Blue Jays’ bullpen stumbles late in loss to Boston

The Blue Jays battled the Red Sox for eleven innings, but the bullpen let the game and a chance at a sweep get away.

Toronto welcomed back a friendly face to the Rogers Centre this afternoon by the name of David Price. He and R.A. Dickey went toe-to-toe putting zeroes on the board through the first four and a half innings, until Jose Bautista broke through with a two-run home run after an Ezequiel Carrera single.

With the help of some excellent defense, Dickey, was excellent in his own right through five innings. In fact, he had a no-hitter going until it was broken up by a Mookie Betts one out triple in the sixth.

In a sudden turn of events Dickey would start to struggle at this point. The triple led to a consecutive singles by Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts, followed by a walk to Travis Shaw and a HBP of Hanley Ramirez to force the tying run home. Dickey’s day would end here as he was replaced by Chad Girodo.

Girodo was called upon to face the left-hand hitting Jack Bradley Jr with the bases still loaded, however, he issued a walk to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead, before he was removed for Jesse Chavez.

To his credit Chavez came out of the bullpen firing quality pitches. Faced with a bases loaded, one out situation, he struck out Josh Rutledge for the second out and got Christian Vazquez to fly out to right field. His ability to end the inning without further damage closed out Dickey’s day, and left the knuckleballer with a 5.1 IP, 3H, 3ER, 4BB, 1 K line for the afternoon.

The Blue Jays were able to get into Boston’s bullpen with one out in the seventh inning. After Price allowed a leadoff single to Carrera — his third hit of the day — he faced Josh Thole who was able to get the sac-bunt down to move the runner over. Price was removed after 105 pitches in favour of RHP Heath Hembree before facing Bautista and Josh Donaldson. Hembree retired Bautista on a strikeout and got Donaldson to fly out to right field to close out the inning. Price’s final line of 6.1 IP, 5H, 2ER, 3BB, and 3K was not overly impressive, but effective nonetheless.

Fortunately for the Blue Jays, Price would be handed a no-decision for his efforts after a screaming line drive home run off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion tied the game 3-3 in the eighth. Toronto would get two more runners on base in the inning, but were unable to cash in the go ahead run when Robbie Ross Jr got pinch-hitter Russell Martin on an inning ending ground ball.

With the Blue Jays down 3-2, rookie reliever Joe Biagini continued his dominance, working two scoreless innings (8th & 9th), while lowering his ERA to 0.90 for the season. Gibbons went to closer Roberto Osuna for the tenth inning who also put up a zero for his efforts.

Unfortunately, after being unable to cash in on scoring chances in innings prior, relievers Gavin Floyd and Drew Storen failed to hold Boston in the eleventh. Floyd got the first out, then proceeded to walk the next two hitters, before being lifted. Storen immediately surrendered a ground-rule double to Dustin Pedroia, and allowed the runner at third to score on a ground ball out.

The two runs made it a 5-3 lead for the Red Sox, and it would remain that way as Koji Uehara came to get Saunders, Bautista, and Donaldson out, in order, to close the game.

Play of the Game:

The play of game goes to Encarnacion for his eighth inning, game tying home run. Turns out it was his 100th hit at Rogers Centre in his career, where he joined some pretty esteemed company.

Game Ball:

Today’s game ball goes to Blue Jays left-fielder E. Carrera. Playing in place of Michael Saunders today, Carrera went 3 for 3, with a run scored. He also raised his batting average to .382 for the season. 

Turning Point:

The turning point once again came in this game. Boston plated two runs — both walks off Floyd — to take the lead in the eleventh 5-3. The fourth, and game winning run, scored thanks to a double off the bat of Pedroia. 

News & Notes:

The Blue Jays welcomed some of the franchise’s great offensive players back to the Rogers Centre as part of their 40th Season of Blue Jays baseball celebration.

The calendar for future 40th season celebrations can be seen here.

Next Game:

The Blue Jays will welcome the New York Yankees to the Rogers Centre for a three game series that runs from Monday thru Wednesday. Toronto took two of three on the road against the Yankees last week and will be looking to keep the momentum going. Monday’s night matchup will feature Marco Estrada and Ivan Nova on the mound. Be sure to check us out for the series preview tomorrow.






*Featured Image Credit: udo.d (flickr) – UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0


Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.

W Black

Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.