Final, Blue Jays win 6-4: The Red Sox lost this game by squandering a lot of opportunities. Casey Janssen wasn’t going to reciprocate.
Given a chance to close out the Sox, Janssen made quick work of Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Shane Victorino for his seventh save, giving the Blue Jays (53-49) their second straight win over the Red Sox (47-54).
R.A. Dickey earned the victory, while Clay Buchholz was saddled with the loss. Toronto’s Jose Bautista and Boston’s David Ortiz each homered.
End 8th, Blue Jays 6-4: Craig Breslow didn’t give up a dinger on the first pitch he threw, so there’s that. He did give up a leadoff single to Thole, though, but that didn’t come until pitch No. 6.
Breslow did make a nice play to wipe out Thole at second base on a sac bunt attempt by Goins, then got some help from his defense in an unconventional 4-3-6 double play to force out Gose at first, then nab Goins advancing to second on a tag by Drew.
The Jays will give the ball to Casey Janssen to try to close it out.
Mid 8th, Blue Jays 6-4: Figuring out this Sanchez kid seems to be pretty tricky for the Red Sox.
Nava did not agree with a called strike three (following Napoli’s clear displeasure with a couple of corner pitches last inning), and Bogaerts rolled a hard groundout to shortstop. Drew got caught looking, too, making Sanchez a perfect 3-for-3 in his first two innings of big-league work.
End 7th, Blue Jays 6-4: It was not Andrew Miller’s big-league debut. It did not go as well, either.
Miller’s arrival into the game was not nearly as smooth as Sanchez’s, with Bautista jumping on a first-pitch fastball for a solo home run. Navarro, Rasmus and Kawasaki went down without much trouble.
Mid 7th, Blue Jays 5-4: Aaron Sanchez, a 22-year-old right-hander from California, came on in relief to make his major-league debut, and it got off to a good start. Sanchez got Pedroia to lift one lightly to center for an out.
Ortiz and Napoli also flied out — just with a little more gusto — to provide Sanchez with a nice story about the way he began his career.
End 6th, Blue Jays 5-4: Just like that, the Jays get the run back — and more.
After a leadoff lineout by Kawasaki, Thole took a walk, reaching base for the third time in the game. He came around to score on a triple by Goins to lock the score at 4-4.
Gose, still smarting from being thrown out at third, went down swinging in a seven-pitch at-bat, and the Sox had a shot to get out of the inning giving up only the one run when Reyes grounded to third. But Bogaerts’ throw was in the dirt, allowing Goins to score. Cabrera chopped into a fielder’s choice to retire the Jays, but the damage was done.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-3: Dickey is such a copycat. Buchholz got hit by a comebacker; Dickey got hit by a comebacker. Buchholz get a 1-2-3 inning, Dickey got a 1-2-3 inning.
Way to be original, R.A.
End 5th, Red Sox 4-3: Nice and quick, Buchholz set down Bautista, Navarro and Rasmus, the meat of Toronto’s order, to protect the lead and send us on to the sixth.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-3: Just when it looked like Dickey was settling in, the Red Sox struck.
Dickey struck out Ortiz and worked a groundout from Napoli for two quick outs, though Nava clocked a hanging knuckler to right for a ground-rule double.
This time, Bogaerts came through. He stung a double down the left-field line to score Nava. Drew followed with a flyout to center, but the Red Sox have the lead.
End 4th, game tied 3-3: Anthony Gose, baseball magnet, was plunked again, and stole second again. We’re beginning to detect a theme.
Gose got a little (read: a lot) cocky, though, when he tried to take third, too, after Reyes popped out. Vazquez gunned him down easily, then Cabrera grounded out weakly to first.
Mid 4th, game tied 3-3: The Red Sox appeared to get something going offensively in the fourth, but the opportunity was wasted.
After an eight-pitch at-bat, Drew finally took a walk, then dashed to third on a wild throw to first base by Kawasaki on a Vazquez grounder. But with runners on second and third with none out, Bradley and Victorino both swung through high knuckleballs for strike threes, then Pedroia hit a chopper to second to end the threat.
End 3rd, game tied 3-3: After getting three runs in the first inning, the Blue Jays went to small ball to try to get the go-ahead run in the third.
It didn’t work out.
Kawasaki bunted over Rasmus, who led off with a single, and Thole walked. But Goins grounded into a double play to end the frame.
Mid 3rd, game tied 3-3: These pitchers just don’t know the meaning of an easy inning tonight. After inducing pop-ups by Pedroia and Ortiz for two quick outs, Dickey gave up back-to-back singles to Napoli and Nava to put runners on the corners for Bogaerts.
The rook was not able to cash in, though, hitting into a force play at second base.
End 2nd, game tied 3-3: Nobody took a ball to the face, but the bottom of the second inning still had its drama.
Anthony Gose took his base after getting plunked on the right foot, then stole second on an inattentive Buchholz. Reyes walked before Cabrera flied out to left for Toronto’s first out of the frame. Buchholz then retired the side on a flyout by Bautista and a groundout by Navarro.
Mid 2nd, game tied 3-3: The pitcher’s mound is a dangerous place to be at Rogers Centre tonight.
Dickey was the victim this time, taking a liner by Christian Vazquez off the back. Dickey stayed in the game, too, and immediately induced a double play grounder from Jackie Bradley Jr.
Victorino lined out to third base to end the Red Sox’s half of the second.
End 1st, game tied 3-3: Buchholz and the Red Sox got roughed up a bit, but they avoided the biggest scare of all.
After giving up two runs and getting two outs, Buchholz appeared to get hit in the chin by a comebacker by Munenori Kawasaki. Buchholz stayed in the game, but not after a lengthy look by the Red Sox staff.
The first three Toronto batters reached base, with Jose Reyes grounding a leadoff single up the middle, Melky Cabrera taking a walk and Jose Bautista ripping an RBI double down the left-field line.
The Sox wiped out Cabrera at home on a grounder by Dioner Navarro. Bautista scored on a groundout by Colby Rasmus into Boston’s extreme shift before Kawasaki’s scary single. But the Jays weren’t done. Josh Thole rapped a ground-rule double to left-center, scoring Navarro, to knot up the score.
Buchholz finally escaped the inning — both figuratively and literally — by forcing Ryan Goins to ground out to Napoli.
And about that Ortiz long ball:
434 feet on ortiz homer—
Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 23, 2014
Yeah. For those keeping score at home, that makes Ortiz the new all-time leader for home runs at Rogers Centre as a visiting player.
Seems like a long time ago now, though.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 3-0: Josh Thole deserves a ton of credit for trying to “frame” a neck-high knuckleball from Dickey to David Ortiz, but home plate umpire Gabe Morales wasn’t buying it.
Nor was Ortiz fooled later in the at-bat when he crushed a Dickey offering to right field for a three-run home run.
Right off the bat, Shane Victorino and the slumping Dustin Pedroia led off the game with singles. Ortiz followed with his dinger, presenting the possibility of a big inning for the Red Sox. But Dickey regrouped to strike out Mike Napoli and g0t Daniel Nava to ground out.
Xander Bogaerts plopped a two-strike single into center, but Stephen Drew ended the inning with a flyout to right.
6:42 p.m.: As you might have heard, David Ortiz is tied with Alex Rodriguez for the most home runs ever at Rogers Center (previously known as SkyDome), and has clubbed more dingers there than at any park other than Fenway.
Ortiz isn’t alone in doing some yard work lately.
The Red Sox have hit 12 big flies in the last seven games, their longest games streak with at least one homer this season. The Red Sox would love to get another long ball (or two) for Buchholz after failing to support starter Jake Peavy last night.
4:45 p.m. ET: That infamous laggard, Brock Holt, is out of the lineup again Wednesday. It’s the second time in more than two months he’s gotten the day off. Must be nice.
In all seriousness, Holt certainly wasn’t going to complain about so much playing time, but fatigue might have been a factor in his 0-for-4 performance Tuesday. With Holt out, Shane Victorino takes over in the leadoff spot, hoping to help the Boston Red Sox (47-53) get back on track after Tuesday’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays (52-49).
Clay Buchholz (5-5, 5.46 ERA) takes the hill for the Red Sox against Toronto’s R.A. Dickey (7-10, 3.95). Check out both teams’ full lineups here.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m.