Red Sox scratch and claw their way to a win
The Red Sox came out on top of a strange, yet entertaining game on Friday night at Fenway over Toronto. Boston kept finding ways to come back and eventually grabbed the victory in a wild 10th inning. Yoenis Cespedes continued his hot streak going 4-6 on the night with 2 RBI including a game-winning single to drive in Jemile Weeks.
Allen Webster continued his up-and-down season which has become frustrating to watch at times. Webster clearly has “stuff” and showed his ability to pitch-to-contact Friday night, even adding five strikeouts. He gave up a run in the first inning, and then really settled down until the 6th when Jose Bautista drilled his 30th homerun of the season to give the Jays the lead 4-3. Webster’s final line was 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 5 K.
The Red Sox offense was able to piece together hits and runs early before really coming to life later in the game. A Cespedes RBI single knocked in Brock Holt in the first, a Christian Vazquez RBI sacrifice fly and a Mike Napoli RBI groundout gave the Red Sox their first three runs of the game in the first three innings respectively. Six players had a multi-hit game for Boston, including Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts who once again came up in big spots (Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, Vazquez and Cespedes were the others).
Drew Hutchinson started the game for the Blue Jays and while his season has been mediocre thus far, he delivered in his last start for Toronto and didn’t look bad Friday night. He limited the damage to the three early runs and gave Toronto six innings with six strikeouts. The Jays would go on to send six more pitchers to the mound with a variety of results.
With Alex Wilson on the mound for the Sox in the eighth, Edwin Encarnacion joined Bautista in the thirty homerun club with a towering shot out of Fenway onto the roof of the building across the street to make it 6-3. The fun was just getting started in this one though.
The eighth would see the Red Sox first comeback of the night. Cespedes led things off with a single, followed by a Napoli infield single. Both Cespedes and Napoli would then pull off the exciting and elusive double steal. Allen Craig, who struggled after coming in for Daniel Nava in right field, followed up with a strikeout to bring up Mookie Betts. Mookie put together a solid at-bat to clock a single to left field bringing in Cespedes. Xander Bogaerts ripped a double to deep right next driving in two runs. Bogaerts continued his recent positive run with a 3-for-5 night and those two big RBI to tie the game.
Both teams would squander a variety of chances in the ninth inning to take the game into the 10th. Junichi Tazawa started the inning off with a big strikeout getting Bautista to go down swinging. After an Encarnacion single, Tommy Layne would come in to attempt to keep the game tied. With John Mayberry Jr pinch-hitting and Marcus Stroman, normally a starting pitcher (pretty much summing up just how strange this game was), pinch-running, for Toronto, catcher Dioner Navarro would reach on an weakly hit infield single in which Pedroia couldn’t get throw home in time. Danny Valencia would add an RBI sac fly before the end of the top half to give Toronto a two-run lead.
Somehow, some way … it still wasn’t over the Red Sox. With Casey Janssen on the mound, the spark plug, Mookie Betts would lead things off with a single. Bogaerts followed suit with a single of his own. Vazquez tried to sacrifice bunt, but ended up with a single to load the bases. Will Middlebrooks, who had come in during the top half of the 10th as a defensive replacement, knocked in a run with a single. Pedroia then hit a hard, line-drive fly out to bring in Bogaerts who tagged from third. David Ortiz would ground out, but a throwing error ruined the Blue Jays’ chances for a double play. Finally, Yoenis Cespedes would end the madness with an RBI single to give the Red Sox the 9-8 win in 10 innings.
The Red Sox will look to continue to play spoiler tomorrow night at Fenway. They’ll send Rubby De La Rosa (4-5, 3.89) to the mound to take on lefty J.A. Happ (9-8, 4.37).
*The Red Sox and Blue Jays would combine to send 15 pitchers total to the mound.
*Drake Britton and Burke Badenhop looked very sharp coming out of the Boston bullpen to combine for 1.2 hitless innings.
*Newly named closer Edward Mujica saw action in the 9th giving up a hit and a walk but didn’t allow a run.
*Despite his struggles, Tommy Layne would be declared the winning pitcher to get his second victory of the season.
*Melky Cabrera left the game in the 6th inning in the middle of an at-bat with what at the time looked like some type of hand injury. The injury came in the 3rd when Cabrera tried to avoid being picked off and slid back into first jamming his fingers. Late in the game it was announced that he had in fact fractured a finger and will be scratched for the rest of the season.
*Brock Holt left the game in 10th inning with an undisclosed illness.