May 2, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Dempster Dumps Jays 3-1, "Surprising Sox" best record in MLB: 20-8, .714 W%

Cast by the vast majority of experts as the Boston “Dead Sox,” the “Surprising Sox” took a series from the pundits’ erstwhile AL East winners, the Toronto Blue Jays, and now lead MLB with a 20-8 record, winning 71% of their games.

Both teams were frustrated offensively, leaving a total of 40 men LOB [Left On Base], but the Sox managed 3 runs on 7 hits, while Boston hurlers held the Jays to one run on six hits.

Toronto jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a Brett Lawrie HR in the first frame, but the Sox went ahead to stay with two in the second inning:

Mike Napoli doubled (15); Nava struck out swinging; Middlebrooks walked; Carp singled to score Mike Napoli from second base with Middlebrooks moving to 2nd; David Ross walked, shoving Middlebrooks to 3rd and Carp to 2nd; Drew flew out on a sacrifice plating Middlebrooks.

The Sox tacked on what proved to be an extraneous run in the 6th on an RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury.

Sox starter Dempster weathered a nascent Toronto rally; after walking three batters, Juan Encarnacion helped Dempster by hit a 2-0 pitch into an inning-ending double play.

Dempster, 35, sailed through his three remaining innings, permitting only one runner, finishing with a flourish: bagging seven straight Jays. Dempster gave up four hits, 3 BBs, striking out four and reducing his ERA to 3.00.

Junichi Tazawa kept Dempster’s win alive by striking out Adam Lind with the bases jammed.

Fueling rumors that Farrell-annointed closer Andrew Bailey may still be injured, Joel Hanrahan, after allowing a leadoff single, got pinch-hitter Rajai Davis to pop out and Munenori Kawasaki to hit into an inning-ending double, recorded his 100th career save.

The experts’ underdog Red Sox have won five of six games from the favored Blue Jays this season.

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The Sox fly to Texas tonight to face the Rangers tomorrow night [8:05 EST] in a battle of lefties Felix Doubront, 3-0, 4.24, who is averaging 11.19 Ks per 9 innings and Derek Holland, 1-2, 3.38, who had, in his last start, held the Twins to only five hits and three earned runs in seven innings in the 7-2 loss.

 

 

Tags: "Surprising Sox" Andrew Bailey Joel Hanrahan Ryan Dempster

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