High hopes were all around after the Red Sox had ousted the Blue Jays 5-0 backed by a Jon Lester one-hitter the previous night. This game did not quite live up to the hype, despite a good all-around pitching performance and an exciting game as the Red Sox fell late. The game looked like it may not be close again, with Clay Buchholz (6-0, 1.60) facing Mark Buehrle (1-2, 7.02), but it didn’t turn out that way. Buchholz and Buehrle pitched very well, and the Red Sox were only just able to salvage being shut out by the 34 year old.
Buchholz started off the game very strong, but ran into trouble in the third and fourth innings. Melky Cabrera‘s RBI bloop single to score Colby Rasmus from second capped the rally in the third while an RBI single from Rasmus would score Adam Lind to put the Blue Jays up 2-0. Buchholz settled down from then on and wound up stringing together a pretty strong outing. He went 8 innings, allowing just those 2 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks while punching out a total of 4 and getting away with a no-decision.
The Red Sox bats also started the game off fairly strong, putting two men on base in each of the first three innings. In that fourth inning, however, Mark Buehrle settled into an incredible groove and set down each of the next 13 batters with ease. The streak was broken when David Ross worked a nine pitch walk to lead off the eighth.
That would drive Buehrle from the game in favor of Darren Oliver and on Oliver’s second pitch, Jacoby Ellsbury blasted a triple over Colby Rasmus’s head in center field. Ellsbury would score when shortstop Munemori Kawasaki couldn’t come up with a soft ground ball hit by Dustin Pedroia. Ellsbury raced across the plate to tie the game at 2-2, but that was all the Red Sox got in the inning.
Newly announced closer Junichi Tazawa came on to pitch the ninth inning, and ran into trouble almost immediately. His 2-2 fastball to Adam Lind was crushed over the wall to dead center to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 advantage. Tazawa managed to get out of the inning with only that run scoring and Will Middlebrooks doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth. There was hope and excitement in the atmosphere until closer Casey Janssen induced a pop-out, fly-out, and ground-out to end the game and tie the series at one apiece.