It was all downhill from there.
Rajai Davis dropped down a bunt single, and David Cooper walked to load the bases. Then, the world-famous Ricardo Nanita drove in the winning run with a single to right.
Way back when, Daniel Bard got the start in this one. He went six innings, allowing five runs — all earned — on six hits while striking out five and walking three.
On the offensive side of things, Mike Aviles went 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. Ryan Lavarnway also picked up three hits, finishing 3-for-5 on the afternoon.
The Red Sox will be back in action Monday when they take on the Phillies at 1 p.m. The Phils stomped the Sox on Saturday, so perhaps a little payback is in order.
Mid 10th, 5-5: Bobby Valentine looked to play some small ball to begin the 10th, as Felix Sanchez dropped down a bunt to lead off the inning. Clint Everts fielded it cleanly off the mound, though, and Sanchez was retired.
After that, the Sox went to work, with Ryan Lavarnway reaching on a base hit and Daniel Nava ripping a double down the right-field line to set up runners at second and third.
But after Drew Dominguez walked to load the bases, Nate Spears grounded into an inning-ending double play.
End 9th, 5-5: The Sox turned to lefty Justin Thomas in the ninth, and he responded by striking out the first two batters he faced — Travis Snider and Mike McCoy.
Thomas then got Yan Gomes to roll one over to second base, but Drew Dominguez couldn't make the play and Gomes reached safely. Gomes moved up to second on a wild pitch by Thomas, but the Jays couldn't get him across.
It looks like the two teams will play at least one extra frame…FREE BASEBALL!
Mid 9th, 5-5: Jim Hoey took the mound for the Blue Jays in the ninth, and he was greeted with a bunt attempt by the first batter.
Ryan Dent tried to bunt his way aboard, but third baseman Chris Woodward fielded it cleanly and fired over to David Cooper at first for the out.
Hoey then racked up back-to-back K's to sit the Sox down and give his team a chance to walk off with a win in the bottom half.
End 8th, 5-5: Rajai Davis has given the Sox fits on the bases since entering the game for Jose Bautista.
After singling on a ground ball up the middle, Davis swiped both second and third. The theft of third was a close one, as Lavarnway's throw appeared to beat Davis, but the speedy outfielder got his fingers in just ahead of the tag.
Jays skipper John Farrell then called for a safety squeeze, though, and the bunt went right back to Andrew Bailey, who fielded it and flipped to Lavarnway to retire Davis at the plate.
Big missed opportunity for the Jays.
Mid 8th, 5-5: Luis Perez came on for the Jays in the top half of the eighth trying to follow up some impressive work by Jason Frasor, and he quickly got himself into a jam.
Ryan Lavarnway and Drew Dominguez sandwiched a Daniel Nava strikeout with base hits to get the pressure going. Nate Spears, who got the start down at third base and has since shifted to shortstop, then drew a walk after a lengthy battle with Perez. That loaded the bases for Jonathan Hee, who flashed some leather earlier in the inning.
Perez and the Jays managed to get out of the inning unscathed, however, as Hee grounded into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play.
End 7th, 5-5: Scott Atchison's work may not have had the flair of Jason Frasor's, but it works just the same.
Atchison retired the side in order, with a nifty play by Jonathan Hee for the second out serving as the inning's highlight.
The book is officially closed on Bard. The righty went six innings, allowing five runs — all earned — on six hits while striking out five and walking three.
Mid 7th, 5-5: Six and a half are in the books, and we're deadlocked.
A very impressive inning by Toronto's Jason Frasor, who struck out the side. The Boston hitters who fell victim to Frason included Jackie Bradley, Lars Anderson and Felix Sanchez.
End 6th, 5-5: It was an interesting inning, and it started off on an interesting note.
A pitch got away from Bard and sailed up and in on Jose Bautista. The ball appeared to hit Bautista in the hand or helmet, but the home plate umpire initially ruled it had hit the bat, resulting in a foul ball. However, after coming together, the umpiring crew determined that it did, in fact, hit Bautista, and they awarded him first base.
Things got even more intriguing from there.
Rajai Davis, who came in the game for Bautista, took off for second, and Shoppach's throw sailed into center field, allowing Davis to reach third. Adam Lind then walked, setting up runners at the corners for Edwin Encarnacion.
Encarnacion capitalized, doubling home a run to cut the Boston lead to 5-4. An RBI groundout then tied things up, which is where we currently stand.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-3: Carlos Villanueva is the new Blue Jays pitcher, relieving Aaron Laffey, who worked the first five innings.
Villanueva kept the Sox in check, with just Kelly Shoppach reaching base in the inning. That came on an error by Chris Woodward, who has entered the game at third base for Brett Lawrie.
Villanueva struck out Nate Spears, got Jonathan Hee to fly out to left and retired Mike Aviles, who was 3-for-3 until that point.
Laffey went five innings in total, allowing five runs — all earned — on nine hits while striking out one.
End 5th, Red Sox 5-3: Nice inning for Bard in the fifth. He did issue a free pass to Kelly Johnson after retiring Colby Rasmus and Jeff Mathis on a line-out and pop out, respectively, but he bounced back to get Escobar.
The final strike to Escobar fooled the Toronto shortstop badly, as he took a half-hearted cut at Bard's offering.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-3: Mike Aviles is locked in this afternoon. He ripped a base hit to begin the fifth, marking his third hit of the ballgame.
Jacoby Ellsbury then put on a lengthy battle before flying out to center for the first out, and Adrian Gonzalez followed up with a base hit to right that sent Aviles from first to third.
Darnell McDonald made sure the Sox wouldn't squander the opportunity, ripping Laffey's offering into left field. Eric Thames nearly made a sensational diving catch, but it skipped over his glove and rolled all the way to the wall, allowing both runners to come around and McDonald to reach third.
Ryan Lavarnway then went down by way of the K, and Daniel Nava — hitting for Josh Kroeger — flew out to end the inning.
End 4th, 3-3: Well, Toronto managed to tie things up, but the inning could have been a lot worse.
Adam Lind, who homered in his first at-bat, doubled to begin the inning, then moved up to third on a base hit by Edwin Encarnacion.
That set up runners at the corners with no outs, but Bard once again induced a big double play. Brett Lawrie grounded into the 6-4-3 twin killing, which pushed across the tying run but also minimized the damage that could have been done.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-2: The Sox sent the bottom of the order to the plate in the fourth, and only Nate Spears managed to reach base.
Kroeger popped out to second to begin the inning, and Shoppach grounded out to short for out No. 2. Then, after Spears picked up his second hit of the game, Jonathan Hee grounded into a 4-6 force-out.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-2: Bard's command wasn't especially sharp in that inning, as he walked the No. 9 hitter, Jeff Mathis, with one out, and then delivered a wild pitch with Kelly Johnson in the box that allowed Mathis to move into scoring position.
Mathis would eventually tag up and get to third on a fly to center by Johnson, and come around to score on a line drive base hit into center by Yunel Escobar.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: Laffey was able to finally keep the Boston offense at bay in the third, retiring the Sox in order.
Adrian Gonzalez ground out to Yunel Escobar at short to start the inning, and then Darnell McDonald got a good piece of one and drove it to left. Eric Thames was able to make a nice running grab, though, stretching to haul it in.
The final out of the inning came when Lavarnway also grounded out to Escobar.
End 2nd, Red Sox 3-1: The Jays got one back in the bottom half of the second. It came off the bat of Adam Lind, who went deep for Toronto's first run of the game.
Lind is a guy who has plenty of power, jacking 35 home runs in 2009. His problem usually lies in getting on base, however, as he posted just a .295 on-base percentage last season.
Bard settled down nicely after giving up the jack, retiring the next three hitters he faced, including Eric Thames via a strikeout to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: Mike Aviles looks like he really wants that starting shortstop job. He once again labeled an Aaron Laffey offering, this one going off the wall in center for his second double of the game. It scored Nate Spears, giving Boston an early 3-0 edge.
Things did have the potential to be much worse for the Jays, though, as Laffey hit Kelly Shoppach on the shoe top and then allowed a base hit to Spears to begin the inning. But unfortunately for the Sox, Jonathan Hee couldn't drop down a bunt, and he eventually flew out to right, at which point Bautista showed off his cannon and gunned down Shoppach trying to go from second to third.
Aviles then blasted the double, though, ensuring the Sox took at least a run away from the frame.
End 1st, Red Sox 2-0: When Daniel Bard is at his best, he's throwing strikes and inducing ground-ball outs. He did both in his first inning of work.
Kelly Johnson led things off with a seeing-eye single back up the middle, but Bard quickly got him off the bases by forcing Escobar to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.
Jose Bautista, aka. Joey Bats, came up next and gave one a ride, but it was tracked down for out No. 3.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 2-0: It didn't take long for the Sox to jump on Aaron Laffey.
Mike Aviles roped a double down the left-field line to begin the game on a grapefruit from Laffey.
Ellsbury then dug in, looking to pull the ball to the right side to advance Aviles, and he did so and more. The 2011 MVP runner-up ripped a triple down the line past the dive of Adam Lind and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez.
After Darnell McDonald bounced out to Yunel Escobar at short, Ryan Lavarnway put a good swing on one and drove it into the right-center field gap. He would stay there, though, as Josh Kroeger grounded out to second base to end the inning.
1:07 p.m.: And we're off and running…
12:30 p.m.: It looks like Kevin Youkilis won't be suiting up for this one as initially planned. He's been held back in Fort Myers for treatment, as he's battling some lower-back stiffness.
Manager Bobby Valentine said Youkilis will get some minor league at-bats Monday, though.
Nate Spears will start at third in Youk's place. Here's a look at the rest of Sunday's lineup card.
Mike Aviles, SS
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Darnell McDonald, LF
Ryan Lavarnway, DH
Josh Kroeger, RF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Nate Spears, 3B
Jonathan Hee, 2B
Daniel Bard, P
Kelly Johnson, 2B
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jose Bautista, RF
Adam Lind, 1B
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Brett Lawrie, 3B
Eric Thames, LF
Colby Rasmus, CF
Jeff Mathis, C
Aaron Laffey, P
8 a.m. ET: We'll have some afternoon baseball in Dunedin on Sunday, as the Blue Jays host the Red Sox in Grapefruit League action.
Daniel Bard will toe the rubber for the Sox, as he once again tries to prove to manager Bobby Valentine that he deserves a spot in the starting rotation. Alfredo Aceves was lit up by the Phillies on Saturday, so perhaps Bard can lock down a starting role with a strong outing against Toronto.
The first pitch will be delivered at 1 p.m. All of the action will be televised on NESN. Be sure to tune in, and follow along with NESN.com, as we'll be keeping you informed and entertained all day long.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP