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Belt Homers Twice, But Jays Lose

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox 4 Blue Jays 4

I don’t know, we seem to find ways to turn wins into losses. It comes down to the offense. We aren’t scoring enough runs. That’s putting a ton of pressure on the bullpen. Even good relievers will have bad days now and then, especially when there is no margin for error.

It wasn’t Kevin Gausman’s best start of the season. He went 5 innings, allowed 5 hits, 2 earned 1 walk with 7 strikeouts. Three of the hits were doubles (one of them a bloop that just landed beyond Matt Chapman.

But he did leave the game with a lead, 3-2.

It also wasn’t the bullpen’s best day:

  • Tim Mayza started the sixth and gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. He did get a strikeout and then was pulled for
  • Yimi Garcia. A pretty tough spot for Yimi. And it got worse with a steal of the season (Rob Refsnyder took off from first before Garcia started his windup, but Yimi was too slow stepping off and throwing to second. Just a bad play). He got a strikeout, then gave up a walk to load the bases. He then went to 3-1 on Connor Wong before battling back for a strikeout. It seemed like a big moment.
  • Erik Swanson came out for the seventh and had a very rough time, giving up 3 hits, a walk and 2 runs to tie the game. James Duran started the inning with a double (his third double of the game). Justin Turner popped one up just beyond Whit Merrifield's glove. Merrifield made a good try for it. That scored Duran. Then Alex Verdugo hit a ground out to Chapman, who made the throw across the diamond, but Turner, running from first, didn’t stop at second. Vlad threw to third, where Bo did a great job of getting to the bag, but the throw was wide, and Turner scored. Vlad’s made great throws to get runners at third before. But this one was costly.
  • Trevor Richards gave up an infield single but got 3 strikeouts to keep the game tied in the eighth. We really do need to find someone to be fifth starter, because Richards is really important to the pen. I wish we would have given him two innings today.
  • Jordan Romano gave up a home run to Alex Verdugo to lead of the ninth, putting us down a run.

We did get some runs for a change in a Gausman start:

  • Brandon Belt homered in the first.
  • We got two in the third. With one out, we had singles from Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer. They pulled off a double steal, and Bo Bichette singled to right. Bo was thrown out trying to turn it into a double. One of those things we have to stop doing.
  • And Brandon Belt homered again in the sixth. He does this just after I put up his mid-season report card.

We only had 6 hits on the day. Belt’s two. And the three hits in the third. And Alejandro Kirk singled down the left field line.

Jays of the Day: Belt (.179 WPA), Garcia (.190) and Richards (.104).

The Other Award: Romano (-.307), Swanson (-.239), Mayza (-.111), Chapman (-.143, 0 for 4, 2 k) and Merrifield (-.115).

Tomorrow is an off day. And then they go to Chicago and Detroit before the All-Star break.