Mookie, Red Sox stun Blue Jays with rally, walk-off
BOSTON -- Mookie Betts laced a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at Fenway Park. When Xander Bogaerts scored to end the game, it marked the first time Boston had the lead.
"Yeah, we've seen it here a couple of times, where even when we get down to our final at-bat, guys don't give away at-bats," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "They put up tough innings, build an inning. Tonight that was the case again."
It was Bogaerts who jump-started the winning rally with a one-out single to left. Ryan Hanigan followed with a single up the middle. Blue Jays reliever Miguel Castro then uncorked a wild pitch to put the winning run at third base.
Trailing the entire night, the Red Sox chipped away and finally tied it in the eighth. Betts started that rally with a single off the Green Monster. Dustin Pedroia followed with a single, and both runners moved up on a wild pitch by Roberto Osuna. The Blue Jays then walked David Ortiz intentionally to load the bases with nobody out.
Hanley Ramirez got the tying run home on a liner to left for a sacrifice fly that Dalton Pompey dove and caught. The catch wound up being huge, as Allen Craig struck out looking and Daniel Nava hit a liner to third that was snared by Josh Donaldson.
The Blue Jays broke out quickly against Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly to take a 3-0 lead before Boston even came to bat. Kelly stayed in through six innings, giving up five runs but fanning 10. Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez wasn't particularly sharp, giving up five hits and four runs (three earned) over 5 2/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sandoval's belly flop and laser homer: It was quite a fourth inning for Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval. In the top of the inning, he charged a bunt by Pompey and made a brilliant catch on a belly flop. In the bottom of the frame, he belted a vicious liner to right that soared into the visitors' bullpen for a solo shot. It was Sandoval's second homer with the Red Sox and first in his career at Fenway. He exited in the top of the sixth with neck soreness.
"I'll be fine tomorrow," Sandoval said. "It's sore, but part of the game. Have to take one for the team." More >
Rookie keeps raking: Devon Travis saw his 11-game hitting streak come to an end on Sunday afternoon, but he got back into the swing of things during the series opener against Boston. Travis hit a solo homer in the top of the third inning off Kelly for his sixth of the year. That moved Travis within two of the April franchise record for rookies set by Carlos Delgado in 1994.
Kelly's mixed bag: Kelly looked like he might be in for a tough night when he threw 33 pitches and gave up three runs in the top of the first. But he settled down nicely and notched a career-high 10 strikeouts over six innings.
"I was shaky the whole night with my fastball command," said Kelly. "It's something that -- we called fastball down and away to a righty. I was missing over the middle or missing in. From then on out, I basically had to go to my offspeed, which is basically the only thing that kept me in that ballgame."
Castro's struggles continue: Castro can't seem to shake his recent funk. He entered with the score tied at 5 and took the loss. Castro has now allowed a run in four of his last five appearances.The rookie right-hander had never pitched above Class A prior to this season, and he has been experiencing difficulty keeping the ball down in the zone. That trend continued against Boston. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Blue Jays have at least one double in 17 consecutive games. They entered play on Monday tied for first place in that category with Oakland (37).
The Red Sox have won their first seven series openers, marking the third time they've done that in club history. The other times were 1917 and 2013.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Drew Hutchison will look to build on a nearly flawless outing against the Orioles when he takes the mound on Tuesday night at 6:10 ET against the Red Sox. During his last start, Hutchison carried a perfect game into the sixth inning until Manny Machado put an end to that with a solo homer. Hutchison finished with two earned runs over a season-high eight innings of work.
Red Sox: Righty Clay Buchholz gets the ball for the middle game of this series on Tuesday. Buchholz is still trying to settle into a rhythm this season, but he had good stuff in his last start, allowing two hits and one run over six innings while striking out 10.
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