Late inning heroics took another memorable stroll – this time down Blue Jay Way but in the end it was the Jays with a walk off win 4-3 in ten innings.
Both Sox Jon Lester and Jays starter, Esmil Rogers, were sharp early on but in the third the Jays scored first on some shoddy Sox defense. Lester misplayed a single by Rajai Davis and Shane Victorino contributed his own throwing error on the play as the speedy Davis circled the bases. Double E on the Sox. 1-0 for the Jays.
In the fourth Edwin Encarnacion doubled and was then driven in by a fisted two bagger just out of the reach of Mike Napoli. 2-0 for the Jays.
The sixth got the Sox their first run when David Ortiz crushed one to right center. Unfortunately the Sox could not build on it despite line shots by Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew for hard outs. The Jays Mr. Rogers then called it an evening (6IP, 1R, 5H, 1BB, 6K). At this juncture it was still a wonderful day in the neighborhood for Mr. Rodgers.
Then came the ninth. Gomes, who always seems at the center of comebacks, bagged a base on balls off of Brett Cecil. With two outs Mike Napoli did just what was needed and tied it up with a home run to right field. The man does have opposite field power. The Sox managed to load the bases but the Jays escaped.
Brandon Workman, who took over for Lester in the seventh, continued into extra frames. Davis, a pest all evening, doubled in the tenth to start things. Jose Bautista moved him to third with a ground out. Encarnacion was then intentionally walked . Lawrie came up and singled and that was that. Walk off for Blue Jays.
Workman (3-2) took the loss and Brad Lincoln (1-1) got the win. Lester’s line (6.1, 6H, 2ER, 2BB, 3K)
Lester had no repeat of the tedious first inning last week at Kansas City and opened the first frame by dispatching the Jays on a parsimonious 15 pitches.
The Red Sox moved Gomes to the 5th slot in the order in their continuing search to find some type of offensive traction behind Ortiz. Maybe Napoli earned a return?
Kevin Pillar of the Jays made his MLB debut.
Napoli had no strike outs.
Rogers almost had a rare four strikeout inning thanks to a WP/K.