You can’t win ‘em all. You can’t lose ‘em all, either.
The Boston Red Sox snapped their eight-game losing streak Monday with a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Sox blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning but prevailed in 10 frames after Yoenis Cespedes knocked in Brock Holt with a two-out, two-strike RBI single.
There were several positives to come from Monday’s series-opening win. Let’s assess the good and the bad.
– Buchholz pitched very well before running into trouble in the ninth inning.
Buchholz allowed just two hits over the first eight innings. He surrendered back-to-back singles and issued a walk with one out in the ninth, though, and ultimately was charged with three runs over 8 1/3 innings because Koji Uehara allowed all three inherited runners to score.
Buchholz, who certainly pitched well enough to win, struck out four. He threw 103 pitches (64 strikes).
– Uehara has really hit a rough patch.
The All-Star closer’s ERA has risen almost a full run — 1.27 to 2.25 — over his last four appearances. His stuff simply hasn’t been as sharp.
“Maybe not as consistent finish to his stuff, whether it’s the life to his fastball or the depth to his split — more the later action of both pitches,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “When he’s been on the plate, that’s when he hasn’t been able to maybe get away with a pitch that’s been slightly mislocated.”
It’s reasonable to wonder whether fatigue could be settling in, though the 39-year-old downplayed such a notion after his latest implosion. Farrell said the Red Sox haven’t yet considered shutting down Uehara.
– Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia both went deep as part of a three-run fifth inning.
Betts, whose homer was crushed to left field, also worked a walk and stole a base.
– The Red Sox had an awesome night defensively.
Brock Holt made a diving play in the second inning, Pedroia made a diving stop in the third inning to save a run and Will Middlebrooks kicked off an impressive inning-ending double play in the seventh with a nice pick down at the hot corner.
– Holt and Pedroia collided while pursuing a grounder in the ninth inning. Holt was a bit shaken up but stayed in the game.
“Little cuckoo. I’ve got some birds flying around the head,” Holt told NESN’s Gary Striewski after the game. “The little guy packs a mean punch, so my ear feels like it’s this big. But I’ll be all right.”
– Holt made a huge impact in the 10th inning.
Boston’s versatile utilityman led off the inning with a single. He then swiped second base and third base to set the table for Cespedes’ go-ahead RBI single.
– Cespedes’ clutch hit was muscled into center field.
Aaron Sanchez, who was throwing gas, actually fooled Cespedes with a 1-2 curveball, but the powerful slugger managed to stay back long enough. He shortened his swing — barely even striding — and drilled a line drive.
Cespedes is hitting .409 (9-for-22) with a home run, three doubles and seven RBIs over his last seven games. He has 19 RBIs in 22 games since being acquired by the Red Sox.
– Craig Breslow worked a scoreless bottom of the 10th to earn his first save since 2010. Breslow was with the Oakland Athletics at the time.