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Jays Win the Boston Marathon

Take the series and sole possession of second place

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

This one was a grind. It was the longest nine inning game in Blue Jays history and only 22 minutes short of the all time record (which unsurprisingly was a Yankees Red Sox game, in 2006).

Andrew Triggs got the start for the Red Sox. He struck out the side in the first, with a bit of help from home plate umpire Ramon de Jesus. Cavan Biggio got rung up on a fastball that was pretty clearly outside, Jonathan Villar watched a breaking ball that did look like it caught the corner, and Vladimir Guerrero jr. took a couple of ugly swings on balls down and away.

Robbie Ray made his second appearance and first start for the Jays. He didn’t look sharp, missing over the plate with cutters to Yairo Munoz and Xander Bogaerts, both who lined singles to left. Ray struck out Christian Vazquez and J.D. Martinez, but left a fastball out over the plate to Kevin Plawecki, who mashed it over the center field wall to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. He also walked the next batter, Michael Chavis, but struck out Jackie Bradley jr. to end the inning. Ray’s fastball looked pretty good, getting a few swings and misses, but his command wasn’t there at all.

In the top of the second, the Jays’ hitters at least made some solid contact with Triggs, but didn’t have much to show for it. Rowdy Tellez hit a low liner to the right of second base that Bogaerts made a nice diving catch on, Travis Shaw also grounded into the shift, Lourdes Gurriel jr. lined a single to centre field, and Joe Panik grounded out.

Ray looked tired in the second, having thrown 35 pitches in the first, and his command was really wandering. Bobby Dalbec popped up, but Ray walked number nine hitter Jose Peraza. Peraza stole second, then went to third on a bad throw by Caleb Joseph. Ray picked his catcher up, striking out Jonathan Arauz (who had come in to run for Munoz in the first) and Vazquez.

Joseph made amends in the third inning by chipping a leadoff home run over the Monster. After a Derek Fisher strikeout, Triggs lost the plate a bit, walking both Biggio and Villar. Guerrero popped out after another very uncomfortable looking at bat. With two out, Tellez loaded the bases with an infield single on a soft ground ball to the hole to load the bases. Shaw came within about six feet of giving the Jays the lead, hitting a line drive that Bradley caught just in front of the wall in dead centre. It probably would have cleared the fence in Rogers Centre by eight feet, but in Fenway it was the third out.

Ray had a better third inning after having some time to catch his breath. He got soft fly balls from Bogaerts, Martinez, and Plawecki, the first two of which were caught and the third of which fell in for a single. Chavis lined a ball high off the Monster, but Gurriel played it beautifully in left field and gunned Plawecki down coming into third. It’s getting to the point where runners should really know better than to try Gurriel’s arm.

Matt Hall, relieving Triggs in the fourth, walked Panik and Fisher. A groundout by Gurriel, a sharp line out by Joseph, and a strikeout by Biggio prevented the Jays from capitalizing.

In the bottom of the inning, Dalbec hit a solo shot into the Jays’ dugout to make it 4-1. Arauz also walked, but Ray got Bradley to pop out, Peraza to strike out, and Vazquez to ground out. Ray’s line on the day was 4.0IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 5K. We saw the command problems that plagued him in Arizona today, and the Red Sox punished his mistakes.

They Jays offense finally managed to break through in the top of the fifth. After a Villar groundout, Guerrero walked, Tellez singled, and Shaw walked to load the bases. Gurriel kept them loaded with a single that drove Guerero home, then Panik tied the game with a two run single to right. Joseph struck out, but Fisher legged out an infield single to drive Hall from the game. Robinson Leyer came in to face Biggio. Biggio hit a high fly down the left field line that bounced off the Monster just out of Peraza’s reach. After robbing the Jays a couple innings before, Fenway repaid the Jays by turning a routine out in 29 parks into a two run double, giving he Jays a 7-4 lead.

Wilmer Font relieved Ray in the fifth and sat down the Red Sox in order. It was nice to finally have an undramatic inning.

Rowdy Tellez lead off the sixth with a terrific 10-pitch at bat, coming back from 0-2 to crush a home run to left center. Shaw and Gurriel followed with singles to knock Leyer out of the game. Jeffrey Springs walked Panik to load the bases. Joseph grounded into a force out, but Shaw was able to score on the play. Fisher kept the parade going with a line drive single that cashed in the Jays’ 10th run. Villar walked, but Guerrero struck out to end the Jays’ second consecutive bat around inning.

The Red Sox opened the bottom of the sixth with a couple of singles by Chavis and Bradley, the latter on a ground ball that would have been a double play but ricocheted off Font’s leg into right field. Dalbec walked to load the bases, and Peraza hit a sac fly to drive in a run. Another walk, to Arauz, was the end of Font’s day. Hatch came in to try to save the Jays’ big lead. He got Vazquez swinging and got Bogaerts to ground out to short to keep the score 10-5.

Austin Brice handled the seventh for the Red Sox. Tellez and Shaw struck out and grounded out, respectively. Gurriel lined his fourth hit of the day and Panik doubled off the wall in left, but Joseph grounded out to end the inning.

Hatch came back out for the seventh. He got Martinez to ground out, but then hit Plawecki and walked Chavis after a long battle. Bradley chopped a ball to Panik, who flipped to second for the out. Hatch was labouring at this point, but managed go get Dalbec swinging to escape the inning.

Plawecki, who had stayed in the game to run after being hit in the wrist, wasn’t able to cath the eighth. That forced the Red Sox to give up their DH, moving Vazquez behind the plate. Ryan Brasier worked around a single by Villar in the eighth, striking out Fisher and Guerrero and getting Biggio to pop out to short.

A.J. Cole worked the eigth for the Jays and just didn’t have it today. He gave up a home run to Peraza to open the inning, then walked Arauz for the third time this afternoon. Bogaerts hit a home run to centre to make it a 10-8 game. Martinez hit a soft fly to left for the second out. The Red Sox pinch hit Alex Verdugo for Brasier in Plawecki’s spot, and Montoyo went to Ryan Borucki. Borucki has battled his control his last couple times out, but located his fastball really well and got a weak ground out to end the inning.

The Jays weren’t able to get anything back in the top of the ninth against Marcus Walden. Tellez and Shaw grounded out, and Gurriel lined out sharply to Bradley in centre field.

The Jays turned to Rafael Dolis to secure the save. He got Chavis to fly out to centre, which lead to a scary moment as Biggio and Gurriel nearly collided at full speed going after the ball. Biggio was calling for it, Gurriel needs to defer to his centre fielder there. Dolis struck out Bradley with a beautifully placed fastball right on the lower inside corner, then got Dalbec chasing breaking balls way out of the zone to end the game.

It took 4:23 to play today’s game, the longest nine inning game in Blue Jays history and 22 minutes short of the all time record.

Jays of the Day: Hatch (0.135), Dolis (0.114), Biggio (0.135), Tellez (0.117), Fisher (0.125), and Guriel fell just short (0.096), but deserves one for four hits.

Suckage: Ray (-0.175) was the only one with the number, but Guerrero deserves one for being the only Blue Jay without a hit and striking out three times.

There were 796 comments in today’s game thread (plenty of time for conversation in almost four and a half hours). Alan F. lead us to victory today.

# Commenter # Comments
1 Alan F. 97
2 EMK19 79
3 Matt W 77
4 radivel 73
5 Drinkin' Wit' Terrell Farley 67
6 DangYouToHeck 45
7 ewank 44
8 OttawaJaysFan 42
9 Minor Leaguer 39
10 Belisarius 35
11 yyzcalifornia 25
12 Sniderlover 18
13 lalalaprise 16
14 FlipDown Shades 12
15 jmarples 12
16 ice_hawk10 11
17 vinnievanloewen 11
18 Kate Stanwick 11
19 Mccune 11

The Blue Jays return to Buffalo tomorrow to face the Yankees at 6:37ET. Hyun Jin Ryu will face Jordan Montgomery. The game will be broadcast on SportsNet One.