The Red Sox needed an extra inning to do it, but they are back in the win column.
Boston defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1, in the eighth inning of what was meant to be a seven-inning game. After Alex Verdugo’s sixth inning home run tied the game at 1-1 and the group held on to force extras, Jonathan Araúz landed the RBI single in extras for the win.
The Red Sox improve to 65-48, while Toronto is 59-50.
Here’s how it all went down in Game 2 at Rogers Centre:
GAME IN A WORD
Let’s try and focus on the positives here, since it’s been a difficult stretch to say the least. Verdugo was the only hope for a Red Sox team that was struggling again. The only Boston player to record multiple hits, Verdugo went 3-for-3 with the solo home run that brought around the tying run, eventually forcing extras.
ON THE BUMP
— Tanner Houck, making his first appearance since July 28, had a strong start Saturday. He sent George Springer down on three strikes, and while he allowed a single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., he got the next two outs on strikes, too.
— Things got dicey in the second inning when he allowed a double to Corey Dickerson and walked Randal Grichuk, but defense got the outs to end the threat. His teammates were there in the third to help him send the side down in order, ending with a strikeout on Marcus Semien.
— Houck was yanked in the fourth inning after giving up a single to Bo Bichette and intentionally walking Dickerson. Josh Taylor replaced him with two outs, but he still was charged with the run when Bichette crossed the plate to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
He finished with three hits and the run over 3 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking two. Taylor was done after his 1/3 inning, with Garrett Whitlock coming in for the fifth. Despite giving up a two-out double to Semien, Whitlock got all three outs on strikes.
— Whitlock allowed a single to Dickerson in the sixth but had defense there to get three outs. His night ended after two innings, with two hits and three strikeouts.
— Matt Barnes, who gave up a walk-off homer in Game 1, logged a strikeout as the Blue Jays went down in order in the seventh. He was credited with the win.
— Adam Ottavino got the eighth and after his defense got two outs, he landed a swinging strikeout to finish it off for the save.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox waited until the fifth inning to get a hit in Game 1, and even at that point they beat the Blue Jays to the mark. They didn’t need that long in Game 2, as Alex Verdugo singled in the first inning. But he was left aboard, and the Sox went down in order in the second and third.
— Verdugo was the next baserunner for Boston in the fourth inning when he reached on what was originally ruled a fielding error, but was later changed to a base hit. Hunter Renfroe had a two-out single but Marwin Gonzalez struck out to end any chance.
— The Sox went down in order in the fifth.
— Finally, Alex Verdugo broke the quiet spell with a solo home run to center field, tying things up 1-1 in the sixth.
— The Red Sox had a rally building in the top of the seventh but two outs came on the base path to end any chance of a go-ahead in regulation. Gonzalez reached on a walk and Christian Vázquez singled, but Gonzalez got caught on the base path. Luckily, Vázquez took the open base at second to get a runner in scoring position, but he tried to advance when Franchy Cordero struck out and got tagged out at third.
— Araúz singled home Cordero in the eighth inning to get the Red Sox up 2-1, and Xander Bogaerts singled with two outs to move Araúz to third. A Rafael Devers groundout ended any chance of insurance.
TWEET OF THE GAME
This tweet was in response to the base-running issues that plagued the seventh inning, but it’s applicable to quite a bit over the last few days. Still, we’ll take the win.
The series concludes Sunday at 1:07 p.m. ET. Garrett Richards (6-7, 5.21 ERA) will get the start for Boston, while the Blue Jays will turn to Hyun Jin Ryu (11-5, 3.22 ERA).