Series Sum-Up: vs Boston, August 7-9


Game 1: Tuesday, August 7th
Jays lose, 7-10 (10 innings)
Starting Pitcher: Marcus Stroman
Losing Pitcher: Ken Giles


Marcus Stroman’s fabulous 7-inning start, and 13 Blue Jays hits, were spoiled by a late Red Sox rally against the Toronto bullpen. He walked one through the first three innings, while the Jays put up a 2-0 lead with a Devon Travis homer in the 2nd. In the 4th, Travis made a fielding error that put Andrew Benintendi on base with one out. Stroman then walked Mitch Moreland on four pitches, and Benintendi scored from second on a J.D. Martinez single. That was the first hit Stroman had allowed to the Boston lineup. He allowed just one other – also to Martinez – a leadoff double in the 7th.


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Drew Pomeranz was pulled midway through the 5th, having allowed a leadoff double to Luke Maile, and then walked Justin Smoak. Both those runners were stranded by Heath Hembree. Brandon Workman experienced similar luck in the 6th, after two singles and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out. Kevin Pillar flew out, then Maile reached on a ground ball hit barely five feet from home plate. Sandy Leon picked it up, and tagged Kendrys Morales as he ran past. With the bases still loaded, Randal Grichuk hit a ball back to the mound, and Workman threw home for a forceout that ended the inning.


The Blue Jays added to their lead in the 7th when Travis led off with a single, advanced two bases on a Joe Kelly pickoff error, and scored on a Teoscar Hernandez sac fly. Stroman took the mound to start the 8th, but after a visit from the trainer and manager, he left without throwing another pitch. It was later revealed he was developing a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. Ryan Tepera loaded the bases with one out on a double, a walk and a single, then Moreland drove in one with a forceout (might have been a double play but Travis fumbled it), and Martinez drove in the others with a home run. That put Boston up, 5-3. Tepera was ejected at the conclusion of the inning for arguing with the home plate umpire over some ball calls that hadn’t gone his way.



Yangervis Solarte singled, and Maile drove him in with a double to put the Jays within a run. Then Justin Smoak hit a solo homer off Craig Kimbrel in the 9th to tie the game. Tyler Clippard had pitched a clean top half, and Kimbrel struck out the other three batters he faced. That left Ken Giles to pitch the 10th, which became a disaster immediately after he struck out the first batter. Mookie Betts tripled, then Benintendi walked and Moreland hit a home run. After another out, Xander Bogaerts singled and Jackie Bradley Jr. scored him with another homer. Luis Santos had to be brought in for the final out. Facing down a five-run deficit, the Blue Jays still battled, with a Solarte single and Kevin Pillar hitting a two-run homer. Randal Grichuk also got a base hit, but was left there when Travis flew out to end the game.


Game 2: Wednesday, August 8th
Jays lose, 5-10
Losing Pitcher: Mike Hauschild


Mike Hauschild made his first career start, and held the Red Sox to a walk in each of the first two innings, but they hung a four-spot on him in the 3rd. The bases were loaded, with none out, on a double, a walk, and a hit batter. Andrew Benintendi scored one with a sac fly, then Mitch Moreland cleared the others with a double, and another sac fly scored the fourth run after Hauschild left the game. He’d thrown 2 ⅓ innings, allowed four runs on three runs, and walked three without getting any strikeouts.


Luis Santos pitched a clean 4th, then loaded the bases in the 5th. Mookie Betts led off with a single, then Benintendi doubled, and Santos intentionally walked J.D. Martinez with one out. Xander Bogaerts took a four-pitch walk, forcing in a run and bringing the Boston lead to 5-0. Jake Petricka entered and got Jackie Bradley Jr. to hit into an inning-ending double play. Bradley was the only Red Sox starter without a hit.


Rafael Devers added to the lead with a two-run homer off Petricka in the next inning, but the Jays got those runs back thanks to a two-run homer from Teoscar Hernandez. That home run, Hernandez’s seventeenth of the season, ties his career high. Back-to-back doubles plated another Sox run in the 7th before Danny Barnes got two strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning. The Jays then added three more runs with another homer, this one by Randal Grichuk. Joe Biagini allowed another pair of runs on two singles, two walks, and a wild pitch that scored one. Brian Johnson allowed all five Toronto runs before he was replaced in the 8th. The Blue Jays had two runners in each of the last two innings, but couldn’t catch up.

Game 3: Thursday, August 9th
JAYS WIN!!! 8-5
Winning Pitcher: Ryan Borucki


For the second series in a row, the Ryan Borucki-Rick Porcello matchup was the only time the Blue Jays came out victorious. The first two Red Sox batters singled, and Borucki walked Xander Bogaerts with two outs. Eduardo Nunez drove in a pair with a single, and already the Blue Jays were down by 2 runs. They quickly got those back when their first two batters in the 1st walked, and scored on a Justin Smoak single and a Randal Grichuk fielder’s choice that was nearly a double play, but Steve Pearce couldn’t handle it at first base. They took the lead in the next inning, when another leadoff walk was cashed in thanks to an error, then stranded a pair when Aledmys Diaz was caught in a rundown between third and home. Teoscar Hernandez added a solo shot in the 3rd.


The Red Sox scored a pair in the 5th, tying the game at 4 runs. J.D. Martinez hit a solo homer, then two singles and a stolen base plated another run before Borucki picked Brock Holt off stealing second. Devon Travis hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the frame, then scored on a Smoak double. Grichuk put the Jays up 7-4 with a line-drive home run. The same fan caught both home run balls.



 Porcello left the game with nobody out in the 5th, then Yangervis Solarte singled, but was caught stealing. Borucki left the game soon after, having allowed four earned runs on nine hits and three walks. Travis cashed in a Curtis Granderson double in the 6th, but was thrown out trying to take second (the ‘safe’ call was overturned on replay). Jaime Garcia, Tyler Clippard and Ryan Tepera then pitched a clean inning apiece. Ken Giles surrendered a solo home run to Mookie Betts in the 9th, the final step in Betts hitting for the cycle. He’d also walked. But the efforts of Betts weren’t enough to overtake the Blue Jays, who tallied 12 hits to Boston’s 10.  


Overall Notes: 

Prior to the first game in this series, Brandon Drury was placed on the DL with a facture in his left hand. He was hit in the hand with a pitch before being traded from the Yankees, and at the time was diagnosed with a bone bruise. Richard Urena was called up as a replacement infielder.


On Thursday, the Jays optioned the previous game’s starter, Mike Hauschild. They called up rookie left-hander Thomas Pannone, who has a 4.91 ERA in six starts in Buffalo. Pannone has yet to make his major-league debut, but missed 80 games in the minors earlier this season while suspended for testing positive for a banned substance. He will join the bullpen but might also start the game on Monday.


Weirdly Specific Record Alert:

  • Justin Smoak had never hit a home run on a 3-0 count in his career, before Tuesday. It was the 270th time he’d reached the count over nine seasons.
  • Smoak’s career first helped Toronto set an MLB record – it was the seventh home run hit by the 2018 Jays on a 3-0 count, the most by any team in baseball history.


My favourite player(s) this series: Stroman/Travis/Maile

Marcus Stroman threw seven innings with no earned runs allowed, only allowing one run on two hits. He also walked three and allowed struck out four. In typical Stroman fashion, he got 15 groundouts and only one out on a ball in the air.


Devon Travis has been on fire in August, hitting .333 for the month. He went 4-for-14 in this series, with a home run, a walk and three runs driven in.


Luke Maile only played in one game this series, but went 2-for-5, both doubles, and an RBI.


Where we are now:
52-62, .456
4th in the AL East, 28 games back of Boston


The Blue Jays will stay in Toronto and the Rays will come to town for the weekend. Despite trading their only true starting pitcher, the Rays have a winning record at 58-57. In their six matchups so far this season, the Jays have only won one game. Tampa acquired Tommy Pham at the trade deadline, but he’s been put on the DL with a fractured foot and will therefore miss this series. They also picked up a pitcher, Tyler Glasnow, in the trade with Pittsburgh for Chris Archer. All-Star Blake Snell, recently returned from the DL with shoulder soreness, is scheduled to pitch Friday night opposite Marco Estrada. Sam Gaviglio will go on Saturday, while Tampa’s starter for that game is yet to be determined.


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