The Red Sox topple the Blue Jays in a wild one
For the second straight night, it took extra innings for the Red Sox to come up victorious over the Blue Jays in Toronto. It wasn’t pretty, but they dug both of these games out when they needed it most. It’s always a little strange to see a team win by a four-run margin when the game goes into extras, but the explanation for that was an offensive explosion in the 11th inning for Boston. It’s even stranger to see a total of ten runs scored in one inning, especially the 11th inning – it was that kind of game.
The Red Sox bats started the game strong and finished the game strong. Holt reached first base on a strike three passed ball leading to a Dustin Pedroia two-run homerun in the first inning. Pedroia had a big night again going 2-5 with 4 RBI and getting his average up to .281. Will Middlebrooks would add a run later in the inning with an RBI double that drove in Mike Napoli. The fun would end there for Middlebrooks however, as he would go on to strike out in his next four at-bats, including one coming at the hands of Steve Tolleson who is normally a second baseman and was the eighth pitcher that saw action for the Jays.
Shaky would be the best word to describe Rubby De La Rosa’s night on the mound for the Sox. After letting on two runners early in the first, he settled in and got out of the inning. After a smooth second inning, he again struggled in the third when Munenori Kawasaki singled, Jose Reyes doubled and Melky Cabrera grounded out to drive in Kawasaki. Kawasaki was a problem all night for Sox pitching, despite being the ninth hitter in the Jays’ lineup, going 3-4 with an RBI and coming out on top of some long battles at the plate. It was more of the same for De La Rosa in the fourth and fifth innings in which he would let up a run in each and just couldn’t ever seem to get in a groove. His final line was 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K on 99 pitches.
On the other hand, R.A. Dickey showed some of his better-than-average stuff Tuesday night after his tough first inning. He would finish with 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R – 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR on 106 pitches. Dustin McGowan replaced Dickey in the seventh inning and allowed a run to cross on a Yoenis Cespedes (3-6) single that drove in Brock Holt (2-5, 3 R). Cespedes has been on a tear since coming to Boston. The lead wouldn’t last though – Jose Bautista hit a solo blast in the bottom of the seventh off Alex Wilson to tie the game at four.
The game would continue with that same score for another four innings with the Red Sox using seven pitchers total themselves. Burke Badenhop would go two scoreless innings, Edward Mujica tossed one and Junichi Tazawa would add a scoreless inning of his own in which all three would have to pitch out of jams. Tazawa would get the eventual win (3-3). Badenhop gave up a huge shot to Edwin Encarnacion only two batters after Bautista’s seventh inning homerun that would find Cespedes’ glove when it seemed there was maybe another foot to go before Cespedes would have no room to field it.
The 11th inning was a long one in which the Red Sox would score seven times. Mookie Betts started things off with a single to right. That would bring up Christian Vazquez who would be ruled safe at first on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Betts was found to be safe at second after a review overturned the initial out call. After Brock Holt reached on an error, Dustin Pedroia hit a huge 2-run single. Cespedes struck out bringing up Mike Napoli. Nap absolutely crushed a ball to deep left on an 0-2 count to drive in three runs. Then Nava would double allowing Allen Craig to hit his first homerun in a Boston uniform. Four runs would come with righty relieve Casey Janssen on the mound giving him the loss, and the final three runs would be credited to Sergio Santos.
While it would have been nice to see a 1-2-3 inning to finish off Toronto, it wasn’t in the cards for Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree. Hembree would give up three hits and three runs, but eventually got the job done. After the smoke finally cleared, Boston would find themselves on top by the score of 11-7 and adding another much needed boost of confidence to a team that had been reeling after losing eight in a row at home.
The Red Sox will look to complete the sweep when these two teams meet again tomorrow night in Toronto before an off-day on Thursday. Joe Kelly (2-3, 4.26) will take the mound for Boston, while the Blue Jays will send out right-handed Marcus Stroman (7-5, 4.11).