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Justin Smoak hits 2 homers, Jays beat Red Sox

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A series split in Boston.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 8 Red Sox 6

So a series split. It didn’t feel like a series split, but that’s what we got.

It was a weird game. Let’s just mention some of the weirdness:

  • We won a challenge, in the first inning. Josh Donaldson sliced one off to right and Mookie Betts made a nice throw to second. Called an out on the field, I thought he was safe, but thought it would fall under ‘inconclusive’.
  • A Jays starter had a scoreless first inning.
  • Ezequiel Carrera rainbowed (sure it’s a word) a throw home, miles over the cutoff man, on a play were the runner wasn’t coming home (that’s not the weird part, it’s a daily occurance). But, weirdly, Carrera was charged with an error. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.
  • Same bottom of the second, Steve Pearce slides to make a catch, on a soft fly down the left field line, misses it, but keeps the ball close. He pops up, makes a throw home (which looked like it hit the runner) and gets the out at home. Oh, and the official scorer called it a fielder’s choice force at the plate. It wasn’t a fielder’s choice.
  • In the 3rd, bases loaded, Pearce popped up to second but BROCK HOLT lost the ball in the sun, it glanced off his glove and we scored 2 on the play, but this one wasn’t called an error. No chance Pedroia would have got an error doing the same thing. I think it’s time to stop using an in the park Official Scorer.
  • Kendrys Morales beat out an infield single. Well, it was hit to a shifted infielder fairly deep in right, but he still beat it out.

Francisco Liriano had a very good first inning and a very bad second inning. In the second, he gave up 4 hits (really 5 hits), a walk, 3 runs, 2 earned, while getting just 2 outs. And he was out of the game. I’m thinking Gibby had him on a short leash, since he had the neck issues.

Dominic Leone was terrific in relief, going 2.1 with just 1 walk against and 4 strikeouts. And Joe Biagini was also terrific, getting us 2 innings with just a hit and a walk, with 1 strikeouts.

Danny Barnes wasn’t terrific. He gave up a hit, a walk, then a Dustin Pedroia home run, and it was suddenly a game again. The score went from 7-3 to 7-6 in a hurry. Another walk and he was pulled without completing the inning.

Ryan Tepera came in and got the last out of the 7th. He gave out a leadoff walk, in the 8th, but got out of the inning.

Roberto Osuna pitched a nice neat 9th for his 24th save of the season.

We got some offense, 10 hits and 7 walks. And some big hits, Ryan Goins had a bases loaded 2 run single. Justin Smoak had two solo homers and an RBI single. And Pearce had a 2-run ‘single’ (the popup lost in the sun).

Every Jay in the starting lineup reached base, at least once, except for Jose Bautista, who was 0 for 5 with a strikeout. Being fair to him strike 3 of that at bat should have been called ball 4.

We had a great defensive day. Donaldson made a super play in the first. Ryan Goins made a great play on a batter that Joe Biagini deflected and Ryan had to bare hand and then make a great throw to first. Jose Bautista made a terrific diving catch in right. Darwin Barney made a great tag on a base stealer, blocking the bag with his knee and he made a nice stop on a grounder up the middle, popping up and getting off a good throw to first.

After the last couple of days, it was nice to see some good defense.

Jays of the Day: Tepera (.203), Biagini (.145 WPA), Leone (.110), Smoak (.168), Pearce (.127, though that’s for the popup, but it also made the throw from left, so I’m giving it to him), Osuna (.120) and Ryan Goins (.119, plus the nice play on defense, very good day for him).

Suckage: Barnes (-.239), Liriano (-.233) and Bautista (-.110).

We had 553 comments in the GameThread. TimmyMax leads us to victory. Great job.

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