After an extremely disappointing series with the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox jumped back on the winning train and swept their division rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays. Combining to score a total of 16 runs in the three game series, the Sox now have a comfortable 5.5 game lead over the second-place New York Yankees.
Game one ended in a 6-5 victory for the Red Sox on August 28th, and featured vintage Drew Pomeranz doing what he does best: win games. The opposing pitcher, Marcus Stroman was the on the bump. Stroman looked comfortable in this outing. With a 2-1 lead, Eduardo Nunez changed that momentum by hitting a laser-beam home run to left field to tie the game at 2. However, after that home run, Stroman sat down six consecutive Red Sox batters including two strikeouts.
Bats fire up after 7th stretch
The Blue Jays then called for a pitching change in the seventh inning and it all went downhill from there. With a one-run Blue Jays lead, Christian Vazquez hit a two-run homer to left field off of Danny Barnes. Mitch Moreland knocked in Nunez on a weak hit ground back to the middle of second and first off of Aaron Loup, and Ryan Tepera walked Xander Bogaerts for a bases loaded RBI. The Red Sox then took a 6-3 lead.
The Blue Jays scored the remaining two runs off, surprisingly, Craig Kimbrel, from a two- run home run by Justin Smoak on an 0-1 count with two outs. You never see that happen, especially this year!
The Red Sox offense looked good in the first game of the series. They combined for a total of 12 hits, four of those coming from Vazquez, who also tacked in two RBIs. Nunez, Benintendi, Moreland and Ramirez combined for eight hits and two RBIs.
Drew Pomeranz pitched well, earning his 14th victory of the year and ranking him second in the MLB with wins behind Greinke, Kershaw, Sale and Davies. His 3.23 ERA now ranks him 11th in the MLB.
Game two was a fun one to watch. Chris Sale put on one of the best pitching performances I’ve ever seen. I could not stop watching the game because I was so mesmerized. Sale dealt his absolute best. He ended his night pitching 7.0 innings, allowed three hits with no runs and struck out 11 Blue Jays. He decreased his ERA to a 2.77, 5th best in the MLB and 2nd in the American League behind Corey Kluber of the Indians.
Sales first strike out victim was Steve Peace and it was a beauty. In the second inning he struck out Jose Bautista and Kevin Pillar. He then struck out the side in the third inning, sending Miguel Montero, Ryan Goins, and Steve Peace back to the dugout. He struck out Bautista again in the fourth and again in the seventh. What can Chris Sale not do?
The Sox offense finally did something in the sixth inning, which honestly seemed like an eternity waiting for a run to score. Nunez scored in Rajai Davis on his double to right field and Ramirez capitalized on that by hitting a solo shot to center field in the seventh inning. Benintendi then wanted to join the action and he hit an RBI single to right field to drive in Davis. The Sox went on to win 3-0 and take two games away from the Blue Jays in the three-game series.
After acquiring Rajai Davis on August 23rd from the Oakland Athletics, he’s been a quiet player. So far he is batting .250 through five games with the Sox and even has two stolen bases. This game accounted for two of the nine hits that game and also had a stolen base. Nunez and Benintendi also had two hits that game as well.
This is the game we all needed. Rick Porcello facing off against J.A. Happ. Let me start off by saying Porcello redeemed himself after his last outing. That was by far the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Eleven runs in 4.2 innings and just four of those runs were “earned.” He got shelled. But I’m sure I can speak for Red Sox Nation and say we are happy with this last game. He pitched 6.2 innings and only allowed one earned run off six hits. He also managed to pick up his 9th win of the season, struck out seven and lowered his ERA from a 4.57 to a 4.45.
Happ looked sharp as well. He pitched 6.0 innings and only allowed just one run off of four hits. Happy received a no decision this game. In the month of August, Happ is where he pitches his best. Lifetime he is 21-15 (most wins amongst any months) with a 3.71 ERA (second lowest amongst any months). Against the Sox, he is 5-3, third best record against any of the teams he has faced in his career.
Mitch Moreland came, saw and conquered. Coming in a pinch hitter for Chris Young (DH), he went 2-2 with a home run and four RBI’s to help secure a 7-1 Sox victory. The three other RBI came from Betts, Bogaerts and Ramirez. Nunez, Betts, Bogaerts, and Hanley all had doubles and Bogaerts and Devers recorded stolen bases. The Sox offense crawled all over the Jays pitching.
- Sox are now 335-275 lifetime against the Toronto Blue Jays
- Benintendi went 4-12 with an RBI and double (.333 average)
- Nunez went 5-12 with three doubles, a home run and two RBI (.417 average)
- Ramirez went 5-12 with two doubles, five runs, two home runs and two RBI (.417 average)
- Vazquez batted .625 with five hits, a double, a home run, two RBI
- Moreland went 4-7 with a home runs and five RBI
- Reed pitched 2.0 innings striking out three and had a 0.00 ERA while facing seven batters
- Sale is 2-0 against the Jays this season with a 0.00 ERA and striking out 106 in 77.1 innings
- Pomeranz is 3-1 lifetime against the Jays with a 2.63 ERA