Final, Red Sox 7-5: Koji Uehara nailed down another save, and the Red Sox have won their fourth straight.
The Red Sox nearly let this one slip away after building an early 5-0 lead. The Blue Jays chipped away against Allen Webster, and Edwin Encarnacion tied the game at five apiece with a seventh-inning home run off Andrew Bailey.
Boston’s offense answered with two runs of its own in the seventh inning, though, and the Sox have guaranteed at least a split with the Jays.
Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz kicked off the Red Sox’ two-run seventh with back-to-back singles, and Jonny Gomes broke the tie with a pinch-hit single into left field. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then walked with the bases loaded to plate Boston’s seventh run.
Andrew Miller, who took over after Bailey surrendered the home run to Encarnacion, received the win, although Webster continued to make strides in just his fourth big league start.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays will do it again on Saturday. Felix Doubront and Esmil Rogers will be matched up in late afternoon baseball. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-5: Dustin Pedroia drilled a two-out triple off Casey Janssen, but Janssen bounced back to retire David Ortiz.
Ortiz, who took some big cuts, bounced a ground ball down to first base to end the eighth inning.
John Farrell will indeed turn to Koji Uehara in the ninth. Uehara pitched both Thursday and Friday, recording a save in each contest.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 7-5: Rajai Davis has caused some trouble in this game.
Davis, who already has two stolen bases in the contest, collected his second hit in the eighth inning. It came with one down.
Andrew Miller made sure the one-out single didn’t amount to much, however. J.P. Arencibia capped an eight-pitch at-bat with a 6-4-3 double play, and the Red Sox are three outs away from a win.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Red Sox turn to Koji Uehara in the ninth inning. Uehara has already pitched on back-to-back days, so we’ll see if he comes in for a third straight day.
End 7th, Red Sox 7-5: Darren Oliver walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia on five pitches upon entering the game. That scored Boston’s seventh run, and we’re looking at a 7-5 Red Sox lead through seven innings.
Brandon Snyder struck out against Oliver for the second out of the seventh after Salty’s walk.
Jose Iglesias almost followed up with a bases-loaded walk of his own, but Oliver benefited from a high strike call in a 3-1 count. Iglesias ended up grounding out to short.
Andrew Miller, who entered in the seventh inning, will begin the eighth inning for Boston.
Gomes will remain in the game as the Red Sox’ new left fielder.
9:58 p.m., Red Sox 6-5: John Farrell turned to Jonny Gomes with the bases loaded and it paid off.
Gomes worked himself into a favorable 3-1 count, and he then knocked Brett Cecil from the game with an RBI single into left field.
Neil Wagner started the inning for Toronto, and he gave up back-to-back singles to Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia before being replaced by Cecil.
Cecil struck out David Ortiz for the first out, but he ran into some control issues from there. A wild pitch allowed both Victorino and Pedroia to advance, and Mike Napoli worked a five-pitch walk to load the bases. Cecil consistently missed in the dirt against Napoli, and J.P. Arencibia did a good job of blocking three separate pitches.
Gomes, who provided the big blow, pinch hit for Daniel Nava. The Blue Jays will now turn to Darren Oliver with Jarrod Saltalamacchia up and the bases still loaded.
Mid 7th, 5-5: Andrew Miller struck out Adam Lind to end the inning after entering the game.
Bailey was oh, so close to turning in a confidence-boosting outing. Instead, one bad pitch lets the questions linger.
Allen Webster, who pitched the first six innings, will once again be denied of his first big league victory.
Webster surrendered four earned runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked two while throwin 100 pitches (57 strikes).
9:39 p.m., 5-5: Andrew Bailey got two quick outs. Then, disaster struck again for the right-hander.
After striking out Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista, Bailey left a pitch up to Edwin Encarnacion, who drove it out of the yard.
We’re all tied up, and Andrew Miller is taking over for Bailey.
End 6th, Red Sox 5-4: A bang-bang play capped the sixth inning.
Aaron Loup stayed in for one batter in the sixth. He retired Jarrod Saltalamacchia before the Blue Jays turned to Neil Wagner, who is the 22nd Toronto pitcher that the Red Sox have faced this season.
Wagner got Brandon Snyder to fly out to center field, but Jose Iglesias reached on another infield single. Iglesias smacked a ball over the mound and up the middle. Jose Reyes tracked it down, but he ate it after realizing he had no chance to record an out.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a ball into the hole with two outs. Reyes made a backhanded play and delivered a strong throw to nail Ellsbury just in time.
Andrew Bailey will pitch the seventh inning for Boston after six innings from Allen Webster.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-4: The Blue Jays just keep chipping away. What was once a five-run lead for Boston is now down to one run.
Rajai Davis singled to lead off the sixth inning, and he quickly used his speed to move up into scoring position. Davis recorded his second stolen base of the game — his 16th of the season.
Davis advanced to third base when J.P. Arencibia grounded to Mike Napoli, who took it to the first base bag himself for the first out.
Maicer Izturis knocked in Davis with a well-struck line drive to deep left field.
End 5th, Red Sox 5-3: The Red Sox spoiled a couple of singles.
Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz got the ball rolling with back-to-back base knocks in the fifth inning, but the Sox came up empty-handed as Aaron Loup successfully walked a tightrope.
Mike Napoli smoked a line drive to center field after the two singles, but it was right at Colby Rasmus for the first out.
Daniel Nava, who fouled off a few pitches and saw six pitches total, ended the threat by grounding into a double play.
Allen Webster will head back out for a crucial sixth inning.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-3: The Red Sox were in control — until the Blue Jays broke through against Allen Webster in the fifth inning.
The first two Toronto hitters reached in the fifth. Maicer Izturis singled into left field and Emilio Bonifacio walked.
Jose Reyes followed by hitting a ground ball to third base. Brandon Snyder (who came in for the injured Stephen Drew), tried to start a 5-4-3 double play, but Reyes beat out Dustin Pedroia’s throw. That left runners at the corners with one out.
Jose Bautista plated Toronto’s first run with a single into right field, and Edwin Encarnacion drove in the second run with a base hit of his own.
Adam Lind capped the Blue Jays’ fifth-inning scoring with a well-struck flyout to center field. It was deep enough for Bautista to tag up and score.
Webster had been cruising along while working his way around a few minor hiccups. The Jays squared some balls up in the fifth inning, though.
It should be noted that Snyder, who ran for Drew in the bottom of the fourth, took over at third base before the inning. Jose Iglesias shifted to short.
End 4th, Red Sox 5-0: Stephen Drew collected another extra-base hit in the fourth inning. His night is over, though.
Drew drilled a ball off the wall in left-center field with one out. He went hard out of the box and slid in safely with a double, but he grabbed his hamstring after popping up from his slide. Drew left the game, and he was replaced by Brandon Snyder.
The good news for the Red Sox was that they ended up scoring two runs in the inning.
Jose Iglesias singled into right field, which sent Snyder to third base. Iglesias then swiped second base to put two runners into scoring position for Jacoby Ellsbury.
Ellsbury knocked Josh Johnson from the game with a two-run single into center field. Aaron Loup took over for Toronto after Johnson departed.
I’ll pass along the word on Drew’s injury once I hear more, but it definitely looked like a hamstring issue. He immediately grabbed for it after getting to his feet, and he walked off the field rather gingerly.
Drew was seeing the ball very well before leaving the game. He had a two-run triple back in the second inning, and he is now 12-for-33 over his last nine games following the 2-for-2 effort.
Just as a side note, Drew’s fourth-inning double smacked right off the F.W. Webb sign on the Green Monster. For a cool video about the history of billboards on the Monster, be sure to check out BostonFanFavorites.com.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-0: The Red Sox’ middle-of-the-infield combo is typically sure-handed, but a miscue in the fourth inning almost proved costly. Fortunately for the Sox, Allen Webster was up to the challenge of escaping the jam.
Edwin Encarnacion led off with a walk. Two batters later, after Adam Lind struck out, Colby Rasmus hit a grounder to Stephen Drew at short. Drew couldn’t connect with Dustin Pedroia to complete the out at second base, and both Encarnacion and Rasmus were aboard with one down.
Webster — as he’s done all game — battled hard. The righty got both Rajai Davis and J.P. Arencibia to hit the ball on the ground to avoid any damage.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: Mike Napoli hasn’t been hitting with the same power lately, but he took a good approach with two strikes, and it resulted in Boston’s third run.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the third inning with a single into right field. It sounded like Ellsbury cracked his bat, and he dropped the ball just in front of an oncoming Jose Bautista in right field.
Ellsbury moved up to second base with Shane Victorino batting, and Victorino ended up striking out for the second time.
Dustin Pedroia nearly put another dent into the Green Monster with one out, but Rajai Davis made an excellent leaping grab while banging up against the wall. Davis has a tendency to show some flair on plays — even when it isn’t necessary. This particular play was very nice, though.
Josh Johnson couldn’t escape the inning. After intentionally walking David Ortiz, Johnson got ahead of Napoli, but Napoli smacked a two-strike fastball into right field to plate Ellsbury from second base.
The Red Sox almost added another run when Daniel Nava singled into right field. Jose Bautista cut down Ortiz at the plate, though. Ortiz, who tried to score from second, almost snuck his foot in, but home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman called him out.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: Jose Reyes did his best to spark a two-out rally, but Allen Webster showed his swing-and-miss ability against Jose Bautista.
Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio each grounded out to begin the third inning before Reyes connected on a base hit into center field. Reyes then scampered up to second base when Jarrod Saltalamacchia couldn’t find a pitch in the dirt.
Webster buckled down with Reyes on second. The rookie twice failed to put Bautista away after jumping ahead in the count, 0-2, but he came back with a nasty 2-2 slider to finally pick up the strikeout.
End 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Stephen Drew is starting to heat up.
Drew entered Friday’s game having reached safely in seven of his last eight games, going 10-for-31 (.323) in that stretch. He drove in two runs with his third triple this week in the second inning.
David Ortiz popped out behind the second base bag for the first out, but Mike Napoli got the offense going with an eight-pitch walk. After Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out for the second out, Daniel Nava shot an inside fastball into left-center field for a base hit.
Drew came up with two on and two out, and he drilled the second pitch he saw to deep center. Colby Rasmus raced back to the warning track and jumped up near the garage door featuring the Stop & Shop logo, but he couldn’t corral it. Two runs scored and Drew ended up with his sixth triple of the season.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox twice failed to complete a double-play bid. Allen Webster pushed through, though.
Adam Lind began the second inning with a single right back up the middle.
Colby Rasmus offered up the Red Sox’ first double-play opportunity. He grounded to Dustin Pedroia, who tossed to Stephen Drew to complete the first out. Rasmus just beat out Drew’s throw to first to avoid the twin killing.
Rajai Davis, who runs very well, then hit a ground ball to Mike Napoli at first base. Napoli fired to second to get the lead runner, but Rasmus’ good takeout slide led to an errant throw from Drew.
Davis soon swiped second base, marking the outfielder’s 15th theft of the season. Webster escaped the inning by getting J.P. Arencibia to hit a little grounder back to the mound.
End 1st, 0-0: John Farrell already needed to come out for a brief chat with home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman.
Jacoby Ellsbury struck out to begin the game, and the leadoff man wasn’t a fan of Dreckman’s call. It looked as if Ellsbury fouled Josh Johnson’s 2-2 pitch into the catcher’s mitt — which Dreckman ruled — but Ellsbury felt differently. He had a short conversation with Dreckman, which then led to Farrell’s abbreviated chat with the ump.
After Ellsbury’s inning-opening K, Shane Victorino also struck out against Johnson. Johnson went with a fastball to sit down The Flyin’ Hawaiian.
Dustin Pedroia grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Allen Webster cruised through the top three hitters in the Blue Jays’ order.
Webster began the game by striking out Jose Reyes. Reyes took two straight balls, but Webster battled back to even up the count. The rookie then sat down Reyes with a low-and-away changeup in the dirt.
Webster finished the inning by getting both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to fly out.
7:11 p.m.: Allen Webster’s first pitch of the night misses up high for a ball, and we’re underway at Fenway. The temp sits at 77 degrees.
7:03 p.m.: I don’t want to jinx anything, but the weather has turned out alright over at Fenway. Right now, we have clear skies. Keep the fingers crossed.
6:18 p.m.: It was once believed that the Red Sox were reluctant to have Koji Uehara pitch on back-to-back days. It appears that reluctance was a perception more than anything.
Uehara recorded his second save in as many days on Thursday, and he has now pitched on back-to-back days on seven separate occasions this season. John Farrell didn’t rule out using Uehara for a third consecutive day on Friday, saying that he’ll check on the right-hander to see how he’s feeling.
If Uehara is unavailable, Farrell plans to rely on matchups if a save situation arises.
6:11 p.m.: Some positive news came out of John Farrell’s pregame news conference.
Jon Lester, who left Thursday’s game in the eighth inning with a jammed hip after landing awkwardly during a pitch to Toronto’s Emilio Bonifacio, is expected to make his next start as scheduled.
“He came in and checked in as he would after any other start,” Farrell said. “He feels improved, so we’re considering today similar to any other Day 1 following a start. He does get the advantage of an extra day of rest this next time, through. We fully expect him to be on the mound against San Diego next week.”
Lester, who said he felt a “zinging sensation,” admitted after Thursday’s game that he’s had a similar thing happen before. There doesn’t seem to be too much concern, though.
5:58 p.m.: Mike Napoli, who received Thursday off, will be back in the lineup on Friday.
The Red Sox’ lineup is fairly standard. Check out the complete lineups below.
Red Sox (48-33)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Allen Webster, RHP (0-2, 11.25 ERA)
Blue Jays (39-39)
Jose Reyes, SS
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Adam Lind, 1B
Colby Rasmus, CF
Rajai Davis, LF
J.P. Arencibia, C
Maicer Izturis, 3B
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
Josh Johnson, RHP (1-2, 4.60 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Allen Webster is still searching for his first big league win. On Friday, he’ll go up against a Blue Jays team that arrived in Boston with a lot to prove.
The Red Sox took the first game of their four-game set with the Blue Jays on Thursday behind a seven-run offensive explosion in the second inning. The Boston bats were held in check throughout the rest of the evening, but seven runs proved to be more than enough for Jon Lester and Co.
Webster will hope to get similar offensive support on Friday, as Toronto’s lineup is aggressive and extremely dangerous. Webster went up against another potent offense in his last start on Saturday, and he gave up five runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Tigers.
Will Friday mark a big day in Webster’s career? Tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with the NESN.com live blog to find out.