The Red Sox headed up to Toronto to take on the 2-10 Jays for a 3 game series. The Sox called up Brian Johnson for a spot start since Eduardo Rodriguez is on paternity leave. Johnson got knocked around a little bit, but the offense picked him up each time he faltered. Johnson left the mound after 5 with a lead and even some bullpen blunders couldn’t keep Johnson from his first major league win.
The Jays got on the scoreboard early when they scored two runs off Johnson in the 1st inning. Johnson gave up an RBI single to Morales and an RBI double to Smoak. Sox 0-2. The Sox grabbed 3 runs and the lead in the top of the 3rd when Betts hit an RBI single and then Moreland hit a 2 run RBI single of his own. Sox 3-2. The lead didn’t last for long though when Johnson gave up a game tying solo home run to Smoak in the bottom of the 3rd. Sox 3-3.
The Sox bats broke out again in the top of the 5th and chased Marcus Stroman from the game. Stroman gave up back to back RBI doubles to Ramirez and Moreland to have the Sox up 5-3. Stroman was pulled, but the Sox weren’t done scoring. Sandoval hit an RBI single off Loop to have the Sox with a comfortable 6-3 lead. Johnson did give one of those runs right back when he gave up a solo home run to Russell Martin. Sox 6-4. Johnson was done after 5 innings. He didn’t have a stellar outing, but with the Sox offense he was still in line for the win.
Heath Hembree pitched a scoreless 6th inning before Mookie Betts added on another run with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning. Sox 7-4. Hembree pitched another scoreless inning and then the Sox scored their 8th and final run of the game in the bottom of the 7th when Benintendi hit an RBI ground rule double. Sox 8-4.
Fernando Abad came out to pitch the 8th inning, but he wouldn’t be able to finish it. Abad gave up a double to Pillar and when he made it to 3rd base with 2 outs, Farrell pulled him in favor of Matt Barnes. Barnes got the final out to end the inning and send the game on to the 9th. Barnes wouldn’t have as much success in the 9th inning. Barnes gave up an RBI single to Pearce and then a 2 run homer to Carrera to now have the Sox clinging to just a one run lead. Sox 8-7. Kimbrel had pitched the last 3 games so he was not available to come into the game. Thankfully the Sox would not need him as Barnes got Travis to line out to Bogaerts for the final out of the game.
Red Sox Player of the Game: Matt Barnes. Just kidding. With the Sox getting 15 hits, it’s hard to pick just one guy, but I’ll go with Mookie Betts. Betts was 3 for 5 on the night. He also hit his first home run of 2017. He was a nice spark in a potent offense last night.
Red Sox 8 Blue Jays 7 BOXSCORE
WP: Johnson (1-0) LP: Stroman (1-2)