BOSTON — Steven Wright didn’t give the Red Sox the extended outing they might have hoped for, but this time, Boston’s offense was able to help him out.
The Red Sox knuckleballer lasted just five innings Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park in his second-shortest outing of the season. His offense had his back, however, scoring in five different innings en route to a 6-4 win that snapped Boston’s three-game losing streak and evened up the three-game series ahead of Sunday’s finale.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
Between a host of passed balls, a few mental lapses, multiple reviews and a two-RBI strikeout (!!), this game featured plenty of odd moments, with Wright at the center of most of them.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
The umpires ruled Blake Swihart safe at home plate in the sixth inning.
The Red Sox left fielder initially was called out after trying to score from first base on a Mookie Betts double, but manager John Farrell challenged the play, and the umpiring crew overturned the call to allow Boston to take a 6-4 lead.
ON THE BUMP
— Wright had a rather bizarre outing that was a bit bumpier than his final line — zero earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts — suggested. He needed 111 pitches to get through just five innings while issuing five walks and allowing three runs, two of which improbably scored on a strikeout of Michael Saunders in which the ball skittered past catcher Ryan Hanigan.
Hanigan was docked for three passed balls, one of which put a runner in scoring position for Justin Smoak’s RBI single in the fourth, and had quite a bit of trouble handling Wright’s knuckleball.
— Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes walked the leadoff man in the sixth and allowed him to score on a Kevin Pillar groundout. Barnes settled down in the seventh, however, retiring the side in order.
— Junichi Tazawa tallied a strikeout in a 1-2-3 eighth inning for Boston.
— Craig Kimbrel allowed one hit but no runs in the ninth to notch his 13th save of the season for the Red Sox.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— David Ortiz had a solid encore to Friday’s two-double effort, hitting a shift-beating single to right in the third inning to plate Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia. Ortiz went 1-for-3 with a walk and now has reached base in six of his last eight plate appearances for Boston.
— Betts had a strong day at the plate, hitting a two-out RBI single in the fourth and blasting an RBI double in the sixth. He finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
— After seeing his 26-game hitting streak end Friday, Bogaerts rebounded in a big way, going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
— Travis Shaw went 2-for-4 with a double and gave the Red Sox some breathing room in the sixth with an RBI single off the Green Monster.
— Swihart walked twice, scored a run and hit an RBI single in the second inning, but his solid day was cut short in the seventh inning when he injured his left ankle while running into the side wall in left field.
— Hanigan went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and left a total of four men on base. He left the game after the sixth inning because of a neck strain and was replaced by Christian Vazquez.
— Boston spread its offense out, scoring at least one run in five consecutive innings between the second and the sixth.
— The Red Sox also benefited from some strong baserunning. Jackie Bradley Jr., Pedroia and Betts all recorded steals, and Boston caught Toronto napping on several occasions to take extra bases.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
We’ll chalk this up as a positive.
Eduardo Rodriguez will make his 2016 home debut Sunday when he takes the mound at Fenway for Boston’s series finale against Toronto. The Blue Jays will counter with right-hander Marco Estrada. First pitch is set for 1:35 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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