretty much the story of the whole damn year.”
At 44 years and 282 days, Wakefield became the oldest player in Red Sox history, two days older than Deacon McGuire was in his final game for Boston on Aug. 24, 1908.
Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 19 games.
NOTES: Red Sox SS Jed Lowrie (illness) was held out of the staring lineup, with Jose Iglesias replacing him. … Boston’s Carl Crawford extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the fifth. … Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind (sore back) missed his fourth straight start. Farrell said Lind hit off the tee before the game and could return Friday at Minnesota. … Blue Jays INF Jayson Nix (left shin) played five innings in an extended spring training game and will join Class-A Dunedin on Thursday. Nix could be activated off the 15-day DL on Sunday or Monday, Farrell said. … Toronto granted OF Scott Podsednik his release from Triple-A Las Vegas.