The Boston Red Sox began their six-game road trip in fine fashion Tuesday night with an 8-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Brian Johnson got the start for the Sox and picked up his first major-league win. Boston’s offense also came through with eight runs on 15 hits. Seven of the team’s nine starters collected at least one hit.
The Red Sox now have won a season-high four straight games and improve to 9-5 after Tuesday night’s result. The Blue Jays fall to 2-11.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
Johnson’s first MLB win must feel good. The 26-year-old pitcher has dealt with injuries since making his Red Sox debut in 2015, but Tuesday’s start was a step in the right direction.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Blue Jays made it interesting with three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Devon Travis lined out to shortstop to end the game.
ON THE BUMP
— Johnson ran into trouble right away in the first inning.
A leadoff double from Kevin Pillar got the Blue Jays going, and three hits later they had a 2-0 lead. Johnson didn’t allow any further damage in the first, though. He got Russell Martin to ground into a fielder’s choice and struck out Steve Pearce to end the threat.
Johnson struck out Darwin Barney to begin the second inning, but he walked Travis right after. Pillar then smacked his second double of the game, moving Barney to third base. Jose Bautista was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Johnson escaped the jam by striking out Kendrys Morales and getting Troy Tulowitzki to line out.
The Blue Jays tied the score 3-3 when Justin Smoak blasted a solo homer off Johnson in the third frame.
Johnson was better in the fourth inning. He gave up a leadoff walk but retired the side in order following the base on balls. Martin took Johnson deep in the fifth inning to make the score 6-4 Red Sox, but that was the only damage done in the frame.
Johnson’s outing ended after the fifth inning. He gave up seven hits, three walks and four earned runs with six strikeouts over five innings.
— Heath Hembree relieved Johnson to start the sixth inning and gave up one hit and a walk, but Toronto was unable to trim Boston’s 6-4 lead. Hembree gave up a leadoff single to Tulowitzki in the seventh, but the Blue Jays again couldn’t plate a run.
— Hembree was relieved by Fernando Abad with one out in the eighth inning, and Abad got Morales to ground out with the Jays having a man on second base.
— Matt Barnes entered for the ninth and nearly blew the game. He allowed a walk, two hits and three earned runs. Ezequiel Carrera hit a two-run homer in the ninth to trim Boston’s lead to 8-7 with two outs, but Barnes finished it off to secure the win.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mookie Betts got the Sox on the board with an RBI single in the third inning that scored Xander Bogaerts. He also launched his first homer of the season with a solo shot in the seventh to extend Boston’s lead to 7-4. Betts finished 2-for-5 at the plate.
— Mitch Moreland continued to swing a hot bat with a 2-RBI single in the third. He also doubled in the fifth inning and picked up his third RBI of the game. Moreland scored later in the inning on a Pablo Sandoval single. He went 3-for-5.
— Sandoval was 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, a run scored and a walk.
— Hanley Ramirez went 1-for-5 with an RBI single and a run scored.
— Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-5, including a ground-rule double that drove in Sandoval in the eighth inning.
— Chris Young (0-for-4) and Marco Hernandez (0-for-3) were the only Boston starters without a hit.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
The Red Sox and Blue Jays resume their series Wednesday night at 7:07 p.m. ET. Rick Porcello (Boston) versus Francisco Liriano (Toronto) is the probable pitching matchup.
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images