The homestand welcomed the Red Sox to Rogers Center, with the Red Sox bringing along some bloke named Johnson from Triple-A Pawtucket to make a spot start. Marcus Stroman, coming off a complete-game loss to the Brewers, was the Jays starter today. For the offence, Smoak was starting, while Devon Travis came back into the starting lineup. Playing at third today was Darwin Barney, with Steve Pearce playing today at left. Again, Pillar was lead-off, with the line-up normal from there until Justin Smoak at five, Devon would continue to bat nine.
The game started off in nearly the worst possible way, with Xander Bogaerts hitting a single to right, Stroman though got the ground balls going, getting a Tulo-Travis-Smoak DP, then another grounder to Devon Travis to end the inning.
The bottom of the first saw the bats come alive. Pillar started with a leadoff double, pulling it for a double past a slow-moving, late-to-react, still-chubby Paolo Sandoval. After another strikeout by Bautista, a single by Morales brought home Pillar. Runners were on first and second after a Tulo single when Justin Smoak, promoted above Russell Martin in the lineup, smashed a double off the center-left wall, scoring Morales, and leaving runners on second and third with one out. Russell Martin then hit a grounder to short with Tulo was tagged out at the plate. The inning ended with Steve Pearce striking out.
Stroman cruised through the second, before the Jays left the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning. A one-out Devon Travis walk was followed by a Kevin Pillar double, an intentional walk to Joey Bats left the bases-loaded with one out and Morales up at the plate. Morales struck out on three pitches, having in my opinion the worst at-bat he’s had since becoming a Blue Jay. Tulo then lined a sharply hit ball to Mookie Betts at right field.
Stroman and the Jays then ran into big trouble in the third. Again Bogaerts got on base with a one-out single, then was followed by a Benintendi single that left runners on second and first. Mookie Betts then hit a single that scored Bogaerts. On a throw by Pillar to the wrong base (he threw to third to try and get Benintendi), Betts advanced to second, negating the possibility of an innings-ending DP. Stroman then struck out Hanley Ramirez, leaving Stroman with the chance to strand two in scoring position. Mitch Moreland though snuck through a single, scoring both runners. Eventually Stroman would get out of the inning, leaving the Jays trailing 3-2 heading into the bottom of the third.
Smoaky then started the inning with a lead-off homer, nearly identical in both result and situation as his lead-off homer last week against the Orioles. The Jays wouldn’t get anymore runs in the third, with the game approaching a lull, and would head into the bottom of the fourth level at 3-3. A lead-off walk by Devon Travis wasn’t capitalised upon by the Jays.
The Jays then got roughed up in the 5th, three straight one-out hits from Betts, Hanley Ramirez and Moreland scored two, the double by Moreland giving the Red Sox a 5-3 lead. Aaron Loup would then come in to face switch-hitter Sandoval, Kung Pow Panda would hit a single to score Moreland. This meant that Stroman would exit, having pitched 4 and two-thirds, conceding 6 earned runs. Dominic Leone would take the Jays out of the inning, leaving the Jays down 6-3.
The Jays would claw one back at the bottom of the inning, a Russell Martin home run bringing the margin back down to two. After this point I changed it over to the Raptors game, where the Raptors just about blew yet another lead before eeking out a win. Raptors-Bucks is tied at a game apiece. But back to the Baseball.
I’d return to the ballgame just in time to see Morales ground into the shift to end the 6th, leaving man on first and second. The Sox hit a solo shot through Mookie, and the Jays headed into the top of the 8th down 7-4. Ryan Tepera was then given the ball for the inning and pitched a stinker. A couple of hits, a couple of walks, he exited with two outs, and the score 8-4 after a ground-rule double that saved the Jays a run. On came Danny Barnes fresh from AAA-Buffalo to successfully mop up inherited men at 2nd and 3rd, as Mookie popped up to Russell Martin.
The Jays needed a miracle to come back, and like the previous 10 times they didn’t. This didn’t stop them from giving it yet another ride. A double from Pillar again, beating Sandoval yet again down the third base line gave Joey Bats the chance to close the gap with one-out, he hit a long fly-ball to right, which was caught just before the warning track, this still got Pillar to third, after this the Red Sox changed the pitcher, and Morales grounded to first to end the inning.
The 9th was pitched by Danny Barnes, two outs and a walk were issued, before Devon made an awesome play at 2nd to end the inning. A long run to his left, before a quick turn and throw to first is what happened, but this description doesn’t give the play justice. Watch it, particularly those who think Devon isn’t a Major League fielder, because this kid is improving everyday.
The Jays got nowhere until a two-out walk issued to Russell Martin. Steve Pearce then scored Russell Martin with a single to left. Zeke then hit a home run just over the left-field wall. John Farrell and the Sox kept Matt Barnes in the game to finish it off. Pitching to Devon Travis, he popped out to Bogaerts at short, leaving the Jays rally coming up short yet again.
The Jays lose 8-7, a furious two-out rally falling just short, the record falls to 2-11, and not even the bats showing up for once could get the win. This is depressing, but the Leafs play tomorrow so if they win it’ll all be good again. As for the Jays, it’s now officially time to panic, because we may be screwed, even if we go on a winning streak.
To conclude I’d like to talk about the Kung Pow Panda, he looked finished at third. Three times today was he beaten down the third base line, all three times by Kevin Pillar. The first time was disgraceful, a play I probably could’ve made, he didn’t extend his arm, he was slow to react. The second time wasn’t his fault really, he reached the line in time, but the ball went foul, at least in my eyes, thankfully though, the third-base umpire called it fair, allowing Pillar to hustle a double. The third time after was a normal backhand dive that he just couldn’t make. His switch-hitting seems back to normal, but as a third baseman I think it’s just about over, and that’s a contract that is going to continue to age horribly for the Red Sox. Now, whatever did they do to Travis Shaw?