Whatever the Toronto Blue Jays said in their pregame meeting Saturday, it worked.
The Blue Jays looked like a different team than the one that got blown out Friday, keeping the Boston Red Sox’s bats quiet to hand the visitors a 3-2 loss at Rogers Centre.
Eduardo Rodriguez pitched well but took the loss, as the Blue Jays evened the teams’ series at one apiece and moved to one game behind Boston in the American League East standings.
Here’s how this one went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Blue Jays scored three runs for the second consecutive game, but this time, it held up. Toronto was much more crisp on the mound and in the field, allowing the team to hold on after building a 3-0 lead.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Roberto Osuna closed the door on the Sox in the ninth.
The Blue Jays closer allowed a leadoff walk to Hanley Ramirez, but Boston couldn’t bring him home, as Osuna retired the next three batters he faced.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez struggled a bit early on but rebounded nicely in what was a solid outing overall.
The left-hander’s big blemish came in the second inning on a two-run homer to Melvin Upton Jr. The Blue Jays tacked on another run in the third thanks to an Aaron Hill error and a Jose Bautista bloop hit, but Rodriguez retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced after Bautista.
Rodriguez pitched six complete innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out five and walking one.
— Matt Barnes allowed two hits in a shaky seventh inning but retired Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion on a pair of hard-hit balls to escape unscathed.
— Joe Kelly issued one walk and struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox couldn’t touch J.A. Happ early on, as the Jays starter took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Chris Young broke the ice with a one-out single.
— Dustin Pedroia finally put Boston on the board in the sixth with a solo home run, his 13th of the season.
— Ramirez and Hill chased Happ with back-to-back hits in the seventh, and Jackie Bradley Jr. brought home Ramirez with a sacrifice fly to cut the score to 3-2.
— Travis Shaw pinch hit for Ryan Hanigan with a runner on in the seventh but struck out to end the inning. Bryan Holaday replaced Shaw and entered the game at catcher.
— Ramirez was the Red Sox’s most productive hitter, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Boston mustered just four hits after tallying 18 hits Friday night.
— The most dangerous part of the Red Sox’s lineup was quite tame, as Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz and Mookie Betts went a combined 0-for-11.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Manager John Farrell’s words rang true Saturday, as the eventual game-winning run for Toronto reached on Hill’s error.
Clay Buchholz gets the ball for Boston in Sunday’s all-important series finale, in which Toronto will throw ace Aaron Sanchez. First pitch at Rogers Centre is set for 1:07 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports Images