Dickey Knuckles Under to Sox, Blue Jays Drop Opener in Fenway

Blue Jays kicked off the first game of a four game series tonight at Fenway Park. Happy Jackie Robinson Day.

 

On the thirteenth anniversary of Major League Baseball honouring Hall of Fame member Jackie Robinson, the Blue Jays went into Boston attempting to improve on their 5-5 record. With this being their first games played outdoors this season, the Jays sent R.A. Dickey to the mound to take on Boston’s starter Rick Porcello.

The game got off to an ominous start in the first inning with Dickey surrendering a single, and two doubles with two outs. To add insult to injury a two-out swinging strikeout of Hanley Ramirez was botched by Josh Thole which allowed Travis Shaw to deliver the second of those doubles, a two-run variety to centre. The Red Sox continued to hit the ball hard off Dickey in the second with a double off the wall by catcher Christian Vazquez who eventually scored on a Mookie Betts single through the hole at third. Dickey settled in to a point but was only able to last to the fifth (4.2 IP, 6H, 4R, 2ER, 4BB, 3K) before being replaced by Pat Venditte.

Boston’s starter, Porcello, on the other hand worked an excellent game against the Blue Jays powerful lineup. Though being touched up by two home runs by Encarnacion (2nd & 7th inning) he did retired eleven in a row (6.2 IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 8K) at one point during the game before being replaced by Junichi Tazawa in the seventh.

Despite being down early, the Blue Jays bullpen did their part tonight. Pat Venditte, Joe Biagini, and Jesse Chavez combined for (3.1 IP, 3H, 1R) to keep their team within striking distance.

The Jays did manage to get two runners on against Boston’s closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth with two out, however, the rally was snuffed out with a strikeout of Justin Smoak, his fourth of the night.

 

Play of the Game:

This play by Troy Tulowitzki off the bat of Xander Bogaerts for the first of out of Boston’s fifth inning was a thing of beauty. No matter how many time we see it, it still fascinates.

Game Ball:

Edwin Encarnacion accounted for all the Blue Jays offense on this night. After going the first ten games of the season without a home run, he clubbed a solo shot in the second, followed by a two-run blast in the seventh to cut the Boston lead to 5-3.

Turning Point:

The turning point came early tonight with Boston adding a fourth run when a Mookie Betts single scored Christian Vazquez after he knocked a double off the monster earlier in the inning. Despite two home runs by Encarnacion, the Blue Jays lineup couldn’t make up the deficit.

News and Notes:

On a night where the offense only managed three hits there isn’t much fun to report. We did, however, have this amusing moment of John Gibbons calling for ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte from the bullpen. Gibby never disappoints.

 

Be sure to check out our series preview for pitching match-ups and information on the remaining three games of the series. 

*FEATURE IMAGE CREDIT: Keith Allison under  CC BY-SA 2.0

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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.