In a game where the Red Sox out hit the Blue Jays, it still wasn’t enough Thursday night at Fenway Park.
Toronto completed the sweep with a 6-5 extra-innings win after winning the series in another extra-innings victory over Boston. The Red Sox showed improvement on the offense and came nearly close to earning a bounce-back win.
The Red Sox had an 87% chance of scoring with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, according to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. Boston had its chance to earn its fifth walk-win of the year. But Franchy Cordero struck out, and Kiké Hernández grounded into a double play.
“We didn’t put the ball in play in certain situations, obviously,” manager Alex Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Then we put the ball in play, they turned a double play. That’s a great play by (Matt) Chapman. He didn’t panic, probably another third baseman would throw to the plate and just get one out. He knew it. He anticipated, stepped on the bag, and got the play.
“They missed some pitches, but we haven’t had third, less than two outs a lot. Men in scoring position, we’re (3-for-20). It’s gotta be better, man. That’s the bottom line. You see the difference with them. You see George (Springer) put the ball in play. (Danny) Jansen put the ball in play. They didn’t hit a single in the last inning. It was a ground ball to shortstop, advanced the runner. Put the ball in play with two strikes, great base running and they score.”
As Cora noted, the Red Sox are batting .150 with runners in scoring position and have left 12 on base, according to MassLive’s Christopher Smith. Boston out hit the Blue Jays, 15-13, Thursday night, with Reese McGuire leading the team with three. However, when it came to timely runs, the Red Sox were unable to capitalize, and Cora was asked if batters are doing too much in those situations.
“I mean, not really,” Cora told reporters. “We have to make a conscious effort using the whole field. I do believe that’s it. We haven’t done that. That’s on us. We gotta keep preaching that. We got to be better. It’s like I said early on today, it’s not only here, it’s everywhere. Winning teams, they do that stuff. You see (Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) going the other way. We’re talking about elite hitters. Two strikes, making a conscious effort using the whole field, and we’re not doing that.”
Here are more notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays:
— Kevin Gausman has been dominant against the Red Sox this season. In four starts, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA, .092 WHIP, and 37 strikeouts, according to Sportsnet Stats. But Thursday night was a different story for the 31-year-old. Boston batters got nine hits off Gausman and scored five runs, cutting his night short at five innings. Despite six strikeouts over the Red Sox, the four runs were as many given up by Gausman in the last 26 innings against Boston, according to Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam.
— The Red Sox forced shortstop Bo Bichette into an error, the 15th of his season. He is now tied for third most errors in Major League Baseball, according to Stats Centre.
— This was the eighth time this season Boston has recorded 15 or more hits this season, according to Raleigh Clark of Red Sox media relations. While an impressive feat, Boston has lost each of their last 2 games when they have 15 or more hits. They had 19 hits against the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 19.
— All nine batters in the Red Sox starting lineup recorded at least 1 hit, the fifth time they’ve done so this season, according to Clark.
— McGuire’s 3-for-4 night was highlighted by his first career triple that came in the bottom of the eighth inning.
— The Red Sox start a three-game series with another American League East rival in the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. First pitch at Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET on Apple TV+. The second game will be on NESN, and first pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m., and you can catch full coverage of that game using NESN 360, plus an hour of pregame coverage.