Series Sum-Up: Red Sox vs. Blue Jays

By: Emily (@JaysGirlEmily)

Canadian Baseball Network

Game 1: Friday, May 27th

Starting Pitcher: Aaron Sanchez
Winning Pitcher: Joe Biagini
Save: Roberto Osuna 

When you’re a triple shy of the cycle, would you rather hit the triple, or a game-winning home run instead? I’m sure Josh Donaldson was more than happy to ‘settle’ for the two-run homer, as his drive in the eighth plated Ezequiel Carrera, and made a winner out of Biagini, who had also been charged with the blown save.

Carrera was playing right field and leading off due to Jose Bautista serving his one-game suspension. Donaldson, who’d had a solo homer in the first, a double in the third, and a single in the fourth, matched his career high of five RBI in one game, and also scored two runs. Justin Smoak added a solo shot of his own in the fifth, and Edwin Encarnacion had a sac fly in the fourth, the only runs Donaldson didn’t drive in.

Aaron Sanchez outlasted Boston starter Joe Kelly – they went 6.2 and 4.2 innings, respectively – but allowed three earned runs on five hits and two walks, as well as an unearned fourth run on a Troy Tulowitzki error.

Sanchez also loaded the bases in the fourth with one out, before Donaldson and Devon Travis turned a nifty double play to escape the inning. In their first home game with the Dome roof open, the Blue Jays had eleven hits, four walks (three to Michael Saunders alone) and a hit batter.

Game 2: Saturday, May 28th

JAYS WIN!!! 10-9
Starting Pitcher: Marcus Stroman
Winning Pitcher: Gavin Floyd

Stroman was hardly at his best today, as he gave up seven runs on eleven hits through 5.1 innings. Luckily for him, the offense, down 4-8 in the eighth, rallied to tie the game, so he earned a no-decision. The Jays mashed 14 hits, including five doubles, a triple, and one home run (from Russell Martin in the sixth). They also walked twice, reached on an error and had two hit batters, one of which drove in a run.

The bottom of the eigth began with the other HBP, Michael Saunders. It wasn’t until three hits, a wild pitch, and three runs later that the first out was recorded. With two outs, Jose Bautista drove in another run to tie the game. The Red Sox scored again on a David Ortiz homer in the top of the ninth, making it 9-8 Boston.

But a two-out rally in the ninth brought in the tying run on a Russell Martin double, and then Martin scored the winning run after moving to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a Devon Travis single that Travis Shaw couldn’t get to first base in time. Martin had three hits (he wound up a triple short of the cycle), three RBI and three runs scored, while Travis had two hits and two RBI, scoring one run.

Game 3: Sunday, May 29th

Jays lose, 3-5 (11 innings)
Starting Pitcher: R.A. Dickey
Losing Pitcher: Gavin Floyd

Only R.A. Dickey could no-hit a team for five innings, and then be pulled in the sixth because he loaded the bases with one out. He’d only had three walks allowed for the first five innings (one of which was erased on a double play) but on his third time through the top of the Red Sox order, they had a triple, two singles, and a walk.

Dickey then hit a batter, bringing in the second Boston run and tying the game. The Blue Jays had taken the lead in the fifth on a two-run Jose Bautista home run off former teammate David Price.

The Sox scored again in that sixth inning, after Chad Girodo replaced Dickey and walked the first (and only) batter he faced. But Jesse Chavez stranded the bases loaded to limit the damage to three runs.  

Edwin Encarnacion tied the game in the eighth with a solo home run, and it was sent into extra innings after each team stranded a pair in the ninth. The Blue Jays failed to get more than a hit off the recently-demoted Clay Buchholz, and then Gavin Floyd walked a pair, followed by a Dustin Pedroia ground-rule double off Drew Storen, and an RBI ground out. Floyd took the loss after the Saunders, Bautista and Donaldson went down easily in the bottom of the 11th.

Overall Notes:

Jose Bautista’s suspension was ridiculous in my mind, especially considering the instigator’s suspension was reduced on appeal. However, Joey Bats made the most of his day off, including taking the microphone during the fourth inning to introduce his fellow outfielder.

He later clowned around with Montreal Canadiens player PK Subban, and took in a Raptors game.

David Price made his first start in Toronto since joining the Red Sox. Fans gave him some polite applause as he took the mound, and again when he left the game, and he later tweeted his appreciation.

My favourite player(s) this series: Donaldson/Travis/Martin

Josh Donaldson is the MVP for a reason. The majority of his home runs last year either served to tie the game, or put the Blue Jays on top, and that clutch ability was on full display in this series. Both his home runs in Game 1 gave the Jays the lead, and he wound up 6-for-13 this series with the two homers, a double, and three walks.

Devon Travis was an obvious pick, given how he was responsible for Saturday’s walkoff. But it should also be mentioned that he’s hit in each of the five games played since his return from injury, and was 4-for-14 in this series, along with two RBI and a run scored. Oh yeah, then there’s also his adorable reaction after driving in the winning run.

Speaking of that walkoff, it wouldn’t have been possible without Russell Martin’s double, which tied the game, and his advancing to third on a wild pitch. Martin scored 4 runs in this series, drove in three, and had four hits, including a home run and a double in two games (he didn’t start on Sunday). It’s a good sign that the catcher has made strides to improve his hitting.

Where we are now:
3rd place, 5.0 games back of Boston

The bad news is, Tulo has been placed on the DL due to the quad strain he suffered in the New York series. He’ll be out for at least a few weeks as a result, and we won’t get to see the power that was beginning to return to his bat, as either Barney or Goins will be playing shortstop.

The good news is, the Jays have won their last three series after being swept by the Rays – two of them on the road! And winning series against division rivals will do wonders for your place in the standings.