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Remember 160-2? Good times. The Red Sox have more than doubled their loss total, dropping their third straight game to the Toronto Blue Jays. Rick Porcello put together another great start, but it wasn’t enough. The bats went cold, the rally wasn’t enough, and the Boston Red Sox drop series opener to the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-3.
Boston Red Sox drop series opener to Toronto Blue Jays
Entering the game, a gambling man would have bet on a low scoring matchup. After a unsustainably hot start, the Red Sox bats had cooled off over the past two games. They were no hit on Saturday, scored just one run on Sunday, and had the unenviable task of going up against Toronto starting pitcher J.A. Happ. To counter, the Red Sox were sending out arguably their best ace in Rick Porcello.
Toronto put up three early runs, but managed to do so without getting a single ball out of the infield. After Porcello surrendered a leadoff walk, the Jays perfectly executed a hit and run to put runners on first and third. Center fielder Kevin Pillar hit a high chopper to Rafael Devers, and the young third baseman tried to gun the lead runner down at the plate. Unfortunately, Devers’ throw was off the mark, and Steve Pearce scored, making it 1-0.
The damage didn’t end there. After a Sandy Leon passed ball, Curtis Granderson walked up to the plate with runners on second and third. Granderson smashed an absolute liner down the third base line. Devers was able to knock the ball down, but couldn’t find where the ball ricocheted. Devers took too long to recover, allowing both Aledmys Diaz and Russell Martin to score, making it 3-0.
Porcello did his job through the fifth inning, but the same could not be said for the Red Sox offense. Happ completely silenced the Sox lineup, as Boston couldn’t get any support for Porcello. Porcello looked like he might be in trouble in the fifth inning after giving up a double to Granderson. It looked like Granderson would score when Teoscar Hernandez launched what appeared to be a gapper to right-center field. However, Mookie Betts made a phenomenal diving catch to save the run. Porcello pitched his way out of the inning, and the Sox entered the sixth, trailing 3-0.
The Red Sox finally made it on the board in the top of the sixth. Brock Holt led the inning off with a double, and three batters later, Hanley Ramirez drove Holt in with an RBI single to center. Unfortunately, the Sox couldn’t add any additional damage, and went to the bottom of the sixth, trailing 3-1.
Porcello took the mound again, and continued to do his job. The righty pitched two additional shutout innings to add to an impressive night. In all, Porcello allowed three earned runs in seven innings, striking out nine.
As is tradition with this Red Sox team, the offense came alive at the very last second. Trailing 3-1 in the top of the ninth, the Sox put two runs on the plate thanks to clutch singles by Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt. The rally could have gone longer, but Nunez was thrown out at home to end the inning. Joe Kelly held in the bottom of the ninth, and the game went into extra innings.
Unfortunately, the effort was for naught. Craig Kimbrel came in for the tenth inning, but gave up a walk-off grand slam to Granderson. The Sox made it interesting near the end, but ultimately fell short, 4-3