Blue Jays 5 Red Sox 3
Seven dominant innings from Aaron Sanchez kept Boston's strong lineup in check, allowing the Jays to snap a two-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon. A pair of two-run innings out of the Blue Jays offence was more than enough run support for the pitching staff, allowing Drew Storen and Roberto Osuna to preserve the win.
Toronto's lineup got to knuckleballer Steven Wright early, as Jose Bautista hit a solo shot over the Green Monster to give the Jays a quick 1-0 lead. Three straight singles from Edwin Encarnacion, Troy Tulowitzki, and Chris Colabello added to the two-out rally and doubled the lead to 2-0 before Sanchez even took the mound.
Wright settled in after a shaky first inning, following with five scoreless frames to keep Toronto's lead to a minimum. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Aaron Sanchez was even better, as it seemed just about impossible to get a hit off of him. The young right-hander began his day with four no-hit innings, preventing Boston's hitters from capitalizing on three early walks.
Marco Hernandez, playing in his first career MLB game, broke up the no-hitter with a bloop single with two-outs in the fifth. He proceeded to steal second base, and advanced to third when Russell Martin's throw sailed into centre field. A base-hit up the middle off of the bat of Mookie Betts quickly cashed him in, cutting the lead down to 2-1.
Following this miniature two-out rally, Sanchez returned to dominating the Red Sox lineup. Over seven innings, Sanchez allowed just those two hits, giving up four walks but striking out seven. Eight ground ball outs kept the infielders active, and Sanchez was also helped by an incredible stretch from Chris Colabello, helping him strand a two-out walk. As Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet points out, Sanchez is thriving so far this season:
Aaron Sanchez impressive in three starts this year: 20 innings, 10H, 3 ER, 7BB, 20K #BlueJays— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) April 17, 2016
Although Wright kept Toronto off of the scoreboard after the first, the Jays would get to the Red Sox bullpen in the seventh to break things open. Left-hander Tommy Layne was brought in to face Ryan Goins, but that didn't work as he immediately allowed a leadoff single. Right-hander Noe Ramirez was soon brought in to face Josh Donaldson, but that didn't work either, as Donaldson crushed a one-out double to score Goins all the way from first. A two-out single from Edwin Encarnacion quickly extended the Blue Jays lead to 4-1.
After Drew Storen pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, the Jays proceeded to add another run in the ninth to ruin any possible save opportunity. Matt Barnes came into face the top of the order, but three straight hits from Michael Saunders, Josh Donaldson, and Jose Bautista would give the Blue Jays a 5-1 lead. Although there were still no outs and two runners in scoring position, three strikeouts kept the Jays from putting up a big number on the scoreboard.
Even though the Jays comfortably led 5-1, Robert Osuna took the mound to preserve the win. A leadoff single from Hanley Ramirez proceeded a two-run home run off of the bat of Travis Shaw. Although Boston made it a 5-3 game with no outs in the ninth, Osuna would recover to retire the next three hitters in order.
Blue Jays win!
Jays of the Day go to Aaron Sanchez (.322), and Kevin Pillar for a three-hit day. Let's also give one to Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion, as the trio slugged 6 hits, scored 3 runs, and drove in 4. Michael Saunders posted the "suckage" number (-.111), but we will give him a pass after he scored a run in the ninth.
All in all, it is great to see another terrific start from the young Aaron Sanchez. As an important note, Chris Colabello was hit in the head by a pitch in the 4th, but he was able to remain in the game and looked to be okay. I really liked the look of the new Blue Jays lineup, but sure enough Kevin Pillar goes out and boats a three-hit game. I'm hoping to see a similar lineup in tomorrow's game, as J.A. Happ will take on Clay Buchholz in the series finale.
Tomorrow's game starts at 11:05 AM!!!
An active gameThread led us to victory, with Eric H coming out on top. Here is today's top 20: