Final: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 1: Cody Ross somehow didn’t hit a 7-run walk-off homer. Instead, he struck out swinging. Middlebrooks punched a single to right and stole second, and Daniel Nava, pinch-hitting for Shoppach, drew a walk, with Middlebrooks advancing on a wild pitch. Aviles reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Middlebrooks for the Sox’ only run, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, pinch-hitting for Ciriaco, struck out swinging to end the game.
Laffey (2-1) spun a seven-inning shutout, and Ramus had a pair of RBIs in the second inning. Beckett (5-8) again struggled in the first, allowing two runs and getting behind right off the bat. The Sox had eight hits off Laffey, all singles, and never really got any semblance of a rally going. Bobby V talked about not believing in game-to-game momentum earlier Friday, and he proved prophetic.
Thanks for sticking around, and for commenting. As always, postgame notes will follow.
Top 9th: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 0: Toronto tacks on another run on consecutive doubles by Snider and Gomes. Gose then walked, chasing Melancon in favor of Tazawa.
Ross then made a phenomenal play in right, running down a Rasmus liner then doubling up Gomes at second on the run.
Janssen on to close things out for the Jays. Sox have Ross-Middlebrooks-Shoppach due up.
Bottom 8th: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: Nothing going for the heart of the Sox order. Crawford grounded out to second, Pedroia popped out to second and Gonzalez struck out swinging. Three more outs for the Sox.
Top 8th: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: Melancon faces the minimum, striking out Lind looking on a cutter and, after a full-count walk to Arencibia, gets Johnson to ground into a 4-6-3 double play on a nifty glove flip from Pedroia.
Oliver on for the Jays.
Laffey’s line: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 88 pitches, 59 strikes.
Time to sing, but only if you want to.
Bottom 7th: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: Middlebrooks and Shoppach strung together consecutive singles that got the Jays bullpen moving and earned Laffey a mound visit, but he struck out Aviles for the second straight time tonight on a cutter. Ciriaco reached on a fielder’s choice. With runners on the corners, Laffey got Ellsbury to pop out in foul territory. The Sox have out-hit the Jays 8-7 so far, but all have been singles, and Laffey has another scoreless outing going against Boston.
Melancon on to replace Miller.
Top 7th: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: Miller sets down the side in order: Gose looking on a fastball that touched 97 mph, Rasmus on a groundout to second, and Encarnacion on a flyout to right.
Time to stretch, but only if you want to.
Bottom 6th: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: Crawford struck out on another Laffey cutter to lead off the inning and, after a Pedroia single — the Sox have six hits tonight, all singles — Gonzalez lined out to right and Ross grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Andrew Miller on for the Sox.
Beckett’s line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 96 pitches, 62 strikes.
Top 6th: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: Beckett has seven strikeouts now after getting Johnson swinging on a changeup. Escobar grounded out to Pedroia, Snider drew a full-count walk, and Gomes bounced into an inning-ending fielder’s choice. Beckett has retired 13 of his last 16, but the Sox can’t get anything going offensively.
Note: Presented without comment: A Blue Jays fan wearing a Lawrie jersey just proposed to his girlfriend on the big screen. Some Sox fans started booing.
Bottom 5th: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: Laffey got around a leadoff single from Shoppach by striking Aviles out swinging, getting Ciriaco to ground out to third, and Ellsbury on a groundout to first. He’s only struck out two so far, both on cutters, but Laffey has held the Sox scoreless through five.
Top 5th: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: OK, so I lied. The boos are back. After Beckett finally got Rasmus, a triple and a double in his first two at bats, swinging on an 85-mph changeup. Encarnacion hit a sharp single to Middlebrooks, who threw it away and allowed the Jays first baseman to advance to second. Lind then drove him home with a single to center, but Middlebrooks atoned for his error with a 5-4-3 double play.
Bottom 4th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 0: Toronto’s outfield is showing some nice coverage as Snider ran down a fly ball from Gonzalez in left to lead things off. Ross, last night’s hero, stroked a single, but Middlebrooks grounded sharply into an inning-ending double play.
Top 4th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 0: The boos have turned to enthusiastic cheers as Beckett has retired seven straight now. He gets Snider looking on a fastball, Gomes swinging on a curveball, and Gose to ground out to second.
Bottom 3rd: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 0: After Aviles beat out an infield hit, Ciriaco bunted one foul then swung and missed on two straight cutters. Ellsbury hit a seeing-eye single up the middle, Crawford skied a flyout to the right-field track, and Gose made a nice running catch to track down a Pedroia fly. Sox threaten, but again cannot get a run on the board.
Top 3rd: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 0: Clean sheet for Beckett this time. Arencibia grounds out to the mound, Johnson flies out to shallow center, and Escobar strikes out swinging on a 92-mph fastball.
Bottom 2nd: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 0: They shredded Ross’s jersey last night, and he shredded his bat on a comebacker to Laffey to lead off the inning. Middlebrooks then lined out up the middle and Shoppach grounded out to third. Nothing doing for the Sox through two.
Top 2nd: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 0: Beckett is getting hit hard. Real hard. Escobar led off with a double to the base off the Monster and moved up on a Snider groundout. With the infield in, Beckett struck out Gomes on a 90-mph cutter, then, after walking Gose on a full count, gave up a two-RBI double to Rasmus, his second extra-base hit tonight in as many innings. Beckett then walked Encarnacion on four straight pitches, and got Lind to ground out to end the inning.
And no, the fans aren’t chanting “Youk” either. Those are boos for Beckett, and chants of “Let’s Go Blue Jays” from the stands.
Bottom 1st: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 0: Sox can’t answer against Laffey, who held Boston scoreless through six innings the last time they faced. Ellsbury lined out sharply to center, Crawford reached on an infield single, Pedroia popped out to right, and Gonzalez grounded out to second.
Top 1st: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 0: Another first inning, another couple runs against Josh Beckett, even with the Jays missing Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie, though Toronto benefited from a little bit of luck this time around.
After Gose struck out swinging on a 93-mph fastball, Rasmus tripled over Ross’s head and was ruled safe sliding in ahead of a Middlebrooks throw on Encarnacion’s RBI fielder’s choice.
Lind then singled and, with runners on the corners, Arencibia hit an RBI single. Johnson then bounced back to Beckett for an inning-ending double play.
That makes the third straight start Beckett has allowed runs in the first inning. Entering Friday, he had a 10.20 ERA in the opening frame this season.
Pregame: Fresh off a wild walk-off win courtesy of a three-run Cody Ross homer, the Sox open up a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Fenway. Josh Beckett (5-7, 4.44 ERA) takes the mound against Aaron Laffey (1-1, 3.38 ERA).
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