The Boston Red Sox have leaned on Chris Sale to right the ship many times this season, but the left-hander wasn’t able to deliver Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Sale suffered one of his worst outings of the season in the middle game of the three-game series, allowing five runs on eight hits including four home runs in Boston’s 9-4 loss.
Toronto, on the other hand, received an exceptional performance from its starter. The Red Sox simply couldn’t figure out J.A. Happ, as the left-hander tossed seven strong innings in which he allowed just one run on four hits with nine strikeouts.
With the loss, the Sox fall to 91-66, while the Jays improve to 75-83.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
After losing the series opener Monday, the Sox had to have been confident heading into Game 2 with their ace on the hill. Unfortunately for Boston, Sale couldn’t help the club get back into the win column.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Blue Jays blasted two homers in a three-run fifth inning to boost their lead to 5-1. And if that wasn’t enough, Toronto tacked on four more in the eighth.
ON THE BUMP
— The Jays wasted no time getting after Sale, as Josh Donaldson pummeled a one-out solo home run over the Green Monster in the first inning to give Toronto an early edge. The left-hander’s struggles continued in the second inning as he allowed two runners to reach base, but he managed to get out of the inning unscathed.
Sale experienced some déjà vu in the third inning when Donaldson clobbered his second solo shot of the night to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. The fourth inning was much kinder to Sale, as he tossed a scoreless frame.
Toronto finally kicked the door down in the fifth. Teoscar Hernandez led off the inning with a solo shot, boosting the Jays’ lead to 3-1. Then, after Jose Bautista roped a two-out double, Kendrys Morales made Sale pay with a two-run blast that just barely made it over the Monster.
— Matt Barnes came on in relief of Sale in the sixth and tossed a scoreless inning despite allowing a leadoff single.
— Joe Kelly posted a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. The right-hander stayed on for the eighth and allowed one run on two hits before being pulled with one out in the inning.
— Heath Hembree followed Kelly and promptly allowed a single on his first batter faced. Hernandez then cleared the bases with a three-run bomb to give the Jays a 9-1 lead. The right-hander bounced back to record the final two outs of the inning.
— Hector Velazquez came on in the ninth and tossed a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Chris Young had a great night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI double in the first inning and a triple in the eighth.
— Sandy Leon (1-for-3) clubbed a solo shot in the eighth inning.
— Xander Bogaerts collected two singles in a 2-for-4 performance at the dish.
— Rajai Davis and Hanley Ramirez both notched RBI singles in the eighth.
— Andrew Benintendi, Sam Travis, Rafael Devers, Deven Marrero and Jackie Bradley Jr. all went hitless in the game.
TWEET OF THE DAY
When at Fenway, you have to get a selfie with Wally.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays will meet in the series finale of their three-game set Wednesday night. Boston will give the ball to Rick Porcello, who will be opposed by Toronto starter Marco Estrada. First pitch from Fenway Park is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images