Red Sox struggle to limit Tellez, Toronto

August 27th, 2020

Something about facing the Red Sox turns Rowdy Tellez into Superman.

After being done in by Tellez many times last season in both Boston and Toronto, the Red Sox saw him take his act to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y., on Wednesday night and do it again. The left-handed-hitting Tellez smashed two homers and had four RBIs on a night in which Boston was routed, 9-1, by the Blue Jays.

Over the past two seasons, Tellez has a slash line of .333/.418/.860 with nine homers and 20 RBIs against Boston in 67 plate appearances. Against all other teams over that span, he has 18 homers and 51 RBIs.

“We make a lot of bad pitches to him and he does not miss them,” said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. “Usually, you make some bad pitches and the guy will miss one once in a while. He doesn’t seem to do that. The last series, we did pitch him well and we did get him out, but other than that, he’s put a hurting on us all last year and so far this year.”

It was a rainy and dreary night in Buffalo, and simply one to forget for the Red Sox, who dropped to 10-21. Colten Brewer started in place of Nathan Eovaldi, who is dealing with a right calf injury, and he gave up four runs (including three homers) on five hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

“Brewer did [almost] go four today, but it was kind of a struggle to get there, but we’re just looking for those starters to give us some length and try to be able to fill it up and keep us close enough for us to stay in the ballgame,” Roenicke said.

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After an impressive offensive barrage on Tuesday, Boston’s inconsistent bats were nearly silent against the Blue Jays; a solo homer by Mitch Moreland was the team’s only hit of consequence. Alex Verdugo went 0-for-4, as his hitting streak -- the longest active one in the Majors at first pitch -- ended at 14 games.

“Yeah, we obviously didn’t get too much going,” said Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. “They did a really good job of making some pitches, especially when they needed to. They played great defense. When we did hit the ball hard, they made some big stops. They were able to limit the damage we could do.”

The inability of the Red Sox to have a collective hot streak on offense has been befuddling, given the caliber of talent in their lineup.

“It seems like we talk about it a lot. I expect our guys to get going and be consistent in the hitting -- and I know we hit some balls hard tonight at people, but still didn’t swing, obviously, as well as we did last night,” said Roenicke. “I think we got the three hits early, then nothing for five, six innings. So again, Mitch with a nice home run, oppo homer, that’s good to see. We just have to get more consistent in what we’re doing and try to score runs.”