Final, Blue Jays 6-2: Mike Carp — pinch-hitting for Jonathan Diaz — walked with two outs, but Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play to end the ballgame.
The Red Sox certainly had a chance in this one, as Shane Victorino tied the score 2-2 in the seventh inning with a two-run single. Jose Bautista proved to be too much, though.
Bautista slugged his second home run of the game in the eighth inning to help recapture the lead, and Toronto tacked on two more runs in the ninth inning en route to a 6-2 win.
Junichi Tazawa, who surrendered the eighth-inning blast to Bautista, suffered the loss. He’s had some struggles against the Blue Jays this season.
The top of the Boston order was very productive, as Jacoby Ellsbury, Victorino and Dustin Pedroia each had two hits. But Mike Napoli’s struggles continued. He went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays will close out their four-game series on Sunday. Ryan Dempster will go up against Mark Buehrle, and the game is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Blue Jays 6-2: The Red Sox’ deficit just doubled, thanks to some sloppy defense.
J.P. Arencibia hit a ground ball to first base with one out. Mike Napoli ranged over behind the bag, but the ball slipped past him and down the right field line. Arencibia ended up on second base.
The fun — or lackthereof — was just beginning, though.
Two batters later, Jose Reyes drilled a single down the third-base line. The ball bounced off the wall and into left field while Arencibia came around with Toronto’s fifth run.
Jose Bautista, who has two home runs in this game, then labeled a sharply hit grounder to Jonathan Diaz at third. Diaz couldn’t handle the hot shot, and it rolled all the way into the left field corner. Reyes scored all the way from first base.
Both runs were unearned.
End 8th, Blue Jays 4-2: Steve Delabar was on the mound for Shane Victorino’s (at the time) game-tying single in the seventh inning. He pitched with a purpose in the eighth.
Delabar struck out Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Napoli and Saltalamacchia went down swinging, while Nava went down looking at a fastball.
Napoli is now donning the Golden Sombrero. He has struck out four times in this game. Nava and Salty have each struck out twice.
Craig Breslow will pitch the ninth inning for the Red Sox. Jose Iglesias, Jonathan Diaz and Jacoby Ellsbury are the scheduled Boston hitters in the bottom half.
Mid 8th, Blue Jays 4-2: The tie score didn’t last very long. And there’s no debating this game’s star.
Jose Bautista followed up Jose Reyes’ leadoff single with another mammoth home run. This one, which came off Junichi Tazawa, landed near the light tower over the Green Monster in left-center field.
Bautista, who also homered in the sixth inning, now has 18 long balls this season. This marks Bautista’s fourth multi-homer game this season and the 21st of his career.
Adam Lind also tripled in the eighth, but Tazawa hung him up at third base.
End 7th, 2-2: Shane Victorino was thrown out at the plate in the sixth inning. He delivered the big hit in the seventh.
Jacoby Ellsbury greeted the new pitcher, Steve Delabar, with a single into left field. That loaded the bases for Victorino, who made the opportunity count.
Victorino slapped a 1-0 fastball into left-center field to score Jose Iglesias and Jonathan Diaz with Boston’s first and second runs, respectively.
The Red Sox had a chance to grab the lead, but Dustin Pedroia flied out to right field and David Ortiz struck out.
Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
6:22 p.m., Blue Jays 2-0: The Red Sox just had another runner cut down at the plate. And it happened on a squeeze play.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to lead off the inning, and Jose Iglesias bunted for a hit. Iglesias pushed a bunt toward second base, and Maicer Izturis attempted to quickly flip it to first. His flip was off the mark, though, and Iglesias reached while Saltalamacchia scampered all the way to third base.
John Farrell then called for the safety squeeze with Jonathan Diaz at the plate. Diaz’s bunt bid dribbled out in front of the mound. Darren Oliver charged in to make the play before tossing home to nail Salty for the first out.
The Blue Jays are now making a pitching change. Steve Delabar is coming in with runners at first and second and one out.
Mid 7th, Blue Jays 2-0: Rajai Davis just keeps on running.
Davis led off the seventh inning with a walk, and he later stole second base. That gives him two steals in the game, and he now has 18 for the season.
Before Davis swiped second base with one out, Alex Wilson took over for Felix Doubront.
Doubront retired the last batter he faced, Colby Rasmus, on a flyout to right field, and Wilson took care of the two batters he faced in the seventh.
Shane Victorino made a nice sliding grab in the inning when J.P. Arencibia lifted a fly ball into shallow right field.
The ageless Darren Oliver is coming on to pitch the seventh inning for Toronto.
Doubront surrendered two earned runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three while throwing 103 pitches (63 strikes). The left-hander pitched well for the most part. He simply hasn’t gotten any run support.
End 6th, Blue Jays 2-0: The sixth inning belonged to Jose Bautista.
Bautista smashed a solo homer to extend Toronto’s lead in the top of the inning. He threw out Shane Victorino at the plate with an absolute rocket in the bottom of the inning.
Victorino started the frame with a double. He hit a line drive that deflected off first baseman Adam Lind’s glove and into right field. Had it not been for the deflection, Victorino probably would have had just a single.
Dustin Pedroia then tried to put the Red Sox on the scoreboard with a base hit into right field, but Bautista fielded it on the run and chucked a missile to home plate. Bautista’s throw traveled all the way in the air.
Catcher J.P. Arencibia also deserves a ton of credit. Victorino collided with the Blue Jays catcher, but Arencibia, who did an excellent job of blocking the plate, held on to complete the out.
David Ortiz tried to restart Boston’s rally with a single, but Esmil Rogers struck out both Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava to escape the inning unscathed. Napoli has struck out three times in this game.
Mid 6th, Blue Jays 2-0: Some cars across the street from Fenway might need a touch-up after this game.
Jose Bautista absolutely crushed a solo home run over the Green Monster in left field. It landed in the parking lot across the street, perhaps dinging a few cars in the process.
Bautista’s home run was his 17th of the season.
Felix Doubront retired the next three hitters, but the Red Sox really need to get the bats going, especially if Bautista is going to start launching moonshots.
End 5th, Blue Jays 1-0: Jonathan Diaz just saw big-league defense at its finest.
Diaz, who is making his major league debut, nearly had his first career hit. And it would have been a big one, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Instead, Diaz was absolutely robbed.
Colby Rasmus made a fantastic diving grab on Diaz’s sinking line drive into left-center field. Rasmus completely outstretched for it.
Diaz’s lineout was the second out of the inning. Jacoby Ellsbury stranded Salty at second base by flying out to left field.
Mid 5th, Blue Jays 1-0: Felix Doubront has pitched well.
Colby Rasmus provided Toronto’s only hit of the fifth inning, and it was a broken-bat blooper that dropped into left-center field over Jose Iglesias’ head. Aside from that, Doubront was in control.
Doubront struck out J.P. Arencibia and Maicer Izturis after Rasmus’ leadoff single. Arencibia went down swinging on a changeup in the dirt, and Izturis didn’t offer at a fastball that painted the outside corner.
Jose Reyes hit a slow grounder to Dustin Pedroia to end the inning.
End 4th, Blue Jays 1-0: Dustin Pedroia hammered a leadoff double in the fourth inning. But oh, what could have been.
Pedroia’s line drive smashed high off the Green Monster. It was probably three or four feet from the top of the wall, and it was hit so hard that it might have gone out in most other ballparks.
As fate would have it, Pedroia never came around to score.
David Ortiz hit a little check-swing grounder to third for the first out, and Mike Napoli struck out looking for the second out. Napoli has struck out twice in this game, and Esmil Rogers now has four strikeouts total.
Daniel Nava grounded harmlessly back to the mound to leave Pedroia at second as the frame ended.
Mid 4th, Blue Jays 1-0: Rajai Davis has been running all over the place in this series. He got a little greedy in the fourth inning.
Adam Lind, who drove in Toronto’s first run, reached base to start the inning. He smoked a ball that deflected off Felix Doubront’s glove.
Doubront quickly bounced back to induce a big double play. Mark DeRosa grounded to Dustin Pedroia, who started up the twin killing. Jose Iglesias deserves a lot of the credit, though. He made a quick turn and fired an absolute missile to first.
Davis, who stole his 17th base of the season and third base of the series in the second inning, walked, and once again had running on his mind. Davis started for second, stopped and started again, at which point Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw him out to end the inning.
End 3rd, Blue Jays 1-0: Jacoby Ellsbury looked to get something going with a two-out infield single, but Esmil Rogers kept rolling along.
Jose Iglesias grounded out to his counterpart at short for the first out.
Jonathan Diaz, who arrived at Fenway just before game time, then dug in for his first career major league at-bat. He went up hacking. The 28-year-old swung at the first pitch and popped it up into foul territory along the first base line for the second out.
Ellsbury reached on a ground ball to Maicer Izturis, who is playing second base in this contest. Izturis made a play, but Adam Lind couldn’t scoop Izturis’ rushed throw out of the dirt.
Shane Victorino grounded back to the mound to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, Blue Jays 1-0: Felix Doubront put together a nice, quick inning in the third.
Doubront faced the top of the Blue Jays’ order for the second time, and this time around, he kept Toronto off the scoreboard.
Jose Reyes popped out to Mike Napoli in foul territory along the first base line for the first out.
Jose Bautista, who started the Jays’ first-inning offense with a single and stolen base, then grounded out to Dustin Pedroia at second base for the second out.
Edwin Encarnacion, who scored Toronto’s first run, lined out to Pedroia to end the inning.
End 2nd, Blue Jays 1-0: Esmil Rogers’ stuff has been sharp so far.
Rogers issued a two-out walk to Daniel Nava, but that was the only blemish during an inning in which Rogers struck out two.
Mike Napoli got ahead in the count, 3-0, with one out, but Rogers battled back to even it up. Rogers struck out Napoli swinging with a slider located low and away.
Following Nava’s walk, Rogers struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia on three pitches. Salty also went down swinging at a slider.
Mid 2nd, Blue Jays 1-0: Felix Doubront found himself in some early trouble in the second inning, but he responded perfectly.
Rajai Davis kicked off the inning with a double off the Green Monster. The speedy outfielder wasn’t garnering much of Doubront’s attention, though, so he swiped third base. Davis stole two bases on Friday night as well, and he now has 17 thefts this season.
Doubront responded by striking out the next two hitters he faced. The lefty froze Colby Rasmus with a 2-2 offspeed pitch on the outside corner, and he went upstairs with a fastball to get J.P. Arencibia to chase.
Maicer Izturis ended the inning — which once seemed so promising for Toronto — by grounding out to Jose Iglesias at short.
End 1st, Blue Jays 1-0: Esmil Rogers enjoyed a 1-2-3 first inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury bounced to short to lead off the inning, and Shane Victorino grounded down to first base for the second out.
Dustin Pedroia ended the inning with a strikeout, and he chased a few bad pitches in the process. Rogers ended up putting Pedroia away with a 2-2 slider that was away and in the dirt. Pedroia tried to hold up, but he couldn’t.
Mid 1st, Blue Jays 1-0: The Blue Jays have their first lead of the series.
Jose Reyes started the game by going right at Jonathan Diaz, who is making his major league debut. Reyes chopped a ground ball down the third base line, and Diaz made a backhanded play before firing to first for the out.
Jose Bautista then walked on four pitches, and stole second base on Felix Doubront’s first pitch to Edwin Encarnacion.
Bautista got hung up between second base and third base when Encarnacion drilled a comebacker that Doubront snagged. Bautista got into a brief rundown, but he was eventually tagged out while Encarnacion took second.
Adam Lind put Toronto on the scoreboard by shooting an opposite-field single into left field.
4:09 p.m.: Felix Doubront’s first pitch is up high for a ball. We’re sizzling at sunny Fenway.
3:52 p.m.: It has turned out to be a beautiful day at Fenway Park.
Most of Boston’s day games have been beautiful for Red Sox fans this season. The Sox lead the majors with a 16-8 record in day games.
Another day-game sidenote: Dustin Pedroia (.376) and David Ortiz (.365) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the American League when it comes to day-game average this season.
3:40 p.m.: Clay Buchholz has been injured and Jon Lester has endured struggles of late, yet the Red Sox find themselves with a season-high, 3 1/2-game division lead.
A big reason for Boston’s success has obviously been the offense, and it’s been really good of late. Entering Saturday’s game, the Red Sox are hitting an ML-best .300 in the month of June. The last time Boston hit at least .300 in a month was May 2006, when the Sox batted .306.
2:15 p.m.: Saturday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (49-33)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jose Iglesias, SS
Jonathan Diaz, 3B
Felix Doubront, LHP (4-3, 4.33 ERA)
Blue Jays (39-40)
Jose Reyes, SS
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Adam Lind, 1B
Mark DeRosa, 3B
Rajai Davis, LF
Colby Rasmus, CF
J.P. Arencibia, C
Maicer Izturis, 2B
Esmil Rogers, RHP (3-3, 3.46 ERA)
1:58 p.m.: John Farrell announced that the Red Sox have made a roster move.
Reliever Clayton Mortensen has been designated for assignment, and infielder Jonathan Diaz has been called up. The Red Sox needed an infielder because Stephen Drew left Friday’s game with hamstring tightness after legging out a double in the fourth inning.
Farrell is hopeful that Drew’s injury won’t require a disabled list stint. The shortstop walked on a treadmill Saturday, and his status has slightly improved, according to the skipper.
Diaz, who was drafted in the 12th round by the Blue Jays in 2006, will be making his major league debut Saturday. The 28-year-old will play third base and bat ninth.
The decision to designate Mortensen for assignment was a matter of circumstance, and it was also based on the pitcher’s performance this season. The right-hander has struggled in a long relief role, going 1-2 with a 5.34 ERA in 30 1/3 innings over 24 appearances.
Farrell said that Craig Breslow and Alex Wilson are available to go multiple innings on Saturday if necessary. He also said that the Red Sox would like to stay away from using Koji Uehara for a fourth consecutive day.
8 a.m. ET: The Blue Jays were the hottest team in baseball before kicking off their four-game set with the Red Sox. Boston is really flexing its muscle, though.
The Red Sox have taken the first two games of the series — guaranteeing at least a split — and they’ve won four in a row to kick off their nine-game homestand. Felix Doubront will take the ball as the Sox go for their fifth straight on Saturday.
Doubront has really improved recently. He struggled out of the gate, which had some fans calling for his removal from the rotation, but he has started to settle in over his last few starts, even though he hasn’t recorded a win since June 1. Doubront enters Saturday’s outing on the heels of three straight no-decisions — one of which involved him allowing just three hits over eight shutout innings before Andrew Bailey blew a save in the ninth inning against the Rays on June 18.
Doubront will go up against Esmil Rogers in late-afternoon baseball. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m., so be sure to tune in on NESN and keep it right here. Make a Saturday of it!