It took north of seven innings for the Boston Red Sox offense to get going in Tuesday night’s 10-7, 10-inning win over the Blue Jays.
Toronto starter Marcus Stroman dazzled in his outing, fooling Sox hitters left and right, giving up just two hits and one run (which was unearned) over seven innings.
As such, Boston was looking deflated. But that was up until an offensive deluge in the eighth, beginning with a one-out double from Sandy Leon and getting capped off by a three-run homer from J.D. Martinez to give the Red Sox a 5-3 advantage.
But Craig Kimbrel blew the save, negating all of what Boston’s offense had done.
Yet there they were again, putting runners on the corners for Mitch Moreland in the 10th, and the first baseman roped a three-run homer to right to put Boston back up in convincing fashion. Jackie Bradley Jr. later added insurance with a two-run blast.
The Red Sox became the first team to 80 wins with the victory, and that type of success doesn’t happen without a healthy dose of resilience. Especially with the offense being quiet for most of the game, things could have gone sideways pretty quick when the going got tough — especially once the game went to extras.
But as has been the case almost every game this season, they simply didn’t say die, stringing together hits in any way they could. And when they were called upon one time after another to bail out the pitching, they answered without issue.
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:
— Drew Pomeranz remains a work in progress.
Things have been bumpy for the left-hander this season, and after taking a small step forward in his last outing, he wasn’t great against the Jays. He allowed two runs on four hits over 4 2/3 innings, walking five and striking out one, all while throwing just 44 of his 84 pitches for strikes.
We’re just one season removed from Pomeranz going 17-6 and looking great, but things have been anything but for him all season as he works to figure out the issues that plague him.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, Eduardo Rodriguez continues to make progress, as does Steven Wright. And while Pomeranz figuring things out certainly would bode well for Boston, it’s starting to get late for the left-hander.
— Kimbrel hasn’t exactly been stellar lately, either.
After getting handed a 5-4 lead and a clean ninth inning, the Sox closer surrendered a solo shot to Justin Smoak to force extras. Though things panned out fine enough in the end, it has been a concerning run for the hard-throwing right-hander.
In his last five outings, Kimbrel has an 8.44 ERA over 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking five while giving up five runs.
— Leon certainly left his mark on the game both at the dish and in the field.
The catcher’s one-out double in the eighth inning got the rally going that ultimately led to Boston turning a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
He also saved a run in the field with a stellar, heads-up play in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Luke Maile hit a dribbler down the third base line, which Leon chased. The catcher grabbed the ball with his glove and in the same motion swung it up and tagged out Kendrys Morales as he charged home, saving a run. Pitcher Brandon Workman eventually got out of the jam, thanks to Leon’s play.
Any Red Sox pitcher will tell you how great of a game Leon calls, but his multifaceted defensive ability and timely hits also are not to be forgotten.