Another day, another close game and far too much stress to kick off a long weekend double header. It could have been a laugher for the Jays, but Roark and Merryweather made things a little too eventful.
The Jays jumped to an early lead in the second inning off old friend (yes I promise it happened) Zack Godley. Travis Shaw homered with two outs, then there was a walk to Joe Panik and another homer by Danny Jansen and the Jays were up 3-0. More of what we would expect facing Boston pitching this season.
The Jays added on another run in the third. Randal Grichuk doubled to start the inning, then Rowdy Tellez singled behind him. Teoscar hit a double play ball, but it was good enough to score Grichuk. Shaw almost homered again in the 4th, but the baseball hit the padding off the wall a couple inches below the top.
The Jays extended their lead in the top of the fifth. Cavan Biggio singled to lead off, advanced to second on a wild pitch, then moved ahead to third on a Grichuk groundout. He came around to score when Tellez hit a sac fly.
The sixth inning was really fun. Facing Marcus Walden, Vladimir Guerrero reached first leading off after Alex Verdugo lost his fly ball in the sun, then Lourdes Gurriel walked and and Shaw hit a single to load the bases with no outs. Joe Panik singled home a run, and two outs later Grichuk singled home a second on a deflected ball. Tellez launched a ball almost to the green monster, but Jackie Bradley Jr robbed him of a hit.
Tanner Roark wasn’t great, and he’s starting to look more and more like the weakest link of this playoff bound rotation. Roark struck out all three batters in the first inning, but the second inning went a little differently. Kevin Plawecki doubled, then Yairo Munoz homered to bring the Sox back within one.
The Red Sox added a couple more in the fifth. Munoz singled, then Jose Peraza drove him home with a double. Another single and a wild pitch and the Jays’ lead was cut down to one. A walk to Rafael Devers ended Roark’s night, and Julian Merryweather got a fly out and strike out of Martinez to preserve the lead. Roark ended the day having allowed 4 runs over 4 and 1/3rd innings, with one walk and six strikeouts.
Unfortunately, the bottom of the 6th was just as eventful for the Red Sox as the Jays’ top half of that inning. Back to back singles and a double scored one run, then another single scored a second and Merryweather was out of the game.
AJ Cole came in and got Peraza to ground out, but another run scored cutting the Jays lead to one. Cole walked Verdugo and he advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Cole got both Devers and Xander Bogaerts to pop up to keep the Jays ahead.
Anthony Bass closed out the game in the 7th, granting the Blue Jays sole possession of 2nd place in the AL East.
Jays of the Day: AJ Cole (+.254 WPA), Bass (.295), Shaw (.173), Grichuk (.136) and Jansen (.116)
Suckage: Roark (-.227) and Merryweather (-.194)
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