Following a disastrous 11-game homestand where they went 2-9, the Sox finally gave fans something to cheer about in the first contest of their 10-game road trip, as they blew a 3-0 lead in the ninth, but still came back to beat the Blue Jays on Monday, 4-3 in 10 innings.
Clay Buchholz was impressive for almost all of his outing, allowing one run over the first eight innings while allowing two hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
But everything came undone in the ninth, as the Blue Jays finally threatened with one out after Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera singled off Buchholz and Jose Bautista walked to load the bases.
Koji Uehara came in and got Adam Lind to ground into a fielder’s choice that scored a run, but then allowed a wall-ball double to Edwin Encarnacion that tied the game before Dioner Navarro flew out to left to send it into extra innings.
Brock Holt and Yoenis Cespedes were the heroes in the 10th, as Holt singled with one out, stole second and third, then scored when Cespedes drove him home with a single of his own to give the Sox back the lead.
Craig Breslow came in and pitched a scoreless 10th to secure the victory for the Sox, earning his first save since 2010.
Toronto starter J.A. Happ went six frames and allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and eight K’s. He was all but certain to take his ninth loss of the season, but the Jays’ rally in the ninth took him off the hook.
Mookie Betts blasted his second home run of the season in the top of the fifth, taking Happ deep for a solo shot that put the Sox on top 1-0. Dustin Pedroia made it 3-0 later in the inning on a two-run bomb after just missing a home run in the third.
MVP: Yoenis Cespedes
It was almost another horror show for the Red Sox, but Cespedes sent the Red Sox fans in Toronto home happy with a two-out single in the ninth that scored Brock Holt and gave the Sox a 4-3 lead. Cespedes also singled earlier in the game, and his 2-for-5 night upped his season batting average to .258.
GOAT: Mike Napoli
The Red Sox first baseman (playing DH tonight) did nothing from the cleanup spot, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout and two runners left on base. Each of his at bats in the game seemed to kill any momentum the Sox were getting to score or increase their lead.
ICYMI: With a runner on second base in a 0-0 game in the bottom of the third, Jose Reyes smacked a grounder to the right side of the infield as Danny Valencia looked destined to score and give the Jays the lead. But Dustin Pedroia laid out to make a play on the bouncing ball, throwing out the speedy Reyes to end the inning with the game still tied up.
TWEET OF THE GAME:
Holt says he's OK, but his ears are temporarily two different sizes.
— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) August 26, 2014
NUMBERS TO KNOW: Yoenis Cespedes has 19 RBIs in 22 games since being traded to the Red Sox on July 31, with seven of them being go-ahead RBI…Since coming to Boston from Oakland, he is hitting .267 with four home runs…Mookie Betts’ solo shot in the fifth inning was his first career MLB home run outside of Fenway Park…Betts and Dustin Pedroia’s home runs in the fifth represented the first time the Sox had had a muti-homer inning since July 21, also in Toronto…The Sox have now hit 12 home runs at Rogers Centre this season, the most they have hit at any visiting ballpark.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Sox improved to 57-74 with the win. They are 18 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East, while they sit seven behind the Rays for last place in the division. They are 15 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot, while only the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers have worse records in the AL.
Through 131 games in 2013, the Red Sox were 76-55.
LOOKING AHEAD: Rubby De La Rosa is slated to get the ball for Tuesday’s matchup at the Rogers Center; he’s 4-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 13 starts for the Sox this season. He went 6 2/3 innings his last time, allowing two runs on eight hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in a 0-2 loss to the Angels on Aug. 21.
Getting the ball for the Blue Jays is R.A. Dickey, who is 10-12 with a 4.08 ERA in 27 starts for Toronto this year. In his last start on Aug. 20 against the Brewers, Dickey pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowing five runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts, but earned the win as the Jays beat the Brewers 9-5.