Final: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3: Ross got caught looking on a 92-mph fastball from Lyon, Snider made a great diving catch on a Salty blooper in left, and Middlebrooks ended the game on a swinging bunt.
Cook had great stuff for the early innings, but his a 2-run homer to Encarnacion in the sixth and a solo shot to Arencibia in the seventh proved his undoing. He had been a breath of quick-working fresh air for the Sox staff up until this point. The bullpen certainly didn’t help matters, allowing the lead to build to its final tally.
Salty busted out of his slump with a 3-run shot in the second, but the Sox got nothing else off Villanueva, and now drop down to just one game above .500, a half game ahead of the Blue Jays as Toronto goes for the sweep in tomorrow’s day game.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Postgame notes to follow. Have a good night, folks.
Top 9th: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3: With Tazawa on the mound, the Jays padded their lead. Davis led off with a double off the Monster in left and moved up on a sacrifice bunt from Lawrie. With the infield in, the speedy Davis beat out a Pedroia throw at the plate on a Rasmus RBI fielder’s choice.
Encarnacion walked, and Lind grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Three more outs left for the Sox with Ross-Salty-Middlebrooks due up.
Bottom 8th: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 3: Nothing doing for the Sox against Oliver. Nava flew out to center, Crawford went chasing a 75-mph slider and got booed for it, and, after a sharp Pedroia single to right, Gonzalez weakly grounded out to first, unassisted.
Top 8th: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 3: Padilla got two swinging strikeouts on fastballs, working around a double to Escobar. The top of the Sox order is due up in the eighth.
Bottom 7th: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 3: Villanueva gets the hook after striking out Middlebrooks on an away slider. Happ then got Sweeney and Ciriaco to ground out on two bang-bang plays at first. Padilla is coming on for the Sox.
Villanueva’s line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 101 pitches, 65 strikes.
Top 7th: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 3: The sinker never sank, and Arencibia blasted one over the Monster to give the Jays the lead. After a groundout and a Middlebrooks error, Cook was lifted in favor of Franklin Morales.
Morales then struck out Snider and walked Rajai Davis, which prompted Bobby V to bring in Matt Albers, who worked the count to 3-2 on Lawrie, misfiring on a close 2-2 pitch, and then gave up a 2-RBI single into left that pushed Toronto’s lead. After an intentional walk to Rasmus, Encarnacion also walked, that loaded the bases for Andrew Miller in relief. Miller then struck out Lind on three straight pitches.
Cook’s final line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 86 pitches, 55 strikes.
Time to stretch, because it’s the seventh inning, and this is the time to stretch.
Bottom 6th: Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 3: Alex the Intern is back after Varitek spoke with the media. Plenty of good stuff out of there that we will have for you postgame.
As far as the sixth goes against Villanueva, Gonzalez again grounded out into the shift, Ross bounced out to first unassisted, and Salty grounded out to second.
Middle of the 6th: Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 3: Rasmus walked with two outs. Encarnacion then hit a sinker that didn’t sink quite enough in the direction of the Mass Pike. It cleared everything in left. No. 26 on the year for him. Brand new ballgame at Fenway.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Ciriaco bunted for a single with one out before Nava walked. Crawford hit the ball hard, but right to Snider in left field. Then Pedroia grounded to shortstop.
Only six hits in this game through 5 innings.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Cook is a machine. Johnson liked to short, Ciriaco plucking the ball just before it hit the dirt. Escobar grounded to third and Snider to first. That’s 10 groundball outs in five innings for Cook.
Amazing stat: Cook has a 1.41 ERA in his last 32 innings and three strikeouts. It defies logic. Eventually all that contact will turn into hits, it always happens to sinkerballers. But when those guys get on a good run, they pile up quick outs.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Ross walked then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. On a full count, Salty flipped his bat and began to jog towards first, but got rung up by umpire Andy Fletcher on a 90-mph fastball that left Salty rather displeased.
Middlebrooks then ripped a liner that Escobar snared and doubled off Ross at second.
Top 4th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Cook likewise follows things up with a 1-2-3 frame, getting Encarnacion on a popout, Lind to weakly ground back to the mound and, after Arencibia skied a foul ball clear over the Coca-Cola sign past the left-field pole, he grounded out to short.
An aside: Varitek is speaking with the media shortly, so Pete will take over the in-game updates in my stead for an inning or so. Try not to miss me too much. But some would be nice.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Villanueva settles down, getting Crawford to fly out to left, Pedroia to fly out to center, and Gonzalez to ground out into the shift.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Cook ran into some trouble this inning. His pitch-to-contact approach allowed the Jays to get solid swings and load the bases. Johnson doubled, Escobar reached on a Ciriaco fielding error, and Snider singled up the middle.
Cook then struck out Gose swinging, just his third punchout of the season, and Lawrie hit a sacrifice fly to deep right that plated Toronto’s first run. Rasmus broke his bat on a flyout to center that ended the inning and stranded runners on the corners.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0: Welcome back, Salty.
The Sox finally got some offensive momentum — remember that buzz word from last night? — going this inning. Gonzalez ripped a single to right and Ross put two runners in scoring position with a high-arching double that splashed just inside the left-field foul line. Saltalamacchia, himself stuck in a strikeout-filled slump (1 for 25 with 16 Ks) entering this game, then drilled a three-run homer into the Blue Jays bullpen.
After Middlebrooks grounded out to third and Sweeney flew out to deep center, Ciriaco reached on an error by the shortstop Escobar, but Nava struck out for the second time tonight, this time on an 89-mph fastball.
Top 2nd: Blue Jays 0, Red Sox 0: Six outs, six ground balls for Cook: Encarnacion to third, Lind to second, Arencibia to third. Even with that pregame ceremony, things are moving quick at Fenway.
Bottom 1st: Blue Jays 0, Red Sox 0: So the Aaron Cook Groundball Show quickly morphed into the Carlos Villanueva Strikeout Show. The right-hander gets Nava swinging on a slider and Crawford swinging on a fastball before Pedroia grounds out to third to end the inning.
Top 1st: Blue Jays 0, Red Sox 0: Well, what did you expect, fly balls from Aaron Cook? After coming out to “Call Me, Maybe” for the second straight game, he induced groundouts from Gose, Lawrie, and Rasmus to get through a perfect first. Three groundballs, all on two-seam fastballs.
Pregame: Welcome, welcome, friends and family, to the second of a three-game series with Toronto at Fenway or, as the Sox have dubbed it, “Thanks, Tek Day.” (A post on the pregame ceremony is here)
Aaron Cook (2-2, 3.34 ERA) brings his groundball-inducing sinker and blistering pace to the mound for tonight’s 7:10 p.m. first pitch, and will face Carlos Villanueva (4-0, 2.68 ERA), who is riding a 12-inning scoreless streak that spans his past two starts.
The comment section is open and waiting for your enjoyment. As always, we’ve got your updates.