The 2012 season been a learning experience for Brett Lawrie.
The Toronto Blue Jays third baseman doubled home the tying run in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox 5-5 on Friday, but the 22-year-old from Langley, B.C., was thrown out at third on a ground ball to short for the second out of the inning that blunted the rally.
It was another baserunning error by Lawrie in a season that has seen plenty of them, and it helped the Red Sox get out of the inning, setting up Mauro Gomez's two-run triple in a three-run ninth as Boston downed Toronto 8-5.
Ryan Lavarnway also had a sacrifice fly in the ninth to go with a three-run homer for a four-RBI game.
"Over aggressive, tried to force it, play's in front of him," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Lawrie. "He's got to hold his ground right there."
Lawrie also was involved in another big play earlier in the game.
With two out in the fifth inning, instead of going to first on a ground ball by Gomez, he tried to tag the runner Mike Aviles, who put a spin move on him and was safe at third.
"How about that move?" Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine asked. "I don't think he was out of the baseline. ... Mike didn't give up, he gave everything he had to avoid the tag and he did."
After Lavernway was walked by Chad Jenkins, Daniel Nava singled in two runs to put Boston into a 5-3 lead.
The inning could have ended if Lawrie had taken the easy out by throwing to first.
"Easy to say 'Yes' in hindsight," Farrell said. "That's a routine ground ball out with a below average runner at the plate in Gomez. So yeah, you can sit here and say that the routine out is to execute at first base.
"He chose to try and tag him, avoid the throw, Aviles avoids the tag. To me it looked like he went outside the established baseline but the call stood as it was."
Added Lawrie: "I went to go tag him and he just, I don't know. ... I've got to watch the replay because as far as I'm concerned he was out of the baseline from what I saw. I didn't tag him, he got around me, just an unfortunate lucky break."
But the throw to first was his first instinct.
"Obviously,' Lawrie said. "But out of the corner of my eye he was running full speed at me so I figured I could just go tag him and just run to the dugout. I wasn't thinking about it too much."
The Blue Jays would come back to tie the game, but the Red Sox won it against two of Toronto's top relievers.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the ninth with a single off Darren Oliver (3-3) who was replaced by Casey Janssen. Cody Ross then singled to left with one out before Gomez tripled to the gap in right centre to put the Red Sox into a 7-5 lead.
"Mauro is a pretty good hitter," Valentine said. "He has been playing a lot against left-handers, but I left him in against a right-hander there and he didn't try to do too much. He took a slider into right-centre field that I thought was caught for a second."
Lavarnway then added a sacrifice fly to score Gomez from third as the Red Sox snapped a six-game losing streak against Toronto. Reliever Chris Carpenter (1-0) entered the game in the eighth inning and got the win. Andrew Bailey pitched the ninth for his third save.
Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka held the Blue Jays to three hits, but allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings. He gave up three walks, hit a batter and had two wild pitches that scored runs.
Toronto left-hander Aaron Laffey lasted just 3 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and four hits, including Lavarnway's fourth-inning homer to tie the game 3-3.
The Blue Jays (65-78) scored three runs in the third, two on wild pitches by Matsuzaka.
Moises Sierra started the inning when he was hit by a pitch before Anthony Gose and Colby Rasmus walked.
With the bases loaded, Sierra scored on the first wild pitch and the other runners moved to second and third. Lawrie then walked on the second wild pitch, which scored Gose from third. Rasmus then came home when Lind grounded out to second after the attempt to force Lawrie at second failed.
Given a 3-0 lead, Laffey gave it all back in the fourth. Ross led off with a walk, Gomez singled and Lavarnway hit his second homer of the season.
Laffey got two outs but gave up his third walk of the game and was replaced by Jenkins.
Nava hit a two-run, two-out single in the fifth to put Boston (65-80) into a 5-3 lead. Aviles hit a one-out single and took second on Ross' groundout.
After Aviles avoided Lawrie's tag for what would have been the third out, Lavarnway walked to load the bases and Nava singled to right.
The Blue Jays pulled to within one run in the sixth when Lind tripled with one out and Clayton Mortensen, who replaced Matsuzaka, gave up a single to Yunel Escobar.
Rasmus led off the eighth with a single against Vicente Padilla. Lawrie followed with a double to tie the game 5-5 before Lind lined to left where Nava made a diving catch and nearly caught Lawrie at second for a double play.
"Off the bat I thought it was in the gap so I was heading that way," Nava said. "It kind of came back. I think instincts took over. I didn't think I was going to have to dive for it, it just happened. It worked out and it meant a lot to keep that guy from scoring."
After Carpenter replaced Padilla, Escobar grounded to shortstop but Lawrie was thrown out at third on a baserunning mistake.
Escobar went to second on a wild pitch and Kelly Johnson was walked intentionally but J.P. Arencibia fly to centre to end the threat.
"You start with Daniel Nava," Valentine said. "I don't know if we have a chance without making a spectacular catch, saving the game and getting the bases-loaded base hit to put us ahead the first time."