The Toronto Blue Jays combined excellent starting pitching, defense, and timely hitting to grab the first game of the series in Fenway.
After suffering through two though losses in Detroit over the weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays handed the ball to Marcus Stroman (9-5, 3.28) to help get the ball rolling in the right direction. Boston, dealing with a tired pitching staff, welcomed back Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 3.54) from the disabled list for the start this evening.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 17, 2017
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 17, 2017
Starting Pitcher Matchup
Toronto Blue Jays – 4 R 8 H 1 E
Boston Red Sox – 3 R 6 H 0 E
Similar to yesterday in Detroit, the Blue Jays jumped all over the Boston’s starter in the first inning to take an early lead. Russell Martin got things started with a one-out walk, which was followed by a two-out walk, after a quality at-bat from, Justin Smoak. Unlike many other instances this season, the offense capitalized when Kendrys Morales lined a two RBI double off the green monster.
Left-fielder, Steve Pearce, added to the lead in the second inning with a solo homerun down the left-filed line that measured 434 feet, and helped make it 3-0 Toronto.
Despite being chased in the seventh inning Marcus Stroman was excellent tonight tossing six scoreless innings to start the game. His final line reads as 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. As per a typical Stroman start he relied heavily on keeping the ball on the ground, recording 11 more tonight. Finishing with 106 pitches (68 strikes) the fiery right-hander lowered his ERA to 3.10 on the season, but would not be in position to get a decision despite his efforts.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the offense answered back immediately after a big inning for their opponents. A Smoak walk was followed by Morales’ third hit of the evening to set up a run scoring situation in the eighth inning. After a Tulowitzki pop-up, Pearce followed with a big RBI single to grab the lead back 4-3.
The Red Sox rallied in their half of the seventh inning to get on the board versus Stroman. Andrew Benintendi got things started with a one-out double, but the real trouble started when a Smoak and Stroman botched an easy flip at the bag allowing Jackie Bradly to reach. Walking the next batter, Christian Vazquez, loaded the bases and led to trouble for the right-hander. A RBI sac-fly from Brock Holt, followed by a run-scoring single from Mookie Betts chased Stroman from the game.
Dominic Leone replaced the starting pitcher, and was greeted with a Dustin Pedroia line-drive off the monster which tied the game. Fortunately, an excellent relay from Kevin Pillar, and Troy Tulowitzki cut the go-ahead run down at the plate.
Jose Bautista wore the golden sombrero tonight with four strikeouts. It was the fourth time this season he has matched that mark. He had only done it 5 times in the previous ten seasons during his career, with none from 2014-16.
#BlueJays recall Dominic Leone. Lucas Harrell has been designated for assignment.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 17, 2017
Player of the Game
We wonned! Choose a @JaysFromCouch Player of the Game!
— Roy-Z. 🐺 (@yeahiroy) July 18, 2017
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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.