Red Sox Wrap: Closer Craig Kimbrel Struggles In 4-3 Loss To Blue Jays


BOSTON — That wasn’t the storybook ending the Red Sox were hoping for.

The Red Sox dropped an exciting game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday after closer Craig Kimbrel’s rough ninth inning. Before that, both Boston and Toronto traded leads throughout nine innings after the Red Sox scored two runs in the first and the Jays answered with two of their own in the next half-inning.

In the end, Boston was on the losing end of a 4-3 game at Fenway Park.

Here’s how it all went down.


Both teams battled the wet weather in the early innings, as Jays starter J.A. Happ and Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez each dealt three walks and gave up two runs in the bottom of the first and top of the second, respectively. But both the Red Sox and Blue Jays had to fight for runs from there on out.

The Red Sox couldn’t rally back in the ninth.

You can’t win if you don’t score runs, so Boston’s failure to respond after the Jays plated a run in the ninth was the difference in this one.

— Rodriguez had a rough second inning, but otherwise, the left-hander managed to keep the Jays at bay. In the second, though, the left-hander walked his first three batters to load the bases before giving up a two-RBI single to center fielder Kevin Pillar with one out. He still managed to strike out the side in that frame.

Rodriguez was pulled after walking catcher Russell Martin to begin the sixth inning, finishing his night with three earned runs on three hits with five walks and nine strikeouts over five innings.

— Matt Barnes relieved Rodriguez and dealt a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Michael Saunders before giving up a go-ahead RBI single to Pillar. The right-hander got right fielder Ezequiel Carrera to ground into a double play to end the sixth.

— Joe Kelly came on in the seventh and pitched a 1-2-3 frame, ending it with a strikeout to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. Kelly came back out for the eighth and struck out the side in order.

— Craig Kimbrel started the ninth off by walking left fielder Michael Saunders, who was replaced by pinch-runner Dalton Pompey. Pompey reached second on a sacrifice bunt, made it to third on Kimbel’s wild pitch and eventually scored on a Carrera sac fly.

— Chris Young put the Red Sox’s first two runs on the board with a single in the first inning. The left fielder went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

— David Ortiz went 1-for-2 with a walk before being replaced by pinch-runner Travis Shaw in the fifth inning. Shaw went 0-for-1.

— Mookie Betts went 2-for-4 with a double and a two runs, the second of which he scored on Jays closer Roberto Osuna’s balk in the eighth inning.

— Catcher Christian Vazquez went 1-for-3. Marco Hernandez pinch-hit for Vazquez in the ninth and grounded out.

— Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-2 but walked twice and scored a run. Dustin Pedroia (0-for-4 with a walk) and Hanley Ramirez (0-for-2 with two walks) also went hitless and reached base on walks.

— Jackie Bradley Jr. (0-for-4) and Aaron Hill (0-for-3) never reached base.

— Andrew Benintendi pinch-hit for Hill in the ninth and flied out to left field.

A host of Boston legends were in the house for Ortiz’s pregame ceremony Saturday, including Bruins great Bobby Orr.

The Red Sox play their final regular-season game Sunday in a 3:05 p.m. ET contest against the Blue Jays. David Price will get the ball for Boston against Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez.

Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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