Final, Red Sox 3-1: Joel Hanrahan gave up a leadoff single in the ninth inning, but he bounced back, and a game-ending double play sealed the deal for a Red Sox win.
The decision to go with Hanrahan in the ninth inning comes as a surprise, as Andrew Bailey had become the team’s closer. We’ll see if there’s something physically wrong with Bailey, but either way, Hanrahan’s save was the 100th of his career.
Ryan Dempster went the first six innings for Boston. He gave up a leadoff home run to Brett Lawrie and also ran into a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, but the veteran showed plenty of poise, and he eventually settled down to help secure the win.
The Red Sox scored two runs in the second inning on an RBI single from Mike Carp and a sac fly from Stephen Drew. Jacoby Ellsbury extended the lead to 3-1 with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Both teams failed to take advantage of scoring chances, but it was ultimately the Red Sox who did enough to secure the win. The Sox will now head to Texas for a three-game set after taking two of three from Toronto.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 3-1: The Red Sox put two runners on with no outs, but a huge double play squashed their bid to add some insurance.
Jonny Gomes hit a little roller along the first-base line to begin the inning. The new pitcher, Esmil Rogers, came off the mound and made the play, but he was unable to deliver the difficult throw in time.
Dustin Pedroia then reached on a throwing error by third baseman Brett Lawrie. First baseman Adam Lind caught Lawrie’s high throw and tried to slap a tag on Pedroia as he ran by, but the umpire ruled that Pedroia beat it out.
At that point, the Red Sox looked poised to add a run or two, but Rogers started a 1-4-3 double play to settle things down.
Joel Hanrahan — not Andrew Bailey — is coming on to pitch the ninth for Boston.
10:14 p.m., Red Sox 3-1: Well, this is interesting.
The Red Sox hold just a two-run lead, meaning the ninth inning will be a save situation, yet Joel Hanrahan — not Andrew Bailey — is the one warming up in the Boston bullpen.
It’s unclear if there is something physically wrong with Bailey or if John Farrell is simply going back to Hanrahan as the closer, but this is definitely a rather wild development.
End 8th, Red Sox 3-1: The Red Sox will carry a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning.
Koji Uehara came on to pitch the eighth, and the Blue Jays put the tying run at the dish, but the energetic right-hander came through.
Jose Bautista popped out to lead off the inning, and Edwin Encarnacion then tried to spark a rally by ripping a ball to the left side. Will Middlebrooks went into a dive, but he was unable to make the play.
The hit didn’t matter much, though. Uehara bounced back to strike out both J.P. Arencibia and Melky Cabrera. Arencibia struck out on a sneaky quick fastball up and out of the zone, and Cabrera fanned on a splitter after looking at two straight fastballs.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 3-1: Brett Cecil took over in the eighth inning, and he took care of business.
Cecil started things off by striking out Mike Carp. Then, after issuing a walk to David Ross, he struck out Stephen Drew looking for the second out.
Cecil ended the inning by getting Jacoby Ellsbury to ground out in front of the mound.
End 7th, Red Sox 3-1: The Red Sox have missed out on plenty of scoring chances, but so have the Blue Jays.
Toronto had a golden opportunity in the seventh, but Junichi Tazawa ensured Boston will enter the eighth inning with a two-run lead still intact.
Tazawa entered the game for Miller — who put two runners aboard before exiting — and he walked Brett Lawrie to load the bases with two outs.
Tazawa got ahead of Adam Lind before firing two pitches in the dirt that David Ross did a nice job of blocking. Tazawa eventually went upstairs with a fastball to strike out Lind swinging.
9:49 p.m., Red Sox 3-1: Andrew Miller got into some trouble, forcing the Red Sox to make a pitching change.
Miller struck out Melky Cabrera but then gave up a single to Colby Rasmus. Rasmus moved up to second base on a wild pitch.
After Emilio Bonifacio grounded out to short, Munenori Kawasaki worked a walk to bring up the go-ahead run.
Junichi Tazawa is entering the game with the right-handed hitting Brett Lawrie — who homered to leadoff the game — at the dish.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 3-1: Steve Delabar was very impressive in the seventh inning. He picked up two strikeouts as part of a perfect frame.
Mike Napoli led off by striking out on four pitches. He looked at a 96-mph offering to cap off the K.
Daniel Nava then popped out before Will Middlebrooks struck out to end the inning. Middlebrooks probably could have been rung up looking on three pitches — as Delbar’s 0-2 pitch was very close — but he instead got the benefit of the doubt and went down swinging on pitch No. 4.
Andrew Miller is coming on for Boston, which means Ryan Dempster’s night is over. Dempster worked his way out of some trouble at times, but he was otherwise solid once again.
Dempster allowed one run on four hits, and the only run he allowed came on a leadoff home run by Brett Lawrie. Dempster struck out four and walked three. He tossed 100 pitches (60 strikes).
End 6th, Red Sox 3-1: Ryan Dempster enjoyed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the sixth.
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion were both retired on flyouts, and J.P. Arencibia struck out swinging.
Arencibia battled back from an 0-2 count to even things up at 2-2, but he fanned on a splitter to punch his ticket back to the dugout.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 3-1: The Red Sox have had plenty of chances to extend their lead. They finally capitalized in the sixth inning.
David Ross led off the inning with a walk. It was the eighth walk issued by Blue Jays pitching, although most came with starter J.A. Happ on the hill. Brad Lincoln nearly struck out Ross on a 3-2 pitch, but the Jays reliever didn’t get the call.
Ross moved up to second base as Stephen Drew struck out. Drew went down swinging on a curveball that got away from catcher J.P. Arencibia and traveled to the backstop. Drew took off for first base, but because Ross already occupied first, Drew — by rule — wasn’t able to reach.
At that point, the Jays made a pitching change. They brought in Steve Delabar, whose first opponent was Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury dropped a blooper into left field that Melky Cabrera fielded on one hop, and Ross managed to score from second base.
Jonny Gomes and Dustin Pedroia each grounded out to end the inning.
End 5th, Red Sox 2-1: Ryan Dempster doesn’t have any wiggle room, and to this point, he hasn’t needed any.
Dempster cruised through the fifth inning, and he’s now tossed four scoreless frames since giving up a first-inning home run to Brett Lawrie. It hasn’t always been easy, but Dempster was very effective in the fifth.
Munenori Kawasaki grounded out to begin the inning, and Dempster then struck out Lawrie and Adam Lind.
Lawrie was disposed of on three pitches, and he went down looking at a fastball. Lind went down hacking at a 2-2 slider.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox again had a good scoring chance, and again they couldn’t cash in.
Daniel Nava connected on a one-out double to right field, and he moved up to third base when Will Middlebrooks grounded out to first. Nava remained stranded at third, though, as Mike Carp struck out on a curveball in the dirt to end the inning.
The Red Sox are 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and they’ve left eight men on base. By not cashing in, they’re certainly not giving Ryan Dempster any wiggle room.
End 4th, Red Sox 2-1: Ryan Dempster scattered a hit in the fourth inning, but he didn’t issue any walks, so that’s certainly a step in the right direction.
J.P. Arencibia grounded out to lead things off, and Dempster then struck out Melky Cabrera swinging. Dempster went with all fastballs to begin the at-bat against Cabrera before eventually going with a slider on the sixth pitch to pick up the K.
Colby Rasmus singled with two outs, but Dempster bounced back to retire Emilio Bonifacio via a lazy flyout to left.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-1: Just minutes after Ryan Dempster was forced to escape a bases-loaded jam that he created by walking three batters, Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ issued four free passes of his own. That ended Happ’s night.
Mike Carp walked to begin the inning, but he was wiped off the basepaths when David Ross grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Munenori Kawasaki nearly brought first baseman Adam Lind off the bag with his throw, but Lind managed to make the play while keeping his foot on the base.
Stephen Drew worked a two-out walk, and things snowballed further from there. Happ walked Jacoby Ellsbury after getting ahead 0-2, and he then walked Jonny Gomes on four pitches.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons saw enough at that point. Happ walked seven batters in his 3 2/3 innings, so Gibbons took the ball and handed it to Brad Lincoln.
Lincoln got the Jays out of serious trouble by getting Dustin Pedroia to reach at a curveball. Pedey grounded into an inning-ending force out, and despite all of the walks, the Red Sox’ lead is still just one run.
Happ threw 95 pitches (47 strikes) before departing.
End 3rd, Red Sox 2-1: Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves made a mound visit at the perfect time.
Ryan Dempster pitched his way into a major jam in the third inning. He walked three hitters — Munenori Kawasaki, Adam Lind and Jose Bautista — to load the bases with one out.
Dempster missed quite a bit with a few pitches during that span, so Nieves came out to have a chat with the right-hander. It worked wonders.
Dempster fell behind Edwin Encarnacion with the bags packed, but he showed plenty of poise and threw a 2-0 slider. Encarnacion grounded it to Stephen Drew at short, which kicked off a massive, inning-ending double play.
(Small note to Blue Jays fans: Juan Nieves is not John Farrell. Therefore, you don’t have to boo every mound visit. Just a thought.)
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox put their third run of the game 90 feet away, but they were unable to capitalize on the scoring chance.
Jonny Gomes led off the inning with a double over the head of center fielder Colby Rasmus. Gomes advanced to third when Dustin Pedroia hit a fly ball to center that Rasmus was able to track down.
J.A. Happ then struck out Mike Napoli for the second out of the inning. It was some solid pitching from Happ, who went with back-to-back fastballs to begin the at-bat before pulling the string and freezing Napoli with a curveball.
Daniel Nava worked a two-out walk to put runners at the corners, but Will Middlebrooks grounded into a 6-4 forceout to end the threat.
End 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: J.P. Arencibia kicked off the bottom of the second inning with a single. He was the only one to reach.
Arencibia smacked a fastball into right field, but Melky Cabrera, Colby Rasmus and Emilio Bonifacio all flied out as Ryan Dempster kept the Jays off the scoreboard.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox were held down in the first inning, but they weren’t to be denied in the second inning.
Boston put up two runs while making J.A. Happ labor through the frame. The Sox looked much more like the team that banged out 15 hits and scored 10 runs on Wednesday.
The inning started off in rather bizarre fashion. Mike Napoli smoked a line drive down to third base that Brett Lawrie made a weird attempt at fielding. Lawrie leaped into the air — even though he didn’t need to — and the ball sailed right by his face and into the left-field corner. Napoli ended up with a double.
After Daniel Nava struck out, Will Middlebrooks walked to set up first and second for Mike Carp. Carp did what he’s done all season — take advantage of his opportunity. Carp lined a 2-2 curveball into right field that brought Napoli in with Boston’s first run.
David Ross walked to load the bases, and Stephen Drew gave the Red Sox the lead on a sac fly to right field. The Red Sox certainly wanted to add more, but it’s hard to complain with coming away from the inning with a lead.
Happ’s pitch count is now up to 54 through two innings.
End 1st, Blue Jays 1-0: Ryan Dempster ranks second all-time among Canadian-born pitchers with 125 wins. He’ll need to settle down in order to pick up win No. 126.
Brett Lawrie led off the game with a home run to left center field. Lawrie, who missed time this season, has been having better at-bats of late. He now has a seven-game hitting streak after jumping all over Dempster’s 1-1 fastball.
After Adam Lind flied out to right, Jose Bautista ripped a ground ball to third base. Will Middlebrooks failed to get in front of the hot shot. Instead, he tried to backhand it, and it rolled past him into left field. Middlebrooks was charged with an error.
Fortunately for Dempster, he got Edwin Encarnacion to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: It was a busy inning in the field for Jose Bautista. The right fielder recorded all three putouts as J.A. Happ retired the Red Sox in order.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a lengthy at-bat. He got into a hitter-friendly 3-1 count, and then fouled off three straight pitches to make Happ work. The Toronto left-hander finally got Ellsbury to sky the eighth pitch of the at-bat to right.
Jonny Gomes and Dustin Pedroia followed suit, and it was a very easy first inning for Happ, who tossed 5 1/3 scoreless frames against Boston earlier this season.
7:08 p.m.: J.A. Happ’s first pitch is a ball, and action is under way in Toronto.
7 p.m.: John Farrell addressed Dirk Hayhurst’s allegations against Clay Buchholz while speaking with the media before Thursday’s game. As you’d expect, the Red Sox skipper rushed to Buchholz’s defense. He called Hayhurst’s allegations “unfounded,” and he certainly didn’t seem happy about the whole situation.
6:55 p.m.: The big news coming out of Toronto on Thursday surrounds the allegations of broadcaster Dirk Hayhurst.
Hayhurst, who is also a former big league pitcher (25 games between 2008 and 2009), thinks Clay Buchholz was doctoring the baseball on Wednesday night.
Buchholz is off to a fantastic start this season, and he became baseball’s first six-game-winner Wednesday after blanking the Blue Jays over seven innings. The right-hander has shown incredible command throughout his six starts this season, and his ability to keep hitters off-balance has him among the game’s elite starting pitchers. Clearly, Hayhurst thinks there’s also some funny business going on, though.
Hayhurst claims to have seen Buchholz use some sort of substance to alter the baseball. Hayhurst claims the substance was located on Buchholz’s left forearm.
Buchholz has denied any wrongdoing, saying that he only applied the rosin bag to his forearm.
6 p.m.: Clay Buchholz could have gotten rocked on Wednesday — which he didn’t — and he still would have at least one honor to begin this season. Buchholz was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for April.
Buchholz went 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA in five April starts. He then proceeded to toss seven shutout innings on Wednesday in his first start of May, so perhaps some more hardware will soon follow.
5:50 p.m.: You may have noticed that Shane Victorino is not in the Red Sox’ starting lineup, but there is good news regarding his status. According to John Farrell, Victorino is available, and the Flyin’ Hawaiian is expected to start Friday’s game in Texas.
5:45 p.m.: David Ortiz has been as hot as anyone on the Red Sox, but in order to keep him fresh, manager John Farrell is giving the slugger the night off.
With Ortiz out of the lineup, Farrell also decided to have Mike Napoli DH in the series finale. Napoli will move up and bat cleanup in Ortiz’s absence. Mike Carp will get the start at first base and bat seventh.
David Ross will catch Ryan Dempster. Thursday is Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s birthday, so perhaps the night off is a little gift from the skipper. Ross will bat eighth, while Stephen Drew will look to continue making strides out of the No. 9 hole.
The rest of Thursday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (19-8)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Jonny Gomes, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, DH
Daniel Nava, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Mike Carp, 1B
David Ross, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Ryan Dempster, RHP (1-2, 3.30 ERA)
Blue Jays (10-18)
Brett Lawrie, 3B
Adam Lind, 1B
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
J.P. Arencibia, C
Melky Cabrera, LF
Colby Rasmus, CF
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
Munenori Kawasaki, SS
J.A. Happ, LHP (2-1, 3.86 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Ryan Dempster picked up his first win in a Red Sox uniform in his last start on Sunday. He’ll try to make it two in a row on Thursday.
Dempster will take the bump for Boston, which finishes off its series in Toronto before traveling to Texas for the weekend. The Red Sox and Blue Jays have each taken a game in the series, so Thursday’s showdown will mark the rubber match between the AL East foes.
The Red Sox dropped the series opener on Tuesday, but they bounced back in impressive fashion on Wednesday night. Mike Napoli smacked two home runs, and Stephen Drew, Daniel Nava and Mike Carp each went deep once as Boston pounded out 15 hits and walked away with a 10-1 victory. Clay Buchholz picked up the win, improving his record to a perfect 6-0.
Dempster will go up against J.A. Happ on Wednesday. Happ — as you might remember — had his way with the Red Sox earlier this season. The left-hander went 5 1/3 shutout innings to help guide the Jays to a 5-0 victory over the Sox back on April 6. That, of course, was the game in which John Lackey suffered a biceps strain.
Wednesday marked a great day for Boston sports, as the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics all won. Only the Red Sox will be in action on Thursday, but they’ll try to keep the good times rolling.
Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and follow along right here with NESN.com’s live blog. It’s the cool thing to do.