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TOR@BOS: Valentine on Doubront's rough outing in loss

BOSTON -- In whole, Felix Doubront's season has still been quite good. Only three of his starts could fairly be labeled poor.

What's concerning is that two of those pockmarks have come in June, in his last four times out.

The Blue Jays jumped on the young left-hander early in a 9-6 win Tuesday night at Fenway Park, pushing Boston and Toronto into a tie for last place in the American League East at 38-35.

A tie-breaking two-run homer from J.P. Arencibia off Doubront was hit off the Sports Authority sign above the Green Monster seats and gave the Blue Jays a 7-5 lead in the sixth. That was after Doubront, who was charged with five earned runs in six innings, had thrown three consecutive scoreless frames.

"I don't know. A couple of bad pitches," Doubront said. "I think it was one of those days, too."

David Ortiz homered twice, once before a one-hour, 56-minute rain delay and once after, pushing him into a tie for the most multihomer games in Red Sox history with Ted Williams. Ortiz reached the 20-home run mark for the 11th straight season with the second homer, and his first cut a 4-0 Red Sox deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the first.

Ortiz left the clubhouse quickly without addressing the media en masse. More than once this season, Ortiz has expressed frustration with his contract situation as a free-agent-to-be and with all the outside noise surrounding the team. In the midst of an incredible season individually, the team hasn't exactly followed in his footsteps, despite wins in seven of its last nine.

"I can't tell you what to attribute it to, his batting practice every day is stellar," manager Bobby Valentine said of Ortiz. "You know his games have been consistently terrific. The only time he got outside of himself was a couple of days ago, when they got the off-day and he came back with vengeance tonight. I'm not going to try to analyze it, I'm just going to enjoy it, 'cause it's what we've needed, obviously."

Ortiz's first homer Monday was off Blue Jays righty Henderson Alvarez; the second off southpaw Darren Oliver. Ortiz has hit nine home runs off lefties this season -- a category in which he was tied for the Major League lead entering Monday. Not to mention he's two away from 400 homers lifetime.

Will Middlebrooks' first day as the unquestioned starting third baseman of the Red Sox featured an error on the third batter of the game -- a booted grounder -- before a double high off the Green Monster in his final at-bat capped his night on a positive note. Red Sox fans responded to the misplay with scattered calls of "Yoouukkk" and "boo."

Lightning and rain came fast and furious in the top of the seventh, after the Blue Jays scored two runs to make it 9-5 on a loud line-drive home run to left off the bat of Jose Bautista, a precursor to the thunder. That came off Matt Albers shortly before the delay.

That Doubront managed six innings despite the four-run first was a credit. Red Sox right-hander Clay Mortensen was warming for almost all of the first two innings and eventually pitched with the delay, going 2 1/3 innings.

The second batter of the game, Colby Rasmus, hit a two-run homer off Doubront.

"The top of our order has really been on a good run here of late," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "You look at what Rasmus has done in the two-hole -- has been outstanding."

Doubront's in his first year as a starter, and is reaching new territory in terms of innings, but Valentine said he wasn't concerned about the workload. Three starts ago, on June 8 against Washington, Doubront gave up six runs in four innings of a 7-4 loss.

"I think he's fine," Valentine said. "I think he's still building."

Ortiz, meanwhile, can't build up much more.

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