Chris Sale technically started this game, but he was on a pitch limit and, as a result, didn’t make it to the 2nd inning. He allowed a leadoff double to Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and hit Kendrys Morales with a pitch, before turning things over to the bullpen. Gurriel reached again in the 3rd, but was picked off at first base. The Jays didn’t get another hit until Danny Jansen singled in the 5th. Over that time, Ryan Borucki had allowed two hits, and gotten a double play to erase a 2nd-inning walk.
In the 6th, the Jays scored a pair on a double, a walk and two stolen bases – with men on first and third, Jonathan Davis broke for second at the same time as Devon Travis ran home. Ian Kinsler was charged with a throwing error that allowed Davis to get to third. Davis, who had pinch-run for Morales, then scored on a Kevin Pillar single. Borucki left the game after a one-out walk in the 7th was cashed in by a Steve Pearce triple. Ryan Tepera then walked Eduardo Nunez before allowing a pinch-hit, three-run homer to Brock Holt.
In the 8th, the onslaught continued, as Jake Petricka allowed two runs on a walk and three hits. Taylor Guerrieri had only thrown two pitches before another run scored, on a wild pitch. Guerrieri did eventually end the inning by retiring that batter. The Blue Jays went down in order in the 9th, sealing the loss, and sealing Boston’s playoff berth.
Game 2: Wednesday, September 12th
Jays lose, 0-1
Losing Pitcher: Aaron Sanchez
Another terrific outing from a Blue Jays starter was wasted, as David Price shut out the Jays over 7 innings of work. Aaron Sanchez also lasted seven innings, and both pitchers gave up just three hits, but Sanchez’s one earned run was what made the difference. He also allowed three walks, which was three more than Price. Sanchez stranded a leadoff walk in the 1st, and got a double play to erase a leadoff walk in the 2nd. He then struck out the side in the 3rd, and Xander Bogaerts singled in the 4th but ran into the third out of the inning at second, with an outfield assist from Teoscar Hernandez in left.
All of this took place before the Jays got their first baserunner. That happened in the 5th, when Yangervis Solarte lined a one-out single to center field. In the bottom of that inning, the Red Sox scored their only run of the game, thanks to a leadoff walk, a forceout, a single that moved the runner to third, and then a wild pitch that scored the run. The 6th was uneventful except for Jonathan Davis collecting his first MLB hit, a line-drive single to right field. Solarte got another single in the 7th before Price’s night came to an end, having struck out seven and walked zero.
The Jays’ best chance to score came in the 8th, against Steven Wright. Rowdy Tellez hit a leadoff double, and Wright walked Danny Jansen on four pitches, putting two on with nobody out. Kevin Pillar then pinch-hit for Davis and struck out. Billy McKinney reached on a forceout, and Tellez moved to third on the play. But Devon Travis lined out to right to end the inning. Tyler Clippard loaded the bases on a double and two walks in the bottom of that inning, but stranded them. Boston turned to Craig Kimbrel for the save, and he walked a pinch-hitting Justin Smoak on four pitches, but then struck out Dwight Smith Jr. (also pinch-hitting) on three to end the game. Both teams had the exact same number of hits – three singles and a double.
Sam Gaviglio was chased out of the game after 3 1/3 innings, having allowed a home run to J.D. Martinez in the 2nd, and five other hits. Justin Smoak drove in the tying run in the 3rd, but Gaviglio allowed another run on a double and a sac fly before stranding the bases loaded. In the 6th, Mark Leiter Jr. gave up a solo shot to Rafael Devers that made it 3-1 Boston.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered in the 8th, putting the Jays within a run. Joe Kelly came in to pitch, with two outs. Then he walked Smoak on four pitches, and Kendrys Morales singled, before Kelly hit two consecutive batters, loading the bases and forcing in the tying run. The Red Sox brought in Brandon Workman, who struck out a pinch-hitting Billy McKinney to prevent further damage.
Danny Barnes entered to pitch the bottom half of the inning, and allowed the unearned go-ahead run. Barnes wasn’t entirely at fault, because he’d allowed a double to Xander Bogaerts, and Bogaerts stole third and scored on a pop-up from Blake Swihart. As Yangervis Solarte backpedalled to catch the ball, he didn’t position himself properly and it fell in about a foot beyond his glove. Four Blue Jays fielders were in the vicinity of the play but the ball still dropped in. Barnes struck out the next two batters, but it didn’t matter because Craig Kimbrel retired the side in order to collect the save.
Weirdly Specific Record Alert:
- Rowdy Tellez is the only MLB player since 1913 to hit seven doubles in his first seven games
My favourite player(s) this series: Borucki/Sanchez
Ryan Borucki did the exact same numbers as his previous start against Tampa, but in 1/3 more inning. He allowed two earned runs on three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts. He was even more efficient than his last start, throwing 86 pitches, 52 of which were strikes.
There have been some questions about Aaron Sanchez over his last few starts, but this week he pitched close to his best game of the season with a one-run, seven-inning start. He walked three, but struck out six, and only allowed three hits (all singles). He struck out the side in the 3rd, and at one point he got nine outs in a row. He also retired the last seven batters he faced. His only run was the result of a wild pitch.
Where we are now:
4th in the AL East, 35.5 games back of Boston.
The Blue Jays are off to New York over the weekend, for what will be their final series against the Yankees this season. Marco Estrada will go up against Masahiro Tanaka on Friday, followed by Sean Reid-Foley on Saturday. The last time Reid-Foley faced the Yankees, on August 18th, he was touched up for eight runs (six earned) over 4 1/3 innings, including three homers. Thomas Pannone will take the mound in the series closer. Pannone has never started against the Yankees, he’s only made a hitless 1 1/3-inning relief appearance against them.
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