Final (11 innings), Red Sox 4-2: And that’ll do it.
Koji Uehara retires the side in order to wrap up a series-opening win for the Red Sox.
Uehara will go into the books as the pitcher of record, but it was Ryan Dempster who did the bulk of the work tonight. Dempster turned in one of his best outings of the season, allowing a run on four hits and a walk over seven innings of work and keeping the Red Sox within striking distance as Toronto’s Todd Redmond spun a gem of his own.
An elevated pitch count forced Redmond from the game after just 5 1/3 innings, though, and the Red Sox struck immediately against the Blue Jays bullpen.
J.P. Arencibia’s home run in the eighth inning forced extras, but Shane Victorino came through with a two-run single in the top of the 11th that proved to be the game-winner.
These two teams will be back at it Wednesday night, with Jon Lester scheduled to pitch for Boston opposite Josh Johnson.
Thanks for joining me, everyone.
Mid 11th, Red Sox 4-2: It’s do or die now for the Jays, as the Red Sox jump out to a two-run lead in the top of the 11th.
Shane Victorino provided the cushion with a single up the middle, bringing home Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had worked a one-out walk, and Jacoby Ellsbury, who beat out a potential double-play ball to set up the go-ahead base hit.
Koji Uehara will look to shut the door on this series opener against Rajai Davis, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
End 10th, 2-2: The tandem of Craig Breslow and Koji Uehara retired the side in order in the home half of the 10th.
Breslow got the inning started, snaring a J.P. Arencibia line drive himself and striking out Emilio Bonafacio, and Uehara stymied Jose Reyes with an 0-2 splitter to close it out.
Stephen Drew will come to the plate first against new Blue Jays reliever Aaron Loup in the 11th.
Mid 10th, 2-2: David Ortiz came within a foot of putting the Red Sox ahead.
Instead, Ortiz had to settle for a one-out double, as his deep fly ball drilled the wall in right-center field. The two batters that followed were unable to get the ball out of the infield.
Jonny Gomes grounded out sharply to pitcher Casey Janssen — so sharply that pinch runner Brock Holt had to stay at second — and Mike Napoli stared at a fastball right down the middle for strike three.
It was Napoli’s third strikeout of the game, extending his hitless streak to 13 consecutive at-bats.
End 9th, 2-2: Free baseball, Canada edition.
Jose Bautista led off the inning with a single, and he was on second after Edwin Encarnacion grounded out to Will Middlebrooks.
John Farrell then elected to intentionally walk Adam Lind to set up the three-way force.
Brett Lawrie popped out in foul territory, with Mike Napoli ranging back toward the seats to make the catch, and Craig Breslow emerged from the bullpen to face pinch hitter Mark DeRosa.
Breslow hammered DeRosa with inside pitches before blowing a fastball by him. We are headed to the 10th in Toronto.
Mid 9th, 2-2: Nothing doing for the Red Sox, and we head to the bottom of the ninth.
Neil Wagner retired Will Middlebrooks via flyout, completing a perfect four-out performance, before being replaced by 42-year-old Darren Oliver.
Oliver quickly put a bow on the inning, inducing a 4-3 groundout and getting Shane Victorino to pop out to Edwin Encarnacion in foul territory.
End 8th, 2-2: Junichi Tazawa was victimized by the long ball yet again.
J.P. Arencibia, who drove in Toronto’s first run back in the fifth, took Tazawa deep to lead off the eighth, knotting the score at 2-2. It was the eighth home run allowed by Tazawa this season, the most allowed by any Boston reliever.
The next three Blue Jays hitters went down in order, with Mike Napoli ending the inning by narrowly beating Rajai Davis to first after Davis dropped a bunt down the first base line.
Will Middlebrooks and then the top of the order are due up first for the Red Sox in the ninth.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Rajai Davis robbed Stephen Drew of an extra-base hit, allowing Neil Wagner to complete a 1-2-3 inning.
Drew’s fly ball appeared destined to fall into the gap in left-center field, but Davis ranged back and was able to make the grab before slamming into the wall.
It was the only ball in play allowed by Wagner, as the right-hander sat down strikeout artists Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia swinging.
Junichi Tazawa makes the jog from the bullpen, signaling that Ryan Dempster’s night is now done. Dempster retires after allowing four hits, one run and one walk over seven innings, striking out three.
End 7th, Red Sox 2-1: This has been Ryan Dempster’s best outing in months.
Dempster retired the side in order on 10 pitches in the seventh, and with just 88 pitches on the night, he should be good to return for the eighth if John Farrell so chooses.
The last time Dempster allowed just one run through seven innings came against Tampa Bay way back on April 15.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-1: In 5 1/3 innings against Blue Jays starter Todd Redmond, five Red Sox batters reached base. They have surpassed that already in 1 2/3 innings against the Toronto bullpen.
Four men reached for the Sox in the seventh as the visitors plated a pair of runs to take their first lead of the night.
After striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to open the inning, Brett Cecil was lifted in favor of right-hander Sergio Santos.
It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to get to Santos. Will Middlebrooks doubled on the second pitch he saw, and Jacoby Ellsbury followed with an RBI single that knotted the score at one.
Redmond cannot be a very happy camper in the clubhouse right now.
Ellsbury then stole second without a throw and raced to third on a Shane Victorino groundout to short, putting him in position to trot home when Dustin Pedroia’s ground ball slipped under the glove of Maicer Izturis.
Pedroia followed up his base hit by stealing second base, prompting Blue Jays manager John Gibbons to intentionally walk David Ortiz, but Santos got Jonny Gomes to strike out on a checked swing to end the inning.
End 6th, Blue Jays 1-0: Jose Reyes is fast, but he’s not that fast.
The Blue Jays shortstop tried to score from second on Edwin Encarnacion’s single to right field but was thrown out by Shane Victorino, whose throw beat Reyes to the plate by about 20 feet.
The out at home ended the inning and spoiled a chance for Toronto to add to its slim lead.
Reyes opened the inning with a walk and advanced to second when Rajai Davis grounded out to the mound. Jose Bautista then struck out swinging before Encarnacion’s inning-ending single.
Mid 6th, Blue Jays 1-0: Brett Cecil avoided securing a spot in Todd Redmond’s doghouse, escaping a bases-loaded, one-out situation with Toronto’s shutout intact.
Cecil took over for Redmond with one out in the sixth and a man on first, and he promptly allowed a single to David Ortiz and walked pinch hitter Jonny Gomes.
That’s as far as any of the runners would advance, though. Mike Napoli, still mired in an absolutely brutal slump, struck out looking for the second out, and Stephen Drew flied out to center to end the inning and squander the scoring chance.
It was the 156th strikeout of the season for Napoli, whose .247 batting average is lowest among Boston’s full-time starters.
Top 6th, Blue Jays 1-0: After 5 1/3 innings of three-hit ball, Todd Redmond’s night is done.
Redmond’s pitch count sat at 94 — especially high for someone with fewer than 10 career starts — when Toronto manager John Gibbons lifted him in favor of Brett Cecil with one out in the sixth.
Though Redmond’s pitch count escalated early, the 28-year-old was stellar tonight. He allowed just three hits, one walk and one hit-by-pitch (Shane Victorino to lead off the sixth) through 5 1/3 scoreless frames, striking out four.
Cecil will take over with Victorino at first and David Ortiz coming to the plate.
End 5th, Blue Jays 1-0: The Blue Jays are on the board.
Brett Lawrie doubled with one out — his second hit of the night — and J.P. Arencibia snapped an 0-for-23 streak with a single up the middle to bring home the game’s first run.
The two hits were sandwiched around a flyout to right field by Maicer Izturis, which allowed Lawrie to tag up and advance to third and easily score on Arencibia’s base hit.
Ryan Dempster struck out Emilio Bonafacio to end the inning. Todd Redmond will now have the chance to work with a lead for the first time tonight.
Mid 5th, 0-0: It took about an hour and eight minutes to complete the first half of this game. That’s what will happen when both pitchers are nearly untouchable, as Ryan Dempster and Todd Redmond have been tonight.
Redmond allowed his second extra-base hit of the night in the fifth, a Jarrod Saltalamacchia double to the wall in right field, but he was otherwise perfect, retiring Stephen Drew, Will Middlebrooks and Jacoby Ellsbury with nine total pitches.
The Red Sox will almost certainly get a shot against the Toronto bullpen soon, though, as Redmond has already thrown 86 pitches. Dempster, on the other hand, has been much more economical, tossing just 44 pitches through four innings.
End 4th, 0-0: Three up, three down again for Ryan Dempster.
Dempster retired the side in order in the fourth, striking out Rajai Davis, getting Jose Bautista to pop out behind the plate and inducing an inning-ending groundout off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion.
Encarnacion almost reached when Will Middlebrooks’ throw from third went wild, but Mike Napoli was able to corral it and swipe the runner with a tag.
Through four innings, Dempster has allowed just one hit.
Mid 4th, 0-0: A Daniel Nava single snapped Todd Redmond’s streak of consecutive batters retired at nine, but the Red Sox were still unable to push a run across.
Redmond retired Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz before allowing Nava’s base hit and then got Mike Napoli to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.
End 3rd, 0-0: With the potency of these two offenses, we were not expecting a pitching duel tonight. That’s exactly what we’re getting thus far, though, as Ryan Dempster and Todd Redmond continue to mow down hitters.
Dempster completed his second 1-2-3 inning of the night in the third, getting J.P. Arencibia and Emilio Bonafacio to ground out and leadoff man Jose Reyes to line out to Will Middlebrooks at third.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Todd Redmond is putting together quite the outing so far.
The right-hander retired the side in order for the second consecutive inning, tossing in a pair of strikeouts for good measure.
Redmond opened the frame by punching out Will Middlebrooks and Jacoby Ellsbury before getting Shane Victorino to pop out harmlessly to third base.
One thing that could doom Redmond tonight is his pitch count, though. He has already thrown 61 pitches through three innings, while Ryan Dempster has tossed just 20 through two.
End 2nd, 0-0: The Blue Jays put a pair of runners on with one out, but a well-timed double play wiped them away and completed another scoreless inning for Ryan Dempster.
Edwin Encarnacion walked to open the frame. After Adam Lind flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury in deep center field, Brett Lawrie smoked a sharp grounder down the third base line that Will Middlebrooks was unable to handle. Middlebrooks got his glove on the ball, but it squirted away and into foul territory, allowing Lawrie to reach with ease.
The Jays would send just one more batter to the plate, though, as Maicer Izturis grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to keep this one scoreless.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox follow the Blue Jays’ brisk 1-2-3 inning with one of their own.
Todd Redmond did have to work a bit after Mike Napoli’s leadoff popup, though. Stephen Drew fouled off a pair of sinkers before staring at one over the plate for strike three — the seventh pitch of the at-bat — and Jarrod Saltalamacchia saw eight pitches before flying out to right field for the third out.
Cleanup hitter Edwin Encarnacion will be the first to face Ryan Dempster in the home half of the inning.
End 1st, 0-0: Ryan Dempster made quick work of the Jays in the first, retiring the side in order.
Dempster struck out Jose Reyes on three pitches before getting Rajai Davis to fly out to center field and Jose Bautista to pop out to Mike Napoli near the mound.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox put a pair of runners on in the first but could not push a run across against Todd Redmond.
After Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino both grounded out to start the game, Dustin Pedroia kept the inning alive with a standup double down the right field line.
David Ortiz then looked at a full-count sinker just out of the zone to draw a walk, but Redmond got Daniel Nava to fly out to Emilio Bonafacio in center field to leave the runners stranded.
Jose Reyes will be the first Jays batter to greet Sox starter Ryan Dempster in the bottom of the first.
Dempster has been the beneficiary of some tremendous run support lately, with the Red Sox averaging 7.6 runs per game over his eight starts. He may need it again tonight, as scoring runs is about the only thing Toronto does well this season. Though their pitching staff is among the worst in baseball, posting a 4.45 team ERA that ranks 29th in the majors, the Blue Jays enter tonight ranked sixth in runs scored.
7:07 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury takes ball one outside from Todd Redmond, and we are underway from the venue formerly known as the SkyDome.
Redmond was sent down to Triple-A Buffalo following his last start on Aug. 2, but he did not see the mound for the Bisons before being promoted back to Toronto. Expect the Red Sox to feel out the 28-year-old in the early innings tonight, as no Boston batter has ever stepped into the box against him.
5:50 p.m.: Will Middlebrooks will make his third straight start tonight since being promoted from Triple-A, and he’ll do so in a ballpark he turned into his own personal batting cage back in April.
On April 7, in Boston’s sixth game of the season, Middlebrooks torched the Blue Jays, going 4-for-5 with three home runs, a double and four runs scored. Unfortunately, that breakout performance triggered a vicious downward slide for the third baseman, and he went 16 games before his next multihit effort.
After seeing his playing time cut drastically and then spending more than a month in Pawtucket, Middlebrooks is back in the bigs and looking to prove that April, May and June were not indicative of his ability at the plate. He’s been solid thus far, going 3-for-7 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored in two games since his call-up.
Middlebrooks will hit ninth for the Red Sox tonight. Check out the full starting lineups for both teams below.
Boston Red Sox (71-49)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Ryan Dempster, RHP
Toronto Blue Jays (54-64)
Jose Reyes, SS
Rajai Davis, LF
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
Adam Lind, DH
Brett Lawrie, 3B
Maicer Izturis, 2B
J.P. Arencibia, C
Emilio Bonifacio, CF
Todd Redmond, RHP
4:15 p.m. ET: After a 13-game stretch against foes from the AL West, NL West and AL Central, the Red Sox finally get back to the business of divisional play Tuesday night.
The Sox open a three-game set in Toronto against a struggling Blue Jays team that has dropped four of its last five games.
On the hill for the Jays will be Todd Redmond, a 28-year-old right-hander with just six major league starts under his belt. Redmond (1-1, 4.22 ERA) was roughed up in his last outing, allowing three runs on seven hits against the Angels before being lifted after just 3 2/3 innings.
Boston, which retained a hold on first place in the division despite dropping three of four in Kansas City over the weekend, will counter with Ryan Dempster (6-8, 4.67 ERA). Dempster has been far from a lights-out starter this season, but the Red Sox have had tremendous success with him on the mound of late. The veteran righty has not lost since June 19, and the club has won seven of his last eight starts, including five in a row.
A return to the AL East also means a return to standard start times. First pitch from Rogers Centre is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET.