Red Sox 7 at Blue Jays 4 (Red Sox 5 HR at Blue Jays 3 HR)
As it so often has over the last year of Major League Baseball at the friendly Sahlen Field, the ball was flying out Wednesday night. Unfortunately, that redounded more to the benefit of the visiting Red Sox who swept the truncated two game set on the back of five long balls.
The first three of those bombs came off Robbie Ray, who overall was not that bad but not nearly as sharp as he had been in his previous two starts. He kept the Red Sox off the board for the first two innings with a walk the only blemish, but the bottom of the order started getting to him in the third as Bobby Dalbec led off by torching a double down the LF line, before the lineup turned over and Kike Hernandez took him yard with an absolute missile just over the left field fence for a 2-0 Boston lead.
He got out of the inning, only to have Rafael Devers greet him in the fourth by taking him yard with a long blast slightly to right centre field. Again, Ray limited the damage with a can of corn and a pair of strikeouts, and got Dalbec to pop out opening up the 5th, but then ran into another 400+ HR. This time it was Michael Chavis torching him for a solo shot, and Hernandez followed that up with a hard double to the alley though Ray stranded him.
Ray’s final line was 5 runs on 5 hits over his 5 innings, with four strikeouts and one free pass. the outing made for a curious dichotomy, as all five hits were for extra bases and were absolutely hammered with exit velocities of at least 104 MPH in the sweep spot of launch angles. But the other 16 batters did almost nothing other than drawing the one walk: four strikeouts, five can of corn flyouts, four easy groundouts, and two popouts.
Meanwhile, the Jays bats mirrored the Red Sox in accomplishing precious little in the early going, with just a single and reach on error against Garrett Richards over the first three innings.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr changed that leading off the 4th inning, launching a majestic shot of his own, effortlessly going the other way on a fastball to the outer edge:
Vladdy makes US wanna shout #PLAKATA pic.twitter.com/dPZjwEsqzl— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 22, 2021
The Jays couldn’t build on that as the next eight went down in order through the botom of the 6th, when Richards wanted nothing to do with Vladdy with two outs and bases clear, pitching around him to walk him. George Springer was up to the task of providing some protection, making Richards pay with a long 412 home run to just right of dead centre:
SPRING and a drive! #SpringerDinger pic.twitter.com/1RVnvD0OvZ— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 22, 2021
Not to be outdone, Tesoscar Hernandez followed right behind him by parking one to almost the exact same spot, and cutting the deficit down to one run at 5-4. Adam Cimber was first out of the pen in the 6th, and allowed a run on a double and single (the only one not to score on a long ball by either side).
Trevor Richards pitched a good 7th, and Jordan Romano got the first two outs in quick order in the 8th and had J.D. Martinez at two strikes but couldn’t finish him off. After a coupe fouls, he left a fastball at the top of the zone, and Martinez got just enough to send it just over the fence down the right field line. Romano then hung an 0-2 fastball at the top of the one to Hunter Renfroe, and hit the fifth and final Red Sox bomb of the night.
In the end, that wasn’t of the hugest consequence in a but-for sense, as the Jays never mounted only a two out Danny Jansen double and another walk by Vladdy (promptly erased by Springer grounding into a double play) against the Red Sox pen.
Unfortunately, the bullpen wasn’t up to the task of holding the REd Sox to provide the bats a chance to make a late inning push. Adam Cimber
Jays of the Day: Vladdy (+0.127 WPA), Teoscar (+0.104).
Suckage: Ray (-0.169), Romano (-0.164), Semien (-0.160), Gurriel (-0.104). Grichuk and Biggio both weren’t fall off the mark either with 0-fers.
Tomorrow the Jays are off before they travel from Upstate New York to Flushing, New York to kick off a weekend series against the Mets at 7:05 EDT, Steven Matz and rookie Tylor Megill are listed as the probables, but I’m pretty sure that should be Hyun Jin Ryu for the Jays.