TORONTO -- When Luke Maile made a run-scoring error in the top of the fourth inning, he promised Aaron Sanchez he would make up for it. Turns out he did a whole lot more than that.Maile hit a pair of home runs, including a walk-off two-run shot in the 12th
TORONTO -- When Luke Maile made a run-scoring error in the top of the fourth inning, he promised Aaron Sanchez he would make up for it. Turns out he did a whole lot more than that.
Maile hit a pair of home runs, including a walk-off two-run shot in the 12th inning, to propel the Blue Jays to a 5-3 victory over the Red Sox, who got 15 strikeouts from starter Chris Sale, on Friday night at Rogers Centre. With a couple swings of the bat, the error became a distant memory.
Toronto has three walk-off victories this season, and Maile has been responsible for two of them. He also hit a walk-off single against the Royals on April 17. The Blue Jays are now 5-0 in extra-inning games this season and a perfect 17-0 this season when scoring at least five runs.
"I made that error in the fourth inning and I just felt terrible about it. It was the dumbest play of my entire career," said Maile, who finished with three hits and four RBIs. "But luckily, it worked out. I was hoping it would and I was hoping he wasn't on the hook for a really unfortunate 'L' right there. Good team win."
Maile's error came with two outs and a runner on first base. Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon struck out swinging, but the ball bounced away from Maile. He had plenty of time to make the out after locating the ball, but his rushed throw ended up sailing down the right-field line. That allowed Brock Holt to score all the way from first base, and with Sale on the mound for Boston, Sanchez was in line for the loss.
The narrative changed in the seventh when Maile hit a solo home run off Sale to tie the game, and it was completely forgotten about in the 12th when the catcher sent a first-pitch fastball over the right-center-field wall off Red Sox left-hander Christopher Johnson. The homers were the first time Maile went deep since May 31, 2017, and it marked the first multi-homer game of his career.
After finishing last year with a .146 average, seven extra-base hits and seven RBIs, Maile has already exceeded -- or is on the verge of exceeding -- all of those numbers. He has reached base in 14 of his 17 games this season, seven of those involving multiple hits, and he's batting .339 with seven extra-base hits and 14 RBIs.
"I haven't hit a walk-off homer since college," said Maile, who has a .418 on-base percentage. "It's pretty cool. It's pretty cool to do it against the Red Sox in kind of an important game for us here. Even though it's early in the season, it's the type of series you really want to try to win."
After Sanchez allowed three runs (two earned) over five innings, John Axford, Seunghwan Oh, Dennis Tepera and Tyler Clippard each tossed a scoreless frame before the ball was handed to right-hander Sam Gaviglio to start the 10th.
Gaviglio was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo earlier in the day for exactly this kind of situation. An overworked bullpen needed a long reliever, and he did not disappoint. The 27-year-old allowed just one hit over three scoreless innings while striking out three to pick up the fifth victory of his big league career.
"I was ready to go. They told me to be ready for anything," said Gaviglio, who had a 1.86 ERA in five starts for Buffalo. "It's just another baseball game. They have a great lineup over there, but you want to keep going after them, throwing strikes and not giving them any advantage."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Maile takes Sale yard: Maile's first home run of the game came off one of the top pitchers in the Majors to tie the game at 3. After the game, he admitted he was sitting on an inside fastball, which he got from Sale. According to Statcast™, Maile's first of the year was projected to travel 359 feet and left his bat at 99.7 mph.
Blue Jays starters have lasted at least six innings once in their last nine games. During that time, the rotation's ERA has risen from 5.13 to 5.49, which ranks 28th in the Majors. Toronto starters also have not struck out more than four batters in a game during that span.
HE SAID IT
"You've got to tip your cap to him for a hell of a night. The game-tying home run there in the seventh, then walked it off there in the 12th. When it's your night, it's your night." -- Sale, on Maile
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Blue Jays caught a break in the top of the third inning when Hanley Ramirez ran through the stop sign at third base. The play happened when J.D. Martinez hit a double to the gap in right-center field. Kevin Pillar picked up the ball and fired the relay throw to shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Ramirez tried to score all the way from first base but was instead thrown out by a couple of feet. Boston manager Alex Cora asked for a review as he believed Maile was blocking the plate, but after a brief review, the call on the field was confirmed.
Eduardo Nunez appeared to beat out a double play in the sixth inning on a bang-bang play at first base, but the Blue Jays challenged the call of safe on the field. The replay showed that the ball entered Justin Smoak's glove just before Nunez got to the bag, and the call was overturned to create a double play.
Right-hander Marco Estrada will take the mound when the Blue Jays continue their three-game series against the Red Sox at 4:07 p.m. ET on Saturday. Estrada is coming off one of his best starts of the season, having tossed six scoreless innings vs. Tampa Bay. He did not allow a home run for the second time in seven starts this season. Boston will counter with former Blue Jays lefty David Price.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.