This was a strange game for the Red Sox on many levels– regardless, it got the job done as they won the game to move out of last in the AL East. It’s been a wild ride this year for the Red Sox and they are by no means out of the doghouse, but in a year full of injuries and underperformance, I’ll take a 28-25 record for now. Today’s game was a sloppy one with both teams committing two errors and it could have been much more than that with several questionable defensive plays occurring for both sides.
The first of these defensive miscues was when Blue Jays’ center fielder Colby Rasmus misjudged a line drive hit two him by Daniel Nava. The ball popped out of his glove and allowed two runs in to score in a four-run second inning for Boston. The other two runs came on an RBI single by Will Middlebrooks and an RBI double by Nick Punto (yes, you read it right). This game was not over, as by the Blue Jays ate away at the lead and by the fifth inning it was only a 5-3 lead for the Red Sox. Homers by Jeff Mathis and Jose Bautista, plus a bloop RBI single by Kelly Johnson highlighted this comeback effort.
In the midst of all the defensive miscues in this game, we missed out on a pretty good pitcher’s duel. Felix Doubront was not fantastic today, but he got the job done– tying a season high of 6.1 innings and striking out 7 while allowing 3 runs (2 earned). He would earn the win and move to 6-2 with a 3.75 ERA and team-leading 66 strikeouts this season. On the other side, Kyle Drabek was very good after a rough start to the game. Besides a few control issues, I get the feeling that Drabek is the real deal. He throws hard, mixing in a good change and a very good curveball which fooled several Red Sox hitters.
The Red Sox would pick up an insurance run on a Ryan Sweeney in the eighth and it was a good thing that they did. The Blue Jays picked up a run in the bottom of the eighth on a very weird play. With Edwin Encarnacion on first base and one out, Brett Lawrie singled into right. It appeared to be a routine base hit but as Ryan Sweeney attempted to throw the ball back to the infield, the ball slipped from his hand and escaped about 100 feet away. Encarnacion scored from first to cut it to a 6-4 lead. The Red Sox would put the game away for good in the ninth when Nick Punto (again, you read it right) crushed a ball into the second deck to make it 7-4. Alfredo Aceves ended the game with a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out one to pick up his 14th save of the year and conclude a 7-4 Red Sox win.