Josh Donaldson showed the Red Sox just why he is the reigning MVP and brought the rain in tonight’s Blue Jays victory.
After a successful road trip going 5-2 and taking both series against the abysmal Twins and division rival Yankees, the Toronto Blue Jays were back in the dome sweet dome. Looking to keep the good mojo going Aaron Sanchez was set to face off against Joe Kelly and the red hot offense of the Boston Red Sox in the first of a 3 game set.
With his 1st inning homer, #BlueJays Josh Donaldson is now 10-for-18 with 2 HR & 7 RBI in his career vs Joe Kelly.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) May 27, 2016
Unfortunately for the home squad it wouldn’t stay that way for long. Sanchez induced a weak ground ball to start the inning, but in what is becoming a much more common occurrence, Troy Tulowitzki committed an error overthrowing Justin Smoak at first. The error not only allowed Jackie Bradley to reach safely, but advance to second as well. A Hanley Ramirez ground ball would advance JBJ, and then a hard hit fielder’s choice, bobbled only slightly by Devon Travis, would allow him to come in to score and tie the game at one.
The back and forth would continue in the bottom of the third with Ezequiel Carrera leading off. Zeke went the other way and chopped a leadoff single into left field. Donaldson then continued his domination of Joe Kelly with another line drive to right center. This one would stay in the yard for a double however, and would allow Carrera to score from first. Despite being on second with no outs, the Jays would leave Donaldson stranded and just take one, ending the inning up leading 2-1.
The see-saw battle continued as the Red Sox would respond again immediately in the top of the fourth. After striking out Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts singled to center followed by back to back singles from Travis Shaw and Hanley Ramirez pushing him in to score. A bad throwing decision from Saunders and a JBJ walk would load the bases with only one out. Josh Donaldson would save the day though with a phenomenal play on a line drive off the bat of Marco Hernandez, firing the ball quickly to second to double up Hanley Ramirez.
Not to be outdone, the Jays offense bounced right back again. Russell Martin led off the inning with a walk, and after a Travis flyout, Kevin Pillar pushed Martin to third on a perfectly executed hit and run single. After a Zeke HBP, Donaldson would remain perfect and would put a broken bat single through the 5-6 hole scoring 1 and keeping the bases loaded. The Jays would get just one more on a sacrifice fly from Edwin Encarnacion and finish the 4th up 4 -2. The Jays would then tack on a run in the fifth, that would prove to be valuable as the Red Sox would threaten to tie things back up in the seventh. After plating 2 runs and chasing Sanchez, Joe Biagini would come in to leave the tying run stranded at first.
Thank you, Joe Biagini pic.twitter.com/mWqxTPUl88
— Jays From the Couch (@JaysFromCouch) May 28, 2016
A quick and uneventful bottom of the 7th led to a top of the 8th Blue Jays defenders will soon hope to forget. The inning started off miserably for the Jays, as Biagini induced a fly ball in between Saunders and Pillar. A disastrous miscommunication allowed the ball to drop, and Pedroia to get on base with a lead off fluke double. Bogaerts would follow up with a flyout advancing Pedroia to third. Shaw was next in line with a ground ball to right that bounced off of a diving Smoak’s glove allowing Pedroia to score and tie up the game. Biagini cleaned it up from there, but the damage was done, and the game was tied.
The Jays however, had the heart of their order coming up next. Carrera started the inning with a bunt for a single, and was a duck on the pond for the reigning MVP up next. Josh Donaldson did not disappoint and brought the rain for a second time this game, putting the Jays up 7-5. A save situation now in place, Osuna would come in to close out the game uneventfully, and get the Jays their 3rd straight win.
Play of The Game:
In the bottom of the fifth Smoak would add to the Jays lead with an absolute monster blast. His smooth and beautiful swing resulted in the ball being launched off the bat at 105 mph for a 407 foot Smoak bomb to right.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 28, 2016
Despite a few great performances tonight, there is absolutely no doubt who this game ball goes to. Josh Donaldson ran away with the honors. The Bringer of Rain went 4 for 5 at the dish with 5 RBI’s, and 2 key home runs. It didn’t stop there though. Donaldson was also on point defensively turning a key double play and staying crisp and clean on a game full of ground balls.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 28, 2016
In a game full of turning points, there was only one that would end up mattering. Josh Donaldson’s home run to go up 7-5 in the bottom of the 8th. This time the Jays would go on top, and stay on top.
News and Notes:
Early in the day it was announced that Jose Bautista lost his appeal and was serving his one game suspension tonight. He did however, still make his presence felt.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 28, 2016
There were also no roster moves today as many had expected, however Tulo was back in the line up after sitting out the last two games with a sore quad.
*Featured Image Credit: udo.d UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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A group benefits consultant by day, Dustin is sports fanatic who loves talking sports more than anything. A self-glossed stats geek, he loves diving into the numbers behind the game. A proud father of 2 amazing kids, Dustin was born in Calgary, and now lives in Morinville.