Danny Valencia hit a go-ahead three-run home run off Junichi Tazawa in the seventh inning, propelling the Blue Jays to a 5-2 win over the Red Sox. The win helped the Jays avoid a sweep from their AL East foes.
The question Sox fans are asking afterward though is, what was Tazawa doing in the game?
Sox’ starter Joe Kelly went six strong innings, allowing only a first inning home run to Jose Bautista and an earned run on the Valencia home run, while surrendering just three hits and striking out four.
After a leadoff double by Edwin Encarnacion to start the seventh, Farrell decided to go to the bullpen, removing Kelly after only 86 pitches. Lefty Tommy Layne was called on to face Dioner Navarro, also left-handed, and Navarro ripped a single to left. That’s when the move for Tazawa was made.
This was Tazawa’s fourth outing in five days and came against a team that is batting .403 against him over the past two seasons. Tazawa promptly served up the home run to Valencia, and the reaction was not positive from media and fans.
Farrell has taken some criticism lately for perceived overuse of both Tazawa and closer Koji Uehara, and this move will only fuel the fire.
Marcus Stroman picked up the win for the Jays, his third since July 24 against the Red Sox.
The Sox will now head to Tampa to begin a four-game set with the Rays.