For the first time in almost two weeks, the Red Sox have rattled off consecutive wins, as they took their second straight extra-inning affair against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night, 11-7.
Aided by an overturned call in the top of the 11th, the Sox loaded the bases and Dustin Pedroia knocked home his third and fourth runs of the night with a single up the middle that scored Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez to give the Sox a 6-4 edge.
Mike Napoli launched a three-run bomb later in the frame to erase any doubt about the outcome of this one. Allen Craig then added two more for good measure with a two-run shot of his own to make it 11-4.
The Jays scored three more in the bottom of the inning to make it 11-7, but it was not enough to come back against the Sox.
Rubby De La Rosa lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and no strikeouts. Jays’ starter R.A. Dickey went six frames, giving up three runs, one earned, on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Neither starter factored into the final decision, as Junichi Tazawa picked up the win and Casey Janssen, who gave up four runs in the 11th, took the loss.
The Red Sox broke out of the gates early as Brock Holt reached on a strikeout that got away from catcher Josh Thole. Pedroia then took a hanging knuckler from Dickey deep into the left field stands for his second two-run homer in as many nights to put the Sox up by a pair.
The Sox made it 3-0 on a two-out double to center by Will Middlebrooks that scored Mike Napoli from second, but Allen Craig was gunned down at the play trying to score from first that retired the side.
The Blue Jays chipped their way back into the game, scoring a run in three straight innings from the third to the fifth. Munenori Kawasaki scored on a Melky Cabrera groundout in the third; Juan Francisco came to the plate on a soft fly ball to right by Kawasaki in the fourth; and Cabrera scored in the fifth on a fielder’s choice grounded into by Edwin Encarnacion to knot the game 3-3.
The tandem of Yoenis Cespedes and Holt got the Sox a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh, as Holt singled with one out, advanced to second on a walk to Dustin Pedroia, and then scored on a Cespedes single up the middle.
But the Jays wasted no time in tying the game back up, as Jose Bautista blasted a solo shot into left off Alex Wilson to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
MVP: Dustin Pedroia
Pedroia had himself a game on Tuesday, smacking a two-run home run in the first and picking up two more RBIs on a single in the 11th for his first four-RBI game since May 2.
GOAT: Casey Janssen
The Blue Jays closer couldn’t get it done in the 11th, as he gave up four runs, three earned, on two hits with two strikeouts in a full inning pitched, taking his second loss of the season.
ICYMI: After Brock Holt singled to start the game, Dustin Pedroia gave the Sox a quick two-run lead in the top of the first by smashing his seventh home run of the season and his second in as many nights at Rogers Centre.
TWEET OF THE GAME:
It's been that kind of day for Heath "Hemrbee": pic.twitter.com/EXlXJfGWIh— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) August 27, 2014
NUMBERS TO KNOW: Dustin Pedroia’s first inning homer was the ninth of his career at Rogers Centre; he hasn’t hit more than four at any other visiting ballpark…Yoenis Cespedes picked up his 20th RBI in 23 games since joining the Red Sox… The Red Sox scored seven or more runs in a single extra inning for the first time since Aug. 16, 2005, the only two times in the last 30 years the team has accomplished that feat…Mike Napoli’s three-run home run in the top of the 11th was the 17th ball hit into the fifth deck of the Rogers Centre, the highest seating in the ballpark…The Red Sox won back-to-back games on the road in extra innings since they beat the A’s in Oakland on May 9-10, 1986.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Sox improved to 58-74 on the season; they’re currently 18 games behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East, while they trail the Rays by six games to get out of the basement of the division.
The Sox are currently 14 games behind the Detroit Tigers Seattle Mariners for the second AL Wild Card spot, and six games ahead of the Texas Rangers for last place in the American League.
LOOKING AHEAD: Joe Kelly gets the ball for the Red Sox in the series finale, holding a 2-3 record with a 4.26 ERA over 11 starts with the Red Sox and Cardinals this season. In his last outing, he went five innings, allowing no runs on just one hit with three walks and five strikeouts before he was pulled due to injury concerns.
Marcus Stroman, who nearly no-hit the Sox earlier this season, will start for Toronto, hoping to improve upon his 7-5 record with a 4.11 ERA this season. He struggled in his last start, allowing five earned runs over five innings on 10 hits with three walks and six strikeouts to the Rays on Aug. 22.