The Boston Red Sox overcame a poor start by Kyle Hart, using a six-run sixth inning to take a lead over the Toronto Blue Jays before holding on for a 9-7 win in Buffalo on Tuesday night.
It was in large part due to Boston’s relief pitching as three relievers — Phillips Valdez, Darwinzon Hernandez and Ryan Brasier — combined for three hits in four-plus innings, steadying the ship for the Sox.
The Red Sox finished with 13 hits while the Blue Jays concluded with 13 of their own.
With the verdict, the Red Sox moved to 10-20 while the Blue Jays fell back to .500 at 14-14.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Relief…. and in more ways than one.
The Red Sox bullpen put together a very respectable showing after a tough start. Valdez, Hernandez and Brasier all were in command and very effective.
ON THE BUMP
— Hart had a rough start, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in just 3 1/3 innings. The Blue Jays tagged Hart for four runs in the first inning alone.
— Valdez had another impressive outing as he pitched in both the fourth and fifth frames. Valdez (0.98 ERA) allowed just one hit with two strikeouts over 1 2/3.
— Hernandez was equally impactful during his two innings. He retired the side on 15 pitches in the sixth (11 strikes) as he scattered two hits with two strikeouts.
— Brasier sat the side down in order during the eighth with one strikeout.
— Matt Barnes came in for the ninth and allowed a home run to the second batter of the inning, cutting Boston’s lead to 9-7. Toronto had the game’s tying run at the plate with two outs, but Barnes recorded a game-ending strikeout.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mitch Moreland accounted for RBIs on each of Boston’s first two runs, scoring teammate Xander Bogaerts with a first-inning single and third-inning double.
— Moreland scored later in the third on a RBI single by Jackie Bradley Jr.
— Boston took its first lead of the game behind a six-run sixth inning, highlighted by a three-run triple from Rafael Devers.
Moreland started the inning with a lead-off walk, Christian Vazquez doubled to center field before Bradley connected on an RBI single to score Moreland. Jose Peraza was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out before Alex Verdugo slapped an RBI-single and Devers cleared the bases with a triple to right. Boston’s next batter, J.D. Martinez, scored Devers on a sacrifice fly.
— Verdugo extended his 14-game hit streak.
— Kevin Pillar and J.D. Martinez were the only players to not record a hit for Boston.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Verdugo is locked in.
The Red Sox will return to the diamond in Buffalo for Game 2 of their three-game set against the Blue Jays. First pitch is set for 6:37 p.m. ET on Wednesday.