Red Sox ride 8-run first to series win vs. Jays
TORONTO -- The Red Sox rode a big first inning all the way to a 12-6 victory over the Blue Jays in the series finale at Rogers Centre on Thursday night. Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt each went 4-for-6 at the plate, Mookie Betts and Alejandro De Aza had three hits apiece and Wade Miley posted a five-inning start to help Boston clinch the series.
The first eight Red Sox batters scored as the visitors tallied nine hits in the first inning, driving Toronto starter Matt Boyd from the game before he was able to record an out. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez cracked back-to-back homers, De Aza tripled and six other Red Sox singled to provide Boston all the offense needed to stave off a four-run second inning and a two-run ninth from the Blue Jays.
Miley allowed four earned runs on seven hits to improve to 8-7 on the season. With the Blue Jays threatening, he worked his way through a scoreless fourth and fifth inning to keep the Red Sox's lead intact before turning the ball over to the bullpen after 103 pitches. His counterpart Boyd had a much more difficult time, becoming the second starter in Blue Jays history to face seven batters without getting an out. The other was Dave Stieb vs. the Red Sox in 1990.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sox go back to back: As a part of their explosive opening inning, Ortiz and Ramirez gave the Red Sox back-to-back homers for the fourth time this season. Ortiz's bomb, a three-run shot, padded his all-time home run total at Rogers Centre, giving him 39 over his career -- the most by a visiting player. Additionally, it was his 58th career homer against the Blue Jays, the highest all-time total against Toronto in Major League history.
"It was good to see David put a good swing on a left-handed pitcher for a home run," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We're seeing a lot of hard contact from David nightly."
Boyd, Oh Boyd: Boyd was pulled from the game without recording an out after he allowed the first seven batters of the game to reach base. There were the back-to-back homers, but he also surrendered four singles and a walk before getting the early hook. This was the first time in franchise history Toronto allowed seven runs in the first inning before recording an out. The last team to do that was the Angels in a game vs. Oakland on July 17, 2011. More >
"Just learn from it," Boyd said. "Count on me learning from this and being better from this. It won't happen again."
Miley maneuvers: Miley worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the fourth after he issued back-to-back two-out walks to Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. The left-hander fanned Chris Colabello to keep the four-run lead intact before pitching a scoreless fifth, thanks in large part to Betts' throw to home that nailed Danny Valencia on a play at the plate that the Blue Jays challenged. After review, it was ruled that the call stands. More >
"We've been able to go through this stretch here with solid starting pitching," Farrell said. "Tonight was a little bit shaky, but Wade kept it together good enough. Our starters have been able to allow our offense to get on the board early and keep things in check."
Too little, too late: The Blue Jays made some noise in the bottom of the ninth when Russell Martin and Valencia hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the inning. It was the sixth time this year Toronto has gone back to back. The homers cut Boston's lead to six, but that was as close as the Blue Jays would get.
"He was swimming in the dirt, it looked like."-- Farrell, on Bogaerts' face-plant dive back into first base during the sixth inning.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The last time the Red Sox scored eight or more runs in the first inning of a game was way back on June 21, 1994. That night they scored 10, also against the Blue Jays.
Boyd's seven earned runs are tied for the third most allowed by a starter without recording an out in Major League Baseball history.
Martin was ruled out after the call on the field was overturned following review in the bottom of the fifth. He was initially ruled safe after he appeared to leg out an infield single, but the play was close enough to warrant a challenge from Farrell.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was ejected after his challenge in the bottom of the fifth inning was unsuccessful. Valencia slid home and was called out by Gerry Davis in a close play at the plate. Replays later showed that Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan missed the tag, but it wasn't clear whether Valencia touched the plate with his hand. It was ruled that the call on the field stands since Hanigan eventually tagged out Valencia before the conclusion of the play. More >
"I saw his hand go over the bag," Miley said. "Still pretty sure he didn't touch it, that's why I told Hanny to make sure he touches him because he never touched the plate. That's huge right there."
Red Sox: Justin Masterson will make his second start since coming off the disabled list as the Red Sox return to Fenway Park for the series opener against the Astros on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The right-hander was on the shelf with tendinitis in his right shoulder, but he was solid in his return, going five innings while allowing no earned runs in a win over the Rays.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Drew Hutchison will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a three-game series against the Tigers at Comerica Park on Friday at 7:08 p.m. ET. This also marks the first time these two teams have faced each other since an offseason trade that saw Anthony Gose sent to Detroit and Devon Travis go to Toronto .
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