Clayton Mortensen worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off Boston’s 13-0 blowout victory in the series finale.
Will Middlebrooks launched three home runs in the win, and the Sox finished with six home runs total. Daniel Nava, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Napoli joined Middlebrooks in the home run derby.
When the Red Sox weren’t mashing baseballs all over the place, Jon Lester was cruising right along. The left-hander pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits while striking out six. Lester improves to 2-0 on the season, but his second start was much more impressive than his Opening Day performance.
The Red Sox finished the game with 15 hits. Middlebrooks led the way with four, Ellsbury had three, and Napoli, Dustin Pedroia and Jose Iglesias each had two.
The Red Sox end their season-opening, six-game road trip with a 4-2 record. On Monday, the Sox will host the Orioles in their home opener.
Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET, and Clay Buchholz will get the start. I hope to see you all then. It should be a fun day at the ballpark.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 13-0: The Red Sox are clearly growing tired of putting up runs.
The Sox were held scoreless in the top of the ninth by Brett Cecil, who struck out the side. Jackie Bradley Jr., Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury all struck out in the inning.
Clayton Mortensen will come back out to finish up this blowout.
End 8th, Red Sox 13-0: While they’re pretty much playing out the string in Toronto, Clayton Mortensen enjoyed a good inning.
Mortensen gave up a leadoff single to Jose Reyes, but then bounced back to retire the next three hitters.
Jose Iglesias made a very nice play to take a hit away from Rajai Davis. Davis smoked a ground ball toward short, and Iglesias dove to snag it on the backhand. Iglesias tried to start a double play, but Davis was too fast. The Sox were able to get the lead runner, though.
Mortensen finished the inning by striking out Melky Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion.
Prior to the inning, Mike Carp remained in the game at first base, while the versatile Daniel Nava shifted to right field. Pedro Ciriaco came on to play second base.
Oh yeah, and someone threw a paper airplane onto the field, in case you were wondering.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 13-0: The Red Sox’ offense is having some sort of game.
Jacoby Ellsbury added to Boston’s lead by hitting an opposite-field home run to kick off the eighth inning.
Mike Carp pinch hit for Shane Victorino after Ellsbury’s blast. It was Carp’s first at-bat of the season, and he lined out to short.
Then, it was back to work for the Boston offense.
Dustin Pedroia drew a walk, and Mike Napoli launched a mammoth two-run homer to center field. Napoli now has two home runs this season, as he went deep in Friday night’s contest as well.
Will Middlebrooks looked to add to his three home run performance, but his bid came up just short. Middlebrooks flew out to the left-field warning track. At first, it looked like the ball had a chance to get out, which drew a big response from the Red Sox’ dugout.
Brett Cecil came on to replace Dave Bush after Middlebrooks’ fly out. Daniel Nava walked, but Cecil then got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to fly out to right center.
End 7th, Red Sox 10-0: With a commanding 10-0 lead, that will likely be the day for Jon Lester. If so, it was a good one.
Lester gave up a two-out single to Henry Blanco in the seventh inning, but he again minimized Toronto’s threat.
Mark DeRosa struck out, Maicer Izturis grounded out and Emilio Bonifacio lined out in the seventh.
Clayton Mortensen is warming up in the Boston bullpen, so he’ll probably take over in the eighth.
Lester will exit the game after tossing seven shutout innings in which he gave up five hits, struck out six and didn’t walk anyone.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 10-0: Will Middlebrooks is having himself a Sunday Funday.
Middlebrooks turned on an inside fastball and launched his third home run of the game in the seventh inning. Middlebrooks becomes the first Red Sox player to hit three home runs in a game since Dustin Pedroia did so in Colorado on June 24, 2010.
Daniel Nava wanted to flex his muscle a bit too, though. He lifted his first home run of the season to center field, and the Red Sox’ commanding lead now sits at 10-0.
So much for that power outage.
End 6th, Red Sox 8-0: Jon Lester enjoyed more success in the sixth inning.
The left-hander retired the Blue Jays in order, and he’s now thrown 84 pitches (56 strikes) through six.
Melky Cabrera popped out to Daniel Nava in foul territory, and both Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia flew out.
Lester seemed to have some issues with the mound in the sixth, losing his footing on a couple of occasions, but he pushed through in order to record the perfect inning.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 8-0: The Blue Jays enjoyed a rare scoreless inning in the sixth.
Dave Bush, who replaced R.A. Dickey in the fifth inning, gave up a two-out, infield single to Dustin Pedroia, but he otherwise did a nice job.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the inning with a fly out to center field, and Shane Victorino grounded out to second base. Then, after Pedroia’s infield hit, which came on a slow bouncer to third base, Mike Napoli hit a sharp line drive to right field that Rajai Davis made a nice grab on to end the inning.
End 5th, Red Sox 8-0: While the Red Sox’ offensive attack has been the story thus far, Jon Lester is putting together a very solid outing.
Lester, who pitched five innings on Opening Day, has twirled five shutout frames in this one.
Henry Blanco flew out to center field to begin the inning. Emilio Bonifacio then shot a base hit into right field, and he moved up to second base when the next batter, Jose Reyes, grounded out to third. Initially, it looked like Will Middlebrooks might have a chance to at least get the lead runner, but he bobbled the ball and instead opted to take the sure out.
Rajai Davis put up a good, eight-pitch battle with two strikes, but Lester emerged victorious. Davis flew out to center field to strand Bonifacio at second.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 8-0: It’s safe to say R.A. Dickey has seen better days.
Dickey was lifted with two outs in the fourth inning, and he heard plenty of boos from the Rogers Centre crowd after surrendering eight runs in his second start in a Blue Jays uniform.
Boston’s eighth run came on Will Middlebrooks’ second home run of the game. Middlebrooks’ first blast was to the opposite field and just cleared the fence. His second home run was an absolute bomb to left field.
Jackie Bradley Jr. also reached in the inning via a walk, which spelled the end of Dickey’s afternoon. Dickey was replaced by Dave Bush, who got the red-hot Jose Iglesias to fly out to right to end the inning.
End 4th, Red Sox 7-0: Jon Lester plunked Mark DeRosa around the shoe tops with two outs, but a great play by Will Middlebrooks ended any potential threat.
Lester started the inning by getting Edwin Encarnacion to ground to short. The play was relatively routine, but Lester was forced to dodge Encarnacion’s broken bat.
Lester then struck out J.P. Arencibia. The left-hander dialed it up to 95 mph to blow it past the Toronto catcher.
DeRosa was hit on the ninth pitch he saw, and Maicer Izturis followed up with a ground ball down to third. Middlebrooks charged it and made a great, barehanded play before delivering a strong throw to record the out.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 7-0: Stephen Drew is expected to return on Wednesday, but Jose Iglesias is leaving his mark.
The slick-fielding shortstop continues to impress at the plate this season. In the fourth inning, after Jackie Bradley Jr. was retired on a roller in front of the plate, Iglesias doubled down the left-field line. He would later score when Jacoby Ellsbury singled into left field.
The Red Sox threatened to pile on. Shane Victorino worked a two-out walk, and him and Ellsbury then executed a double steal. R.A. Dickey got Mike Napoli to ground out back to the mound, though, so the Sox will have to settle for adding just the one run.
End 3rd, Red Sox 6-0: Jon Lester is cruising right along thus far.
Lester gave up a one-out single to the hot-hitting Jose Reyes in the third, but it didn’t lead to much.
Lester started the inning by striking out Emilio Bonifacio — who has had a rough series — on an 89-mph cutter. Reyes then singled, and Lester got Rajai Davis to bounce to third. Will Middlebrooks attempted to spin a double play, but Davis was just too fast. The Jays outfielder beat out Dustin Pedroia’s throw.
The inning ended, however, when Melky Cabrera popped out to Daniel Nava — who is playing first base in this one — in foul territory.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 6-0: The Red Sox added another run in the third inning.
R.A. Dickey fell behind Mike Napoli 3-0 before bouncing back to pick up a strikeout. The right-hander went to the fastball in order to record the K.
Will Middlebrooks, who went deep to the opposite field in the first inning, ripped a double past the diving Mark DeRosa and into the left-field corner. He took a wide turn around second base, but then thought better of it.
Middlebrooks would advance to third on a passed ball charged to catcher Henry Blanco, and then score on a sac fly to right field off the bat of Daniel Nava.
Blanco is faring much better behind the plate than J.P. Arencibia did in Dickey’s first start, but the passed ball proved costly. Oh, the wonders of the knuckleball.
End 2nd, Red Sox 5-0: Jon Lester scattered a couple of hits in the second, but he was otherwise effective.
Edwin Encarnacion struck out to begin things. Lester got him on three pitches, with the third strike coming on a cutter.
Lester tried to pound J.P. Arencibia inside as well, but the Blue Jays’ catcher managed to get his hands inside the baseball and blooped a base hit into left field. After Mark DeRosa flew out, Maicer Izturis added a single of his own.
Lester escaped any further trouble, though, by striking out the ageless Henry Blanco on a fastball inside.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 5-0: R.A. Dickey gave up a leadoff, infield single to Jose Iglesias in the second inning, but he settled down after that.
Iglesias — the only Red Sox hitter not to bat during the five-run first inning — hit a ground ball to short, but he was able to beat it out in order to reach. Iglesias’ average continues to soar, although most of his hits haven’t exactly been well struck.
Dickey then retired the top of the Red Sox’ order. He got Jacoby Ellsbury to pop out, and he struck out both Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia with his trademark knuckleball.
End 1st, Red Sox 5-0: Jon Lester — unlike R.A. Dickey — enjoyed a very smooth first inning.
He retired the Blue Jays in order. Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera grounded out, and Rajai Davis struck out.
Lester got Davis to wave at a curveball in the dirt.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 5-0: The Red Sox had just two hits on Saturday. We’re a half inning in, and Sunday has already been much more enjoyable for Boston.
The Red Sox put up five runs in their first trip to the plate against R.A. Dickey. Even two of the outs were well hit, and the reigning NL Cy Young winner could find himself having a short day if he doesn’t turn things around.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game by shooting a double into the left-center field gap. Ellsbury took a hard turn around second base, but he eventually threw on the breaks and settled for a two-bagger.
Shane Victorino then tried to bunt the first pitch he saw. He failed, though, which worked out well for the Red Sox. Victorino ended up hitting a sharp single into center field. Ellsbury thought about trying to score, but he stopped about midway between third and home.
Dustin Pedroia took the privilege of driving in Ellsbury on a single, and Mike Napoli then drove in Victorino and Pedroia with a double into left-center field.
Will Middlebrooks capped off the first-inning barrage with an opposite-field home run.
Dickey bounced back to record three straight outs, but as mentioned, even those were a bit problematic for the knuckleballer. Daniel Nava hit a towering fly ball to left and Jarrod Saltalamacchia smoked one to right field, but they were right at guys.
1:08 p.m.: R.A. Dickey’s first pitch is a strike, and we’re under way.
12:51 p.m.: Manager John Farrell said that David Ortiz had a “very good day” while running the bases in Fort Myers on Saturday. So there’s that.
12:47 p.m.: Quick side note as well: Anyone who has trouble regarding their NESN service should contact email@example.com. That should help clear up any issues, if any should arise.
12:45 p.m.: The Red Sox will open up their home schedule on Monday. One player who won’t be joining the team is Stephen Drew.
Drew, who continues to rehab following a concussion he suffered early in spring training, is expected to remain with Boston’s Double-A affiliate in Portland on Sunday and Monday, according to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. The expectation is that Drew will join the Red Sox in Boston on Wednesday.
Upon his return, Drew should add some pop to the Red Sox’ lineup out of the shortstop position. Jose Iglesias has played — and hit — very well in Drew’s absence, but Drew is undoubtedly the superior offensive threat. One would assume Iglesias will be shipped back to Triple-A Pawtucket when Drew comes back.
12:20 p.m.: The Blue Jays’ lineup card is in, but Jose Bautista is not.
The slugger will sit out for the third straight game on Sunday as he continues to battle an ankle issue. Bautista was lifted from Thursday’s game after twisting his ankle, and while not believed to be serious, manager John Gibbons is being very careful in his handling of the All-Star.
Toronto’s lineup can be seen below.
Jose Reyes, SS
Rajai Davis, RF
Melky Cabrera, LF
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
J.P. Arencibia, C
Mark DeRosa, 3B
Maicer Izturis, 2B
Henry Blanco, C
Emilio Bonifacio, CF
R.A. Dickey, P
Also, with 41-year-old Henry Blanco behind the dish, I might as well bring up an old gallery I slapped together back in the day. And by back in the day, I mean last month. If you’re interested in old guys playing baseball, check it out at the link below.
11:05 a.m.: While we await word on John Lackey’s injury, it’s clear Jose Iglesias’ ailment is nothing at all. The shortstop is back in the Red Sox’ lineup on Sunday, just two days after leaving Friday’s game in the fourth inning.
Iglesias, who took a pitch in the elbow on Friday night, will bat ninth in Sunday’s series finale.
With the right-hander in R.A. Dickey toeing the rubber for the Blue Jays, Red Sox manager John Farrell will plug Daniel Nava into the lineup for Jonny Gomes. Nava won’t serve as the DH, though. Instead, he’ll play first base, while Mike Napoli assumes the role of DH.
The Red Sox’ complete lineup can be seen below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, DH
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Daniel Nava, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., LF
Jose Iglesias, SS
Jon Lester, SP
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox suffered a painful defeat on Saturday — in more ways than one.
Not only did the Sox muster up just two hits in a 5-0 loss to the Blue Jays, but they also lost John Lackey, who went down in the fifth inning with what the team is calling a biceps strain. Lackey is set to undergo an MRI on Sunday, but his immediate future is now once again up in the air.
The Red Sox must put the poor performance behind them, though. They have a rubber match with the Jays on tap for Sunday, and letting Saturday’s loss linger in their minds will only prove costly.
The Sox have just the man they need on the mound in their effort to bounce back. Jon Lester, who pitched a nice game on Opening Day, will take the ball for his second start of 2013. Making life a bit more difficult, however, is the fact that the reigning NL Cy Young, R.A. Dickey, will toe the rubber for Toronto.
Sunday’s first pitch is set to be delivered at 1:07 p.m. ET, and NESN’s pregame coverage will kick off at noon ET. Be sure to tune in to all of that goodness, but also keep it right here throughout the day.