Red Sox Knock Out Dickey, Blue Jays Lose 8-4
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello held on long enough for the bats to pound hits off of Toronto Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey for the victory.
For the second game in a row, the Red Sox were able to make a comeback and defeat the Blue Jays. In front of over 47 000 people, the Blue Jays took an early lead with a big home run, only for the Red Sox to start swinging the bats well enough to overcome the deficit. This time, however, the Red Sox had to do it twice.
Porcello didn’t help matters early. His slider looked more like a slow-moving fastball, staying straight out of his hand. You could see the ball corkscrewing straight off of his fingers, instead of dipping in any way. Especially in the bottom of the first inning, as Jose Bautista drilled a home run over the left field fence to score Josh Donaldson.
Yet, anything can happen when you have the Jedi Master of the Knuckleball on the mound. Dickey’s pitches were moving all over the place for the first two innings, but the Red Sox finally got to him in the top of the third inning. First, Boston’s veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia grounded out to cash in Rusney Castillo. Then, Xander Bogaerts and Travis Shaw traded ground-ruled doubles to both corners of the Rogers Centre, scoring Blake Swihart in the process of taking a 3-2 lead.
The Blue Jays, not content with losing, took the lead once again from another Bautista home run that scored Donaldson, off yet another straight-looking slider from Porcello.
Things looked bleak for Red Sox Nation. The only hopeful thought was that it looked like nobody else in the Blue Jays lineup seemed to do much damage to Porcello. Donaldson was getting on base, Bautista was hammering sliders, but the rest of the Jays’ bats were pretty quiet.
On the other hand, the Red Sox looked to be getting to Dickey, making contact with almost every pitch that they attempted to hit. In the top of the fourth, Swihart drove a sacrifice fly deep to left field to score Castillo. In the top of the fifth, Hanley Ramirez tripled, scoring both Pedroia and Bogaerts.
Dickey’s pitches were still dancing, but they moved so much that even Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole couldn’t keep up, and allowed a passed ball to score Ramirez from third base.
That was all for Dickey, but that wasn’t completely all for the Red Sox. Pedroia ended the scoring in the top of the sixth inning by doubling off of Arnold Leon to score Mookie Betts. Boston was up 8-4.
Much like last night, the Red Sox bullpen took it the rest of the way. Koji Uehara earned another spotless hold in the seventh inning, while Robbie Ross Jr. blanked the Blue Jays for the last two innings to lock up the victory for Boston. The loss was the fourth straight for the Blue Jays while it was the second straight win for the Red Sox, with one game in the series remaining this Sunday afternoon.
- Pablo Sandoval started at third base today, with David Ortiz getting the day off and Ramirez playing the designated hitter role. Travis Shaw moved to first base. What was worth noting for Sandoval was not so much how well he played, considering he went 0-for-4 and cost the team an out by throwing high and pulling Shaw off of the bag on a routine groundball. No, it was the fact that his belt buckle completely busted while swinging and missing a pitch. He needed to continue the at-bat embarrassingly with his pants drooping. Sandoval had to keep pulling up the middle of his pants between pitches before finally, and mercifully, getting out.
- As much as the Red Sox had issues at first with Dickey’s pitches, they were able to post 11 hits and seven earned runs for the afternoon. The Blue Jays could only muster seven hits, even with Porcello looking shaky for most of his day.
- The Red Sox went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight men on base. The Blue Jays had only four runners in scoring position, cashing in two and leaving five on base.
- Castillo did a decent job to help the club in his first start of the regular season. He played in center field for Jackie Bradley Jr. and went 2-for-4 at the plate.
- Betts finally ended his hitless streak, going 1-for-4 for today. It was his only hit thus far in the series. Again, Betts will look to get on base more often, as he continues to be the leadoff man in the lineup.
This may be a harsh grade for a pitcher who earned the victory, but it was more because of his team’s bats hitting his counterpart than much of what he did on his own. To his credit, Porcello did pitch six innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. Out of the 105 pitches, Porcello only threw 69 strikes, often missing his targets and making Swihart earn his money diving around the plate to catch the ball. However, even though he gave up two home runs to the very same batter, Porcello was able to hang around in the game long enough for his team to make a comeback twice. That, at least, is something.
For the second game in a row, the bullpen dominated the Blue Jays, supposedly one of the most potent offenses in all of Major League Baseball. Uehara and Ross combined for three strikeouts and no walks, hits, or even runs. It must feel so good for the Red Sox relievers to have this great start to the season, which should help them to build their confidence for the rest of the year. Hopefully.
Other than Sandoval, every Red Sox batter earned at least one hit. Both Ramirez and Pedroia posted two RBIs, but the little big man at second base had more hits. Pedroia went 3-for-5 at the plate, and he even made an incredible play on defense to keep the ball in the infield and got the batter out at first base. Boston has scored 16 runs in two games, with no real signs of stopping. That is, if they can stop having wardrobe malfunctions while swinging at bad pitches.