BOSTON — Things went south on the Toronto Blue Jays in a hurry Sunday at Fenway Park, but they did just enough to hang on for a series-clinching win.
Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada came within five outs of a no-hitter, while Toronto’s offense bashed four home runs off Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to take a five-run lead. Boston staged a furious rally in the ninth inning, but it fell just short in a 5-4 loss to Toronto, the team’s fourth defeat in five days.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Blue Jays made the most of their swings Sunday, scoring five runs on four hits, all of which were home runs.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Marco Hernandez struck out with the tying run on second base in the ninth inning.
Hernandez pinch-hit for catcher Christian Vazquez and had a chance to complete Boston’s surprising comeback, but Jays closer Roberto Osuna struck him out on a 3-2 fastball to help the Blue Jays escape with a win.
ON THE BUMP
— The long ball was Rodriguez’s downfall in a strange outing for the 23-year-old left-hander. He allowed just four hits in 5 2/3 innings but surrendered five runs, as each hit was a home run to left field — solo shots by Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin and a two-run blast by Darwin Barney. His four homers allowed marks a career high.
Rodriguez also issued three walks and didn’t record a strikeout for just the second time in his Red Sox career. He threw 56 of his 99 pitches for strikes.
— Heath Hembree was excellent in relief of Rodriguez, striking out four and allowing just one baserunner via a walk in 2 1/3 innings of work.
— Clay Buchholz struck out one batter in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Estrada silenced the Red Sox’s bats, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning and inducing seven infield pop-ups while striking out five.
— Chris Young finally broke up Estrada’s no-hit bid by blasting a solo home run to left field with one out in the eighth inning. It was his fourth homer of the season and third in the last four games.
— The Red Sox haven’t been no-hit since April 22, 1993, by the Seattle Mariners’ Chris Bosio. The last time they were no-hit at Fenway Park was on July 20, 1958, by Detroit Tigers pitcher Jim Bunning.
— Boston actually threatened Estrada in the first inning when he walked the first two batters he faced. But Mookie Betts was thrown out at third base on Xander Bogaerts’ ill-fated bunt attempt, and Estrada set down David Ortiz and Travis Shaw to end the Red Sox threat.
— The Red Sox nearly came back from the dead in the ninth inning, plating three runs on five hits and putting the tying run on second base with two outs. But Hernandez’s strikeout with runners on first and second sent Boston home empty-handed.
— Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz each hit doubles in the ninth inning to extend their Major League Baseball-best hitting streaks to 13 games. Ortiz’ double drove in Pedroia to give him 54 RBIs on the season.
— Hanley Ramirez plated Ortiz in the ninth with an RBI double, his first extra-base hit since May 15.
TWEET OF THE DAY
The long ball has been an issue for Red Sox starters this season.
The Red Sox have Monday off before beginning a two-game set Tuesday in San Francisco against the National League West-leading Giants. Rick Porcello will get the start for Boston, while the Giants will counter with right-hander Albert Saurez. First pitch is set for 10:15 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images