One positive thing you can say about this group of Red Sox is they don’t give up easily–as evidenced by 8 of their 21 runs scored to this point have come in the ninth inning. Two young pitchers attempting to prove their worth took the mound for the Red Sox and Jays in the night game at Rogers Centre, both coming away with positive outings despite the line on Daniel Bard.
When it was all said and done Bard allowed 8H, 5R, 1BB and 6K in 5+ innings while taking the loss.
Even with that line, the positives may have outweighed the negatives. Bard allowed a run in the first and 2 in the third before settling in nicely to retire 7 in a row from the third through the fifth before getting into a jam in the sixth.
Edwin Encarnacion opened the sixth with a walk and stole second with Brett Lawrie at the plate. Lawrie hit a grounder to Nick Punto at shortstop but was able to beat out the throw at first and move Encarnacion to third. With the Blue Jays threatening and Bard at 96 pitches, Bobby Valentine made a move for Justin Thomas out of the bullpen.
Brett Lawrie took off on Thomas’ first pitch and got in at second without a throw, putting runners on second and third with nobody out.
Michael Bowden took over for Thomas to start to the seventh inning, getting Jose Bautista to strike out and Adam Lind to popout before throwing Edwin Encarnacion a fastball right down the center of the plate–naturally he sent it into the seats and gave the Jays a 7-1 lead. If you’re Michael Bowden maybe you wanna stay out of the heart of the plate with fastballs but other than that he looked good.
Both teams were quiet in the eight but true to form as of late, the Red Sox staged a rally with 2 outs in the top of the ninth. Nick Punto singled, Jacoby Ellsbury walked and Dustin Pedroia added a single, loading em’ up for Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzo hit a liner to right but caught a bad break when the ball bounced into the stands for a ground rule double and Pedey was held up at third.
The pressure was on for Casey Janssen but the veteran righty kept his composure and got David Ortiz to strike out looking to end the game with a 7-3 score. The fight was there but it fell a bit short. The Sox are now 1-4 on the young season but they have their stopper in Jon Lester on the hill to try to put another W in the win column.