Down early, Blue Jays out-slug Red Sox to even series
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays didn't get deflated when they fell down early. Instead, they came storming back with an 11-8 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday, snapping a four-game losing streak and evening the series at Fenway Park.
Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion supplied the bulk of the damage, combining to go 7-for-14 with six runs, two homers and seven RBIs.
Clay Buchholz (1-3, 5.76 ERA) turned in a disappointing performance for the Red Sox. Staked to a 4-0 lead, the righty couldn't get out of the third inning.
The Red Sox continually chipped away, and a two-run shot by Hanley Ramirez -- his 200th career homer -- around the Pesky Pole in right made it a 10-8 game in the eighth. But Donaldson went deep in the top of the ninth to give Toronto some insurance.
"It was just one of those nights, a Fenway game," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who saw all nine members of his starting lineup record at least one hit. "It was going back and forth, back and forth, but the fact that we answered back after we scored four just tells you what these guys are about."
"In our dugout, regardless of the score, there's always a thought, even tonight, we felt like we could come back," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We did come back. We answered. We felt like we still had an opportunity to win this game, even though you're down three or four runs in the middle innings. We've got to find a way to gain some consistency, and more importantly, maintain the momentum with a shut-down inning."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Buchholz gives back lead, then some: Right after the Red Sox worked hard to put up a four-spot in the bottom of the second, Buchholz completely lost it in the top of the third, giving up five runs, and he was removed with two outs in the inning. Perhaps the most frustrating part was Buchholz walking No. 8 hitter Kevin Pillar on five pitches to open the frame. He then gave up three straight hits, a sacrifice fly and another hit. It was the second time in Buchholz's five starts this season that he pitched less than four innings. Boston's rotation is 6-7 with a 6.03 ERA this season. More >
"We're going to show up and play," said Dustin Pedroia. "We don't dwell on things. We've played 21 games. There's a lot of adjustments that we need to make, not just pitching, but offensively and everything. So that's the game."
Estrada saves Hutchison: Hutchison was staked to a 9-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but he nearly gave it all back. Toronto's Opening Day starter allowed a leadoff single to Pablo Sandoval and then issued a pair of back-to-back walks to load the bases. Long reliever Marco Estrada entered and made the most out of the situation by limiting Boston to one run before getting Dustin Pedroia to ground out and end the threat. Estrada didn't allow an earned run and struck out three over three innings.
"[Estrada] has been good all year," Gibbons said. "We didn't really know what we had, because he missed so much of Spring Training with the ankle problem. But, you know what, he's very valuable. He has that dominating changeup ... Bugs Bunny changeup that never gets there." More >
Sandoval stays hot: Third baseman Pablo Sandoval continued to sizzle at the plate, belting four hits, including two doubles. And for the second night in a row, Sandoval belly-flopped, this time on his first double in the second inning. In the last three games, Sandoval is 7-for-9, raising his average from .266 to .329. Sandoval's final hit was significant because it was his first of the season right-handed after an 0-for-17 drought. More >
Bullpen hangs on: Brett Cecil entered to record his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning. The save came on the same day the Blue Jays removed right-hander Miguel Castro from the closer's role and reinstated Cecil in the position where he began the year. Cecil allowed a two-out single to Ryan Hanigan, but then got Mookie Betts to ground out and end the game. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Hutchison wasn't able to record a strikeout for just the second time in his career. The other start Hutchison didn't strike someone out came on May 26, 2014, in a 10-5 victory over the Rays.
Sandoval is hitting .418 (23-for-55) as a left-handed hitter this season.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Trying to rally back in the bottom of the seventh inning, Red Sox manager John Farrell challenged a play at first on a grounder to short by Xander Bogaerts. However, the call was confirmed after a review of just 43 seconds, and Bogaerts was out.
Blue Jays: R.A. Dickey will take the mound for Toronto in the series finale, which begins at 6:10 p.m. ET. The veteran knuckleballer is coming off a rough outing against the Rays which saw him allow eight runs -- seven earned -- over 4 2/3 innings. It marked the first time in 33 starts that Dickey didn't pitch at least five innings.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello draws the assignment for the Red Sox in Wednesday's series finale. Last time out, Porcello allowed six hits and four earned runs over six innings at Camden Yards.
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