BOSTON — David Ortiz started his final regular-season series at Fenway Park off with a bang.
Big Papi gave Boston its first run against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday with an RBI single in the first, and he made even more noise in the seventh inning with a go-ahead home run. He also helped Rick Porcello, who wasn’t at his sharpest Friday, earn a no-decision in the Red Sox’s 5-3 win.
Here’s how it all unfolded.
GAME IN A WORD
The game was slow to start, but a four-run seventh inning for the Red Sox — which included Ortiz’s two-run shot — sent Fenway Park into a frenzy as Boston got off the schneid.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Craig Kimbrel blanked the Jays in the ninth.
The Blue Jays still were threatening, even after getting down in the seventh, so they weren’t out of this one in the final inning. Kimbrel took care of that, though, by holding them scoreless.
ON THE BUMP
— Porcello wasn’t at the top of his game at rainy Fenway Park on Friday night. It took the right-hander 24 pitches to get through the first inning — he did strike out two in the frame — and he ended up being tagged for three runs in the fifth, including a huge two-run homer off the bat of Jays right fielder Jose Bautista. Porcello also walked two batters, something he’s only done nine times in 33 starts this season.
Porcello ended the night with three runs allowed on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts over six innings.
— Brad Ziegler had some trouble getting out of the seventh inning, but he didn’t give up any runs. Bautista hit a two-out single before Ziegler walked Toronto catcher Russell Martin, but first baseman Hanley Ramirez made a nice catch on a Troy Tulowitzki popout to end the threat.
— Koji Uehara walked Kevin Pillar and gave up a double to Devon Travis with one out in the eighth, but he induced a popout and a groundout to get out of the jam.
— Kimbrel dealt a one-out walk to Bautista and a two-out walk to Tulowitzki but struck out pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro to end the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Ortiz was the hero once again Friday night, smacking a two-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Red Sox the lead back. The designated hitter went 2-for-4 with one run and three RBIs.
— Dustin Pedroia had a great night, going 3-for-5 with a run and a double. The second baseman started the Red Sox’s four-run seventh, too, after hitting a single that resulted in a throwing error and a run.
— Mookie Betts went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 with a triple. Sandy Leon also went 1-for-4.
— Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-4, hitting a leadoff double in the seventh and scoring a run.
— Brock Holt went 0-for-3 but walked and scored a run in the first inning.
— Hanley Ramirez (0-for-3 with a walk) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (0-for-4) both went hitless.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Ramirez ended up hugging a fan after making a nice catch along the first base line.
The Red Sox play Game 2 of their series against the Blue Jays on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Both Boston and Toronto will send lefties to the mound in Eduardo Rodriguez and J.A. Happ.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images