The Sox fought the Law, and the Law ... well, Law didn’t win, quite the opposite. But despite the hole they dug early, the Jays rallied for one of their more improbable wins of the 2019 season to avoid their 50th loss of the season — at least, for another day.
With Edwin Jackson on the IL and other potential options either injured or not stepping up, it was bullpen day at Fenway despite getting a pretty heavy workout recently. That meant Derek Law getting his second start as the opener (a role that frankly makes more sense when he’s just the first of a bunch of relievers). Indeed, he opened with a perfect first inning on three grounders.
The second was a different story, as the only opening he did was of the floodgates holding back the Red Sox offense. He dug himself into a hole by walking three of the first three batters, and was made to pay on a Jackie Bradley Jr. double that scored the two runners and then a single to score bring him home. That spelled the end for him in favour of Sam Gaviglio.
Sammy G didn’t fare much better initially, as he got the second out but then issued a walk of his own before giving up a double to Andrew Benintendi and it was very quickly 5-0. A solo shot by Christian Vazquez of all people made it 6-0, a lead which seemed to be quite insurmountable given the circumstances.
On the whole, it wasn’t a great outing for Gaviglio, but he managed to make it through the 5th without further damage despite runners in both innings. Most critically, he ate some innings, Dan Shulman noting after he left that perhaps he saved a game another day. Oh ye of such little faith. Nick Kingham followed with his best outing as a Blue Jay, allowing just a walk across two scoreless innings.
That gave the bats some time to chip away...and chip away...and chip away. They got the run back in the 4th bring the defecit back to five after Vladimir guerrero Jr. led off with single advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on an infield single by Lourdes Gurriel that was misplayed. Though they stranded two runners, and then went in order in each of the next two innings and looked just about dead n the water.
The 7th started in the same manner, with another out before a rapid outburst that turned it into a contest. Cavan Biggio singled, and then Freddy Galvis and the resurgent Rowdy Tellez went back to back and it was 6-4. They continued as Boston turned to old friend Marcus Walden, with Luke Maile drawing a walk and Guerrero a two out single to put runners on a the corners. A wild pitch gave the Jays a much needed freebie to pull within one.
The march continued in the 8th, as Biggio tied the game with another single single to plate Teoscar Hernandez after he hit an infield single and advanced on a wild pitch. Then came the real meltdown with two out — four straight walks, the last two with the bases loaded. The last four runs all had some element of freebie to them.
That was just enough, as after Daniel Hudson worked a peefect 9th, Ken Giles got the save albeit not without drama. He sandwiched a apir of strikeouts around a walk of Mookie Betts, who stole second and scored on a two out ground rule double by Xander Bogaerts. A ball Lourdes Gurriel probably should have caught, but Giles made it moot with a third strikeout to end the game.
Jays of the Day: A long list, though none with a particularly high number: Biggio (+0.181 WPA), Vlad (0.146), Sogard (0.140), Maile (0.111), Giles (0.104), Hudson (0.099)
Blew Jays: Law (-0.209), Grichuk (-0.125)
Tomorrow we have the high privilege of a real starter on the mound as Marcus Stroman goes against Rick Porcello in the rubbermatch of the series at 1:00 PM eastern.