Red Sox Price Too Much For Blue Jays, 4-2

Apr 15, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price (24) during batting practice prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price (24) during batting practice prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

Literally and figuratively, Boston Red Sox ace pitcher David Price was too much for the Toronto Blue Jays to handle.

By all accounts, Price was going to cost more than the Blue Jays were willing to pay in the offseason, making him available for a big-spending team like the Red Sox to purchase his services. And, they did. Yesterday marked the first game that Price had to face his former team and, in front of over 36 000 people in Fenway Park, Boston watched as the lefty ace went to work.

The Blue Jays, however, didn’t have some slouch matched up against Price, either. Marco Estrada, who had an excellent 2015 season, followed that up with a great first outing last week against the same Red Sox, blanking them in seven innings. Nobody expected this game to be a blowout for either team; whoever was going to win would have to do something special or the other would have to falter in at least one inning.

At first, the Blue Jays did get to Price. In the top of the first inning, Josh Donaldson hit a triple that was matched by the next batter Jose Bautista hitting his own triple, scoring his teammate for a 1-0 lead. However, a close play at third, revealed by an instant replay, had Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. throw the ball quickly back into the infield to Travis Shaw who made the tag on Bautista before he could reach the base. Bautista was called out and helped the Red Sox limit the damage.

In the bottom of the third inning, it was Estrada’s turn to show weakness. Singles by Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia set the table for Xander Bogaerts to blast an Estrada fastball over the Green Monster in left field to take the lead 3-1. With two outs, Hanley Ramirez continued his recent hot streak by hitting his second double of the season to right field, putting him in scoring position for Shaw to cash him on a single, making the lead 4-1.

Edwin Encarnacion answered for the Blue Jays with his own double to score Bautista in the top of the fourth inning. However, that was it for the scoring for either team. Price lasted one more inning than Estrada, paving the way for Koji Uehara to take over in the eighth inning. Koji blanked the Blue Jays and passed the proverbial baton to Craig Kimbrel, who proceeded to do the same to pick up his fourth save and Price’s second win of the season.

Game Notes:

  • The Red Sox went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position, with five men left on base. The Blue Jays were 1-for-3 with three runners left on base.
  • Ramirez had to make a toe-stab of first base to keep a throw from pulling him off of the bag, which saved the double play. After the play was over, the first person to show excitement for it was Ramirez, who seems to be buying into playing great defense to win games. Could this first base experiment be permanent after all?
  • Estrada allowed four runs on eight hits, with a walk and three strikeouts, in six innings. However, the majority of damage was in the third inning from the Bogaerts home run. If he wouldn’t have slipped in that inning, the Blue Jays would have had the victory.

Next: Boston Red Sox Call Up PTBNL Marco Hernandez


A-. . Game Ball. <strong>David Price</strong>. STARTING PITCHING

Other than two innings of extra-base hits, Price looked dominant. It’s true that Price was having trouble establishing the inside part of the plate on the righty bats of Donaldson, Bautista, and Encarnacion; however, the damage was limited. Out of 107 pitches that he threw, Price was in the strikezone 74 times. A couple of those were left over the plate, but the Blue Jays needed two triples and a double hit along the Bermuda triangles known as the Fenway outfield walls to score two runs on Price. In seven innings, Price gave up six hits and two runs while striking out nine Blue Jays and limited the rest of their lineup from mounting much of any offense.

A+. . Game Ball. <strong>Koji Uehara &amp; Craig Kimbrel</strong>. RELIEF PITCHING

Between these two men and

Junichi Tazawa

added to the mix, the Red Sox starters only need to last until the seventh inning before the bullpen will take over. Uehara and Kimbrel have been so dominant lately that they seem to look automatic in terms of holds and saves. Kimbrel himself struck out three Blue Jays to end the game, putting an exclamation point on the pitching dominance that the Red Sox have had this season, at least over Toronto. If the Red Sox win today, it will be the second time this year, already, that Boston has won a series over the once-expected favorites to win the American League East in 2016.

B-. . Game Ball. <strong>Xander Bogaerts</strong>. OFFENSE

Let’s not lose our minds: the Red Sox only had nine hits and never looked too promising to score any runs other than that one inning. But dang, what an inning! Bogaerts wins the game ball simply because his hit scored three of the team’s four runs for the day, including the winning run. Shaw deserves the honorable mention of being the only player on the Red Sox to get two hits in the game. Yet, it was good that eight out of the nine Boston players had at least one hit. If the Red Sox want to keep the good times rolling, they are going to need the top of the order,

Mookie Betts

in particular, to get on base more often for the team to threaten to score and not require a big inning or an opposing pitcher to slip up.