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Late Surge Falls Short - Jays lose to Red Sox

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Game two of four saw the Jays Bullpen shine, the offence quieted for the first six innings, and a comeback attempt that fell just short.

John Gibbons takes the ball from a disappointed Marco Estrada
John Gibbons takes the ball from a disappointed Marco Estrada
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Game two of the Toronto Blue Jays' four game set saw the best #5 starter in baseball take to the mound against the Boston Red Sox hoping to tie up the series.

Marco Estrada entered the game with a 5-3 record sporting a shiny 3.45 ERA to go with his 3.83 FIP in 16 appearances (10 starts). In those 10 starts he's 4-3 with a 3.90 ERA and a 3.81 FIP. 

For the Sox, Eduardo Rodriguez. A 3-2 record with a 4.33 ERA but a 3.50 FIP. Roughed up in two of his last three starts, one of which against the noted lefty killing Jays, the kid started his season with a ridiculous 0.44 ERA, 2.86 FIP in his first three starts.

An error by Devon Travis to allow Mookie Betts to reach, and a walk issued to Xander Bogaerts put Estrada into a bit of a hole in the Top of the 1st. A flyout by David Ortiz would make it two outs before he'd walk Pablo Sandoval to load the bases for Mike Napoli.

Estrada would jump ahead in the count 0-2 before Napoli managed to work it to full. On his 29th pitch of the inning Estrada would walk Napoli to score the first run of the ballgame. Then walked De Aza on four consecutive pitches to give Boston their second run. Mercifully, Blake Swihart went a bit too much on a checked swing and was rung up to end the inning.

Hilariously, because of baseball's scorekeeping standards, technically speaking because the first run to score was off an error, and the 2nd run to score was after Estrada had gotten two outs, his line for the first inning was 0 Hits, 0 Earned Runs... 

The Jays would get two runners on themselves in the Bottom of the inning but an Edwin Encarnacion pop out and a Chris Colabello ground out would halt the rally in its tracks...

Around this time Big Hero 6 came on TV and I considered changing the channel, but for the sake of the readers I stayed on the game. You're welcome.

Jackie Bradley Jr. broke up the no-hitter in the Top of the 2nd as he drove a ball over the fense in right field to extend the Sox lead to 3-0. A no-doubter in the Top of the 3rd off the bat of David Ortiz would spot the Red Sox a four run lead. Estrada had thrown 64 pitches to that point and his night seemed to be drawing to a close.

And sure enough, after a Sandoval fly out and a Napoli single, just 2.1 innings, 3 hits, 4 walks, and 4 runs (2 ER) and 73 pitches into his start, Estrada was pulled for Todd Redmond down 4-0 and in line for the loss.

A lazy fly ball turned into a bit of an issue as Napoli appeared as though he would not tag, but when he saw Kevin Pillar and Jose Reyes acting a bit too casually on the throw back to the infield he took off and slid into third safely. But, Redmond managed to induce a weak pop up off the bat of Bradley Jr. to end the inning, no damage done.

The Bottom of the 4th the Jays offense showed some signs of life when, after an Encarnacion ground-rule double Chris Colabello, the Bringer of BABIP (nickname courtesy of DangYouToHeck), ripped a single into centre field scoring (albeit probably shouldn't have scored) Encarnacion. Cola moved to 2nd on the throw. Jays behind 4-1.

Midnight Overlord, in a recent game was quoted to have said "Colabello is a witch, right? I mean, I don't mind, but he's clearly sold his soul".

The Jays would strand runners on first and third to end the inning but had finally gotten on the board.

Meanwhile, Todd Redmond continued to work in relief, and upon the final out of the Top of the 5th, had officially gone a third of an inning longer than the starter, having allowed just two hits over his 2.2 innings of work to that point.

Devon Travis would lead off the Bottom of the 5th with a double to the gap in right field and some heads up baserunning allowed him to move over to third on a groundout by Reyes. Unfortunately, a strikeout by Josh Donaldson and a ground out by Jose Bautista killed any hope of a rally.

The Top of the 6th saw the end of Redmond's night. Following two outs he issued a walk to Bradley Jr. and Gibby went to the bullpen. Bo Schultz entered the game to follow up Redmond's strong 3.1 innings work where he allowed 2 hits and walked just the one, and quickly worked a groundout to end the inning.

A nice defensive play from Reyes in the Top of the 7th stopped what could have been a single for Ortiz and an RBI. Playing behind 2nd in the shift, he ranged to his right, got to the ball, and made a very athletic play to get the out. He sort of looked like he was actually a shortstop on the play...

For that, I permit him ONE smile. To be used at a time of his choosing. Jerry Howarth cannot refute my authority to authorize such gifts, as I am a blogger and as such, am... I don't know... I lost my steam on that one, got away from me... Back to the recap.

Mercifully, Rodriguez would not come back out for the 7th after having shut the Jays offense down allowing 4 hits, 2 walks, and a single run over six innings. Lefty Tom Layne would come into the game in relief.

After a single by Pillar, Jose Reyes would have his shot against the reliever and would kill the Jays rally with a two out, 2-run homerun to left field, his first batting from the right side (thank you, Buck) of the season to cut the lead to 4-3.

Steve Delabar came in to relieve Schultz for the 9th inning and would get a strikeout, ground out, and a very nice running catch by Pillar around a double to Betts to keep the Sox from adding to their lead going to the Bottom of the 9th!

The Jays Bullpen was great going 6.2 IP allowing just 4 hits, 1 walk, and no earned runs.

Koji Uehara would come in and get Danny Valencia and Dioner Navarro both to fly out bringing Pillar up as the Jays last hope.

After a bit of a battle, Pillar would succumb to the Red Sox closer popping up to Bogaerts and the Jays take their 2nd loss of the series.

Jays lose 4-3.

Jays of the Day: Despite the loss I give JotD to Jose Reyes (.175) and to the bullpen (Redmond, Schultz, Delabar) for a strong 6.2 combined scoreless innings.

Suckage: Marco Estrada wasn't very good and his WPA displayed as much (-.269). Danny Valencia was not good against the lefty (-.154) and Josh Donaldson continued his recent struggles and earned suckage (-.124).