It was the Curtis Granderson show Tuesday night, as he dragged the Jays to a win that, him aside, the results almost indicated they were largely indifferent to. He accounted for three of the four runs batted in, threw out the go-ahead run at the plate in the 9th, and then for the icing on the cake walked Boston off with a solo shot in the bottom of the 10th.
Not to be overlooked, J.A. Happ was brilliant, turning in his best start of the season as he allowed just a single run over 7 innings with 10 strikeouts. He didn’t allow any decent contact until the second half of his outing, mostly scattering four hits until the 6th inning when a hard leadoff double came around to score.
It was very good timing to have that kind of start, because the bats were not inclined to do a whole lot against Rick Porcello. The Jays jumped out to the 3-0 lead they were ultimately not able to make stand thanks to some opportunistic hitting in the second innings. A leadoff walk and single set the table with runners at the corners, and Steve Pearce beat a wild throw home on a Kevin Pillar chopper to make it 1-0.
They weren’t so lucky when Russell Martin tried to do the same on a Devon Travis grounder, but Granderson cashed both runners on a ball slapped down the third base line that Rafael Devers deflected behind him. It wasn’t the prettiest way to score three runs, but they strung together some cheapish hits to get in front.
From that point onward, the Jays were moribund offensively, as they went down in order for 6 of their next 7 turns at bat, including 12 straight batters set down before a two out Pillar double in the 9th. Not exactly a banner night in the “tacking on runs” department, and it almost came back to bit them.
Ryan Tepera worked an efficient 8th, allowing just a ground ball single that found its way through to turn the ball over to Roberto Osuba for the 9th. Unfortunately, he had his first rough outing of the year, as not finishing hitters off snowballed into balls floating over defenders, into a blown save and almost a loss.
After allowing a run to cut the margin from 3-1 to 3-2, Osuna had the bases loaded with two out. Sadly, the batter was noted Jay-killer Brock Holt, who lined a fourth single of the inning to bring him the tying run and almost the winning run but for Granderson’s throw.
And then after a couple zeroes, Granderson homered, salvaging the first game against the division-leading rivals.
SUPER JAY OF THE DAY: Granderson (+0.546 WPA)
Jays of the Day: Happ (+0.304), Tyler Clippard (+0.144). Pillar (+0.111) has the number, but only because of the fielder’s choice that scored the run.
Suckage: Osuna (-0.277), Travis (-0.142), Aledmys Diaz (-0.134). Honourable mention to Solarte (-0.055) for the 0/4 joining the latter two.
Tomorrow, the Jays will look to hand the Red Sox their second straight series loss, sending Aaron Sanchez to the mound against Eduardo Rodriguez at the usual 7:05 EDT start time.