Josh Donaldson started out the game by bringing some early rain to Fenway Park. In true JD fashion, he waited for Buck and Pat to tell everyone he hasn’t hit a home run in five days before launching a Drew Pomeranz hanging cutter deep into the seats for his 31st of the season. JD has now hit 14 home runs in the first inning this year.
Sadly, our bliss was dampened for a short while as the Red Sox got to Brett Anderson quickly in the bottom of the 1st. Xander Bogaerts singled, advanced to third on a Eduardo Nuñez double, and they both came around to score on back to back ground-outs.
Brett threw up zeroes in the next three innings, but allowed another run in the 5th. Bogaerts walked, advanced to third on a hit by Sam Travis [who was thrown out at second on beautiful Teoscar Hernandez outfield assist to the correct base(!)] and came home on a Mookie Betts single. Neither Betts nor Anderson returned after the 5th, as Mookie injured his hand on his hit, and Anderson appeared to be struggling with another blister. Nuñez also departed early, in the 3rd inning, after re-aggravating a knee injury during his at bat.
The top of the 2nd inning restored our bliss again. A Kevin Pillar GIDP erased a Kendrys Morales base hit, but a walk to Darwin Barney and a Ryan Goins base hit put two on for Luke Maile (who Buck and Pat tell us is a much better hitter now that he’s had knee surgery). Luke hit a soft dribbler to 1st, but Pomeranz watched from the mound as Hanley Ramirez failed to beat a diving Maile to the bag. Hernandez proceeded to hit a laser high off the green monster for a two-run double, and Donaldson cleared the bases with an almost homer two-run double himself. Smoak would fly out to ending the inning.
A Jose Bautista single drove Pomeranz out of the game in the top of the 3rd. Austin Maddox came in and retired Morales before a lengthy battle with Kevin Pillar where he fouled off balls 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 before popping out on ball 9 while Jose Bautista ran up his Fitbit step count in steal attempts. Blaine Boyer shut down the Jays in the 4th.
The Jays ran into some unfortunate outs in the bottom of the 5th, as Goins got caught stealing second after a long single, and Maile was picked off second after he arrived there with a double.
The Red Sox bullpen limited the Jays to three hits after Pomeranz left the game until Ryan Goins hit a solo shot in the top of the 9th off the “big and strong” Addison Reed to provide the Jays with some insurance.
Jose Bautista was also ejected in the top of the 8th for arguing a called strike three that Pitchcast showed did catch the top right hand corner.
The Jays bullpen held the Red Sox to one hit (a homer) over the remaining four innings. Carlos Ramirez retired his three batters in order in the 6th, Tim Mayza took care of his two hitters in the 7th, and because it’s September and everybody must pitch, Danny Barnes came in to take care of Bogaerts. Dominic Leone pitched in the 8th, and allowed a pinch run home run to Andrew Benintendi to put the Sox within one run.
Rafael Devers took a Roberto Osuna offering deep into the outfield in the bottom of the 9th, but Ezequiel Carrera made the catch (!) to secure Anderson the win, and give Roberto his 38th save of the season. Roberto is now tied with Kelvin Escobar and BJ Ryan for second most saves in a single season in Blue Jays history .
Wasn’t the greatest start but a Win is a Win and I’ll take it— Brett Anderson (@BAnderson3737) September 26, 2017
Jays of the Day: Donaldson (.270), Hernandez (.140), Osuna (.100) and Goins (0.90)
Suckage: Pillar (-.110, 0/4), Smoak (-.100, 0/4)
Tomorrow the Blue Jays will try for the fifth time to get their first run of the season against Chris Sale. The Red Sox will take on JA Happ for a southpaw vs. southpaw match-up.