The Toronto Blue Jays were hoping Wednesday's game against Boston would allow them to build off an impressive comeback win in the series opener the night before.
Instead the Red Sox showed why they have the best record in the major leagues.
Boston slugged five home runs and starter Clay Buchholz was masterful over seven shutout innings as the Red Sox crushed the Blue Jays 10-1 at Rogers Centre. Mike Napoli's second homer of the game came in Boston's four-run seventh inning as the Red Sox improved to 19-8.
"Really we didn't get anything going to stay in the game," said Jays manager John Gibbons. "But like I said it was still manageable and we were still within striking distance going into the seventh inning and it exploded.
"And then it was out of hand."
Stephen Drew, Daniel Nava and Mike Carp also homered for the Red Sox. Buchholz (6-0) allowed just two singles over seven shutout innings, lowering his earned-run average to 1.01.
"It's fun pitching good," he said. "I'll try to ride the wave as long as it's there."
First to 6 wins
The right-hander walked three and had eight strikeouts, throwing 66 of his 101 pitches for strikes. Buchholz leads the major leagues with six victories on the season.
"When you're able to command both sides of the plate and cut it and sink it on both sides of the plate, you know that's why he's been doing as (well) as he's been doing," said Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Toronto (10-18) opened the three-game set Tuesday with a 9-7 victory that offered a glimmer of hope that this might be the series where they turn things around. But the Blue Jays were handcuffed by Buchholz and simply could not put a rally together.
The Blue Jays scored their lone run in the eighth off reliever Alex Wilson when Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., tripled to score Maicer Izturis.
Boston got to Toronto starter Mark Buehrle (1-2) in the second inning. Will Middlebrooks reached after being hit by a pitch and Drew followed with his first homer of the season, pulling a 1-0 fastball into the second deck beside the right-field foul pole.
Munenori Kawasaki hit a one-out single in the third for Toronto's first hit but was left stranded when Lawrie and Colby Rasmus struck out.
The Red Sox used the long ball again in the fourth inning.
Napoli crushed a no-doubt blast to deep centre field for his fifth homer of the season. Nava followed with a solo shot of his own, also his fifth homer on the year, to make it a four-run game.
The Red Sox loaded the bases in the sixth but Buehrle got out of the jam with a double play.
The veteran left-hander was pulled with two outs in the seventh after issuing a walk to Jonny Gomes. Buehrle gave up five earned runs, seven hits, three walks and had one strikeout.
'When the roof is closed and it's warm in here, the ball definitely flies.'— Red Sox 1st baseman Mike Napoli
Reliever Esmil Rogers came on and gave up a single to Dustin Pedroia to put runners on the corners. Rogers then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Gomes to score Boston's fifth run.
Pedroia advanced to second and Ortiz was intentionally walked. Napoli followed with a monster blast into the third deck in left-centre field to make it 8-0.
"When the roof is closed and it's warm in here, the ball definitely flies," Napoli said. "We've got guys that obviously can hit some good fly balls that carry here. This is a very good hitter's ballpark and we were able to put some good swings on pitches."
The Blue Jays threatened in the bottom half of the frame. Adam Lind drew a one-out walk and moved to third when Melky Cabrera singled to right field.
Cabrera tried to stretch it into a double but Nava threw a strike to second base to get him by a few feet. Arencibia struck out to end the threat.
Izturis singled off Wilson in the eighth inning for Toronto's third hit of the game. Wilson was pulled after walking Jose Bautista.
Clayton Mortensen came on in relief and got Edwin Encarnacion to ground out.
Carp hit a solo shot off reliever Justin Germano in the ninth inning. Napoli added a ground-rule double and scored on a Nava single.
Boston outhit Toronto 15-4. The game took two hours 52 minutes to play and announced attendance was 21,094.