Boston Red Sox closer Matt Barnes isn’t passing the blame after allowing a three-run home run to Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer in a devastating 9-8 defeat.
Barnes entered Sunday’s game with two outs in the eighth inning and the Red Sox clutching to a two-run advantage. The MLB All-Star walked Toronto’s No. 9 hitter Reese McGuire to put runners on first and second before Springer hit a no-doubter 442 feet to left-center field.
It gave the Blue Jays their first lead since the first inning as erased Boston’s advantage, which was 7-2 after the first four innings.
“… In my mind I didn’t think he thought I was going to come back with another fastball,” Barnes said of the Springer at bat during a postgame video conference. “I thought for sure he was going to sit on a breaking ball. It leaked middle, I mean, just plain and simple the ball leaked middle and he put a good swing on it.
“I’ll just be frank, in a game in which we score eight runs, we got to win that ballgame. And the one today is 100 percent on me,” Barnes added. “I got to make a better pitch not only to Springer, but obviously I got to get McGuire out there.”
Barnes took the loss as Boston fell to 2-8 on its 10-game road trip.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Blue Jays:
— Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki had his day completely overshadowed with the way the game ended.
Plawecki put together an impressive showing Sunday as he was 3-for-4 with one walk, three RBIs and one run scored. Plawecki, batting in the sixth spot behind designated hitter J.D. Martinez, ripped a RBI single in the second inning and followed it up with a RBI double in the third and a RBI single in the fourth.
— And Plawecki was just one of the bats to get hot Sunday against Blue Jays ace Hyun Jin Ryu, who the Red Sox knocked around for seven runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
J.D. Martinez was 4-for-5 at the plate, as well, his third four-hit game of the season. Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Bobby Dalbec and Jarren Duran all recorded two hits. Boston finished with 16 hits.
“I felt great about the offense today,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game. “Overall from top to bottom it was really good.”
— Garrett Richards went five innings in the start. Richards, who went four innings in each of his prior two starts, allowed four runs on six hits with one walk.
“He threw the ball OK,” Cora said. “Good velocity, good command. He gave us five innings. That’s what we’re looking for.”
— Red Sox reliever Hirokazu Sawamura was pulled in the seventh inning with what the team revealed what right elbow soreness.
“So what happened to Sawamura, he didn’t look great. We took him out as a precaution, right elbow tightness,” Cora said. “They check on him after the game, we’ll check on him tomorrow and see where we?re at.”
— Before Sunday’s game Cora revealed that Chris Sale will make his return at Fenway Park on Saturday.
Sale will pitch against the Baltimore Orioles almost two years to the day of his last start (Aug. 13, 2019). The left-hander completed five rehab starts between the Florida Complex League, Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester.
— Alex Verdugo was not in Sunday’s lineup and will be away from the Red Sox for a few days on paternity leave.
— The Red Sox have a day off Monday before hosting the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game set. It will kick off a six-game homestand with the Baltimore Orioles coming to Fenway on Friday.