The Sox nearly escaped a jam after J.D. Durbin surrendered two hits to begin the eighth, but a fielding error by Drew Sutton down at third base allowed the Blue Jays to push across the game’s only run.
To that point, the game was dominated by pitching, with both starters looking very impressive.
Alfredo Aceves got the start for Boston, and he went five scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out five before handing the ball to the Red Sox’ bullpen.
Jose De La Torre pitched two scoreless innings for the Sox, and J.D. Durbin suffered the loss as a result of the nightmarish eighth inning.
J.A. Happ got the start for Toronto, and he went six scoreless frames. The left-hander allowed two hits and walked two while striking out three. Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos and Esmil Rogers closed the door on any potential offensive attack.
The Red Sox’ offense, which consisted entirely of backups and minor leaguers, was held to two hits in the losing effort.
The Red Sox will be back in action on Saturday. Clay Buchholz will get the start as Boston squares off with Pittsburgh in a 1:35 p.m. ET start at JetBlue Park. That game will be televised on NESN, so be sure to tune in and continue to follow the action with NESN.com.
Have a good night, everyone.
End 8th, Blue Jays 1-0: J.D. Durbin took over for the Red Sox in the eighth, and it wasn’t long before he found himself in a pickle.
Mark DeRosa and Maicer Izturis both struck base hits into left field to lead off the inning. (DeRosa and Izturis were lifted for pinch runners in Adam Loewen and Kevin Ahrens, respectively.)
Munenori Kawaski then flew out to left field and Jon Berti flew out to right field, but Durbin was hardly out of the jam.
Kevin Pillar — no, not Kevin Millar — hit a ground ball down to Drew Sutton at third base. Sutton lifted his glove too early, though, and the ball rolled down the left-field line.
Loewen scored on the play, and Ahrens was gunned down at the plate for the final out. The damage was done, however, as the Jays now hold a 1-0 lead.
Mid 8th, 0-0: Sergio Santos struck out the side in the eighth, but it wasn’t before the Red Sox put the potential go-ahead run 90 feet away.
Bryce Brentz worked a leadoff walk against Santos, marking the second time that Brentz has reached base safely in this one. Santos then got nasty. Almost a little too nasty, in fact.
Santos picked up back-to-back strikeouts against Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, but each time, the third strike was a wild pitch. That allowed Brentz to move all the way up to third base.
Santos managed to strike out Drew Sutton, though, before any damage was done.
End 7th, 0-0: Don’t blink. This game is cruising right along.
Jose De La Torre came back out to pitch the seventh for Boston, and he enjoyed a quick, 1-2-3 inning.
Adam Lind flew out to Jackie Bradley Jr., who moved from center field to left field before the inning, for the first out. J.P. Arencibia then popped out, and De La Torre struck out Colby Rasmus to end the inning.
Before the inning, the Sox made a few subs. Christian Vazquez, Travis Shaw and Jeremy Hazelbaker are in. Ryan Lavarnway, Lyle Overbay and Mike Carp are out.
It’s both interesting and strange to see Bradley move to left field. The 22-year-old entered the game having played 110 innings in the field this spring — 98 in center, 12 in right — and manager John Farrell said recently that Bradley would not play in left field for the Red Sox this season.
Mid 7th, 0-0: J.A. Happ departed after six scoreless innings, and it was Casey Janssen who took over.
Janssen showed some nasty stuff, striking out both Lyle Overbay and Mauro Gomez to start off. He then got to two strikes on Mike Carp before inducing a ground out to end the inning.
Happ’s book closes after six scoreless frames. The left-hander gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out three.
End 6th, 0-0: The Blue Jays enjoyed a leadoff walk, and that’s it.
Jose De La Torre, fresh off his World Baseball Classic stint, worked around a free pass to Jose Reyes to keep the game scoreless.
Putting Reyes aboard is always dangerous given the shortstop’s speed, so you have to applaud De La Torre’s efforts to keep him from advancing.
De La Torre struck out Emilio Bonifacio, before Melky Cabrera threatened to do some damage by driving a ball to center field. Jackie Bradley Jr. got a good jump on it (as he typically does), and hauled in the second out — albeit a loud out.
Jose Bautista grounded out to Drew Sutton at third base to end the inning. Bautista is now 0-for-3.
Mid 6th, 0-0: Both of the game’s starters have turned in great outings.
As the chess match continues, J.A. Happ put together another strong inning in the sixth. He’s now thrown six scoreless frames, holding the Red Sox to just two hits in the process.
Drew Sutton grounded out to lead off the inning. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ryan Lavarnway were then retired via a strikeout and ground out, respectively.
Jose De La Torre will come on to replace Alfredo Aceves in the bottom of the sixth.
Aceves exits after five scoreless frames. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out five.
End 5th, 0-0: It was more of the same from Alfredo Aceves in the fifth.
Aceves gave up a leadoff walk to Colby Rasmus, but then got Mark DeRosa — who doubled in his last at-bat — to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
Xander Bogaerts was again tested at short during the next at-bat, when Maicer Izturis hit a tricky hop. Bogaerts handled it cleanly, though, and fired to first for the out.
Mid 5th, 0-0: The fifth inning started off very promising for the Red Sox, but J.A. Happ again buckled down when necessary to avoid any damage.
Bryce Brentz ripped a double past the outstretched glove of Colby Rasmus, and Xander Bogaerts worked a walk to set up runners at first and second with one out. Brock Holt then put together a solid at-bat before grounding into a crushing, 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.
Happ has pitched very well, and when he’s gotten into some trouble, he’s done a very nice job of wiggling his way out.
End 4th, 0-0: Alfredo Aceves and J.A. Happ have gone step for step thus far.
Aceves started off the fourth inning by striking out Jose Bautista with a nasty hook.
Adam Lind then grounded out to second, before Aceves picked up his second strikeout of the inning. Aceves went to the changeup in order to get catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Aceves now has five K’s through the first four innings.
Mid 4th, 0-0: J.A. Happ had some brief control issues in the fourth, but he battled through them to keep the game scoreless.
Happ got two quick outs. Drew Sutton flew out to left, and Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded to Mark DeRosa, who flipped to Happ for the second out.
That’s when things got a little bit more interesting. Ryan Lavarnway worked a walk, and Happ drilled Lyle Overbay, putting two on with two outs for Mauro Gomez.
Gomez hit a grounder to shortstop Jose Reyes, who flipped to Emilio Bonifacio for the third out.
End 3rd, 0-0: Mark DeRosa showed some nice glovework in the top of the inning. In the bottom half, he drilled a double off the wall to spark a Blue Jays threat.
Alfredo Aceves and the Red Sox eventually escaped the trouble unharmed, though.
DeRosa led off the inning with the two-bagger, and he soon moved up to third base after a balk was called on Alfredo Aceves. Maicer Izturis was responsible for making the first out on a popup to second base, but Jose Reyes walked to put runners at the corners.
Emilio Bonifacio smacked a ground ball to Lyle Overbay at first base with runners at first and third. Overbay looked DeRosa back before firing to second for a force out, meaning Bonifacio essentially replaced Reyes at first base.
Bonifacio moved up to second a few pitches into Melky Cabrera’s at-bat on a delayed steal. Bonifacio is now 8-for-8 on stolen-base attempts this spring.
Aceves got out of the jam, however, by getting Cabrera to fly out to Jackie Bradley Jr. in center.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: J.A. Happ has retired nine of the 10 Boston hitters he’s faced, including all three that stepped up in the third.
Happ got some nice defense from his middle infield in the inning. Bryce Brentz and Xander Bogaerts each grounded out to Jose Reyes. The shortstop’s arm was tested, but he showed off its strength after going into the hole. Mark DeRosa saved Reyes in one instance, though, scooping a throw in the dirt.
Brock Holt grounded back up the middle with two outs. Emilio Bonifacio — traded to Toronto from Miami this offseason — made a rangy play for the final out.
End 2nd, 0-0: We’re scoreless through two, as Alfredo Aceves held down the Toronto offense in the second inning.
Adam Lind kicked off the inning by drilling one right back at Aceves. The right-hander gobbled it up, though, and he fired to first for the first out.
Aceves helped himself again during the next at-bat. He struck out J.P. Arencibia looking to set up a showdown against Colby Rasmus with two outs.
Aceves got to two strikes on Rasmus before the Jays outfielder golfed a short fly ball into left field. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts went out as left fielder Mike Carp came in, and Bogaerts eventually made the catch in front of Carp to record the inning’s final out.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: J.A. Happ retired the side in order in the second. Jose Reyes flashed some leather to end the frame.
Lyle Overbay led off the inning, and he flew out to Melky Cabrera in left field. Mauro Gomez then grounded out to Reyes at short.
Reyes wasn’t done, though, as he made a nice, leaping grab on a ball hit by Mike Carp to nail down the top of the second.
End 1st, 0-0: The Jays followed in the Red Sox’ footsteps in the home half of the first. They got a runner to second base, but failed to drive him in.
Jose Reyes flew out and Emilio Bonifacio struck out against Alfredo Aceves to begin the inning. Melkly Cabrera then singled into left and swiped second base, putting a runner in scoring position for the always dangerous Jose Bautista.
Aceves won his battle with Bautista, though, fanning the slugger to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jackie Bradley Jr. really couldn’t do any more than what he’s done this spring.
Bradley doubled to left field with two outs after Brock Holt flew out and Drew Sutton struck out. The Red Sox would strand him there, though, as Ryan Lavarnway flew out to Jose Bautista in right field to end the inning.
Bradley is now batting .457 (21-for-46) this spring.
1:07 p.m.: Here comes the first pitch. Let’s play baseball.
1 p.m.: We’re almost ready for baseball in Dunedin. Personally, I’m interested to see what Alfredo Aceves has in store against the Blue Jays — in more ways than one.
Aceves’ controversial behavior this spring has been well-documented, so you never quite know what you’re going to get out of the polarizing righty. I’m mostly interested, though, to see how he’s responding to being stretched out in Franklin Morales’ absence, and I’m anxious to see what role he’ll assume when the Sox break camp.
11:05 a.m.: With a day game after a night game, John Farrell looked beyond his starters while filling out Friday’s lineup card.
Among those in Boston’s lineup against Toronto are the organization’s top two prospects, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. The two are certainly at different points in their development — with Bradley making a bid for a big league roster spot out of camp and Bogaerts lined up for more time in the minors — but Friday marks a great opportunity for Red Sox fans to get a glimpse of the future.
Bogaerts and Bradley aren’t the only prospects in Friday’s lineup, though. Bryce Brentz is also penciled in. He’ll play right field and bat eighth.
Check out the rest of Friday’s lineups below.
Brock Holt, 2B
Drew Sutton, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Ryan Lavarnway, C
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Mauro Gomez, DH
Mike Carp, LF
Bryce Brentz, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Alfredo Aceves, P
Jose Reyes, SS
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
Melky Cabrera, LF
Jose Bautista, RF
Adam Lind, DH
J.P. Arencibia, C
Colby Rasmus, CF
Mark DeRosa, 1B
Maicer Izturis, 3B
8 a.m. ET: The revamped Blue Jays figure to be players in the American League East this season. On Friday, the Red Sox travel to Dunedin for one final spring training matchup with Toronto.
Alfredo Aceves will get the start for Boston as the Sox continue to try and stretch him out with Franklin Morales sidelined for an indefinite period of time. The right-hander last pitched on Saturday, and allowed two runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Rays. That outing, of course, was highlighted by Aceves plunking the final batter faced, leading to an on-field shouting match and even more questions about Aceves’ controversial behavior.
Aceves has pitched 10 innings overall this spring, allowing five earned runs on 13 hits while striking out three and walking three. He figures to be sixth in Boston’s rotational pecking order, meaning he could be in line for some spot starts here and there while also pitching in a relief role.
Jose De La Torre is scheduled to follow Aceves for the Red Sox, who earned a 6-1 victory over the Phillies on Thursday night behind another strong effort from John Lackey. De La Torre is returning to Sox camp after pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. He appeared in six of the team’s nine games, and allowed three runs and struck out 12 in 5 2/3 innings of relief while helping Puerto Rico reach the tournament finals.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET, so be sure to stop by early and often for all things baseball.