Boston Red Sox pitcher Connor Seabold had a difficult assignment to take on in his second career major-league start.
The 26-year-old right-hander, who was called up from Triple-A Worcester for a spot start against Toronto on Monday, had to face a stout Blue Jays’ lineup, and he came away with mixed results in Boston’s 7-2 loss at Rogers Centre, which snapped a seven-game winning streak.
Toronto’s big bats did damage off of Seabold by smacking three home runs. Seabold lasted only 4 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and seven runs while walking one. The positive for Seabold came in his seven strikeouts, and he viewed this outing as a better showing than his major-league debut last year when he pitched only three innings versus the Chicago White Sox.
“I thought my stuff was a lot better,” Seabold said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “My fastball had a lot more life than it did last year. I think all my pitches had more life. It was just a different team, a different time of the year and I think I just kind of ran into a buzzsaw.”
While Seabold said he didn’t have his slider working in the loss, he felt that his change-up was “probably the best it’s been all season.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora and catcher Christian Vázquez concurred with Seabold’s assessment.
“I think overall, better than last year, although the results are going to show you something else,” Cora said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “The fastball was really good, and the change-up, Christian, he gave the feedback, and was like, ‘The change-up played. That’s a good pitch.'”
The Red Sox tried to push Seabold to pitch five innings, but he ran out of the gas in the fifth. He surrendered three runs in that frame, including letting up a two-run home run to Matt Chapman, which blew the game open and ended Seabold’s outing.
Despite the rough moments, Seabold still found a way to showcase his potential with his ability to get Toronto’s hitters to routinely swing and miss. Seabold generated 21 whiffs, according to Baseball Savant, a statistic that impressed his manager.
“That’s a lot, right?” Cora said. “Like I said, the fastball has some life up there. There are some good hitters on that team and to be able to do that against them, he’s a good one. It was his first one this year against a tough team. He’s a guy that we really like, and let’s see what happens in the upcoming days.”
Seabold’s time with the big-league club might be short-lived, but Cora didn’t announce any specific roster moves following the loss.
More notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:
— Toronto starting pitcher Kevin Gausman continues to have no issues keeping Boston’s offense down. The talented right-hander made his third start opposite the Red Sox, and tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks while racking up 10 strikeouts.
In 21 innings pitched against the Red Sox this season, Gausman has surrendered just one earned run and fanned 27 batters.
“He’s got good stuff, basically,” Cora said. “Velo was up, split was good. We grinded at-bats, we just didn’t finish them. He’s done that against us before. This was the third time. He pounds the strike zone early on and then he expands, and if you expand with him, you’re going to have nights like this.”
— Vázquez, Alex Verdugo and Bobby Dalbec combined to record six of Boston’s eight hits. The trio all went 2-for-4 at the plate with Dalbec producing an RBI single in the top of the ninth.
— Boston hasn’t had much success this season north of the border, with the Red Sox losing four of their first five games at Rogers Centre.
— The Red Sox will look to grab the middle game of their three-game set with the Blue Jays on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.