The Boston Red Sox kicked off their latest road trip in Toronto this afternoon and they didn’t waste any time setting the tone for the series.
The Red Sox made their way to Toronto after a rough 3-game series with the Astros. Unfortunately for Boston, as soon as they leave Canada they’ll be making their way to Houston to once again battle those very Astros. But before they head to Texas, they made sure to work out some of their aggression at the Rogers Centre today.
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This afternoon’s lunchtime clash also marked the return of David Price from the Injured List. It was a breath of fresh air to see Price back on the mound and to see him look like he hadn’t missed a step. He gave five strong innings for the Red Sox with a final line of 3H/2R/0BB/4K. The Jays runs came on a 2-run shot from Luke Maile in the 2nd inning.
The crafty southpaw looked good coming off of the IL and didn’t show any signs of rust from the layoff. Price would run up his record against the Jays to 13-1 with a 3.17 ERA in Toronto. Hell of a return to form for DP and it’s great to have his arm back in the rotation.
Toronto wasn’t the only side bringing the big wood to the game as the Red Sox tallied 4 bombs themselves. Rookie sensation Michael Chavis nabbed his 9th homer of the year in what is becoming a great ROTY campaign from the Ice Horse. Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers would also go yard in the 12-2 thumbing of the Jays.
The most exciting part of the offense today came off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. I know, we haven’t been able to say that very often, but I’m getting a feeling we may be saying it more.
So far Jackie’s season at the plate has been abysmal at just .144/.45/.176/.421 with 43 strikeouts going into his afternoon. Today could be the exact spark JBJ needed to get the wheels turning on offense and turn his season around.
Jackie came up in the 6th with Steve Pearce on the bases and he launched a shot to the opposite field for his first home run of the season. The swing looked confident and smooth as he sent the ball to left field with ease. A hot JBJ means great things for the Red Sox offense going into the summer.
Not only did Price and the offense show up in Toronto today but so did the bullpen. Alex Cora needed just four arms out of the pen once Price came off the mound in what was a dream of a relief effort. Including DP’s efforts, the pitching staff threw 7 no-hit innings after that Maile homer in the second.
Cora went to his trusted arms in Brandon Workman and Ryan Brasier while also relying on a resurgent Heath Hembree and Hector Velazquez. I was surprised to see Velazquez so quickly after that nightmare of a start against Houston on Saturday night.
I wasn’t very kind about his performance, but he shut me up big time today when he came into the game in the bottom of the 9th and struck out the side. Damn fine work Hector! He really showed the level of professionalism that he has by not letting his last outing cast a shadow on his next.
This was an awesome all-around performance from the Red Sox that we have been seeing more and more of lately. With some big games coming up against the Astros and Yankees, the Sox will need to be in top form. If they can continue to pick off the lesser teams in the league it will work wonders for their confidence when the big games come up on the schedule.