The bullpen nearly spoils E-Rod’s dominant start in Wednesday’s finale against Toronto
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (May 30, 2018 – Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)
Another stellar pitching performance from Eduardo Rodriguez propelled the Red Sox to a series sweep on Wednesday against Toronto, 6-4. E-Rod was dominant on the mound as he did not allow a hit until the fifth inning against Kendrys Morales. Blake Swihart started at first base and turned in a great day, Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to swing a hot bat and J.D. Martinez hit his 18th home run of the season. The bullpen did not have a sharp outing but was still able to get the save and a win.
E-Rod was dealing through the first four innings of Wednesday’s ball game. He kept the Blue Jays off of the hit column until the fifth inning. He pounded the corners of the strike zone and used his changeup to keep batters off balance. He went 6.2 innings, only giving up three hits, two earned, one walk while picking up seven strikeouts. Eddy improves to a 6-1 record.
While Rodriguez was keeping the Toronto offense at bay, the Red Sox offense got started in the bottom of the third inning. Swihart got the first hit for Boston with a single up the middle. JBJ knocked in Blake with an RBI double off of the Green Monster to put the Sox ahead 1-0.
Eduardo Nunez added on to the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Nunie hit a wall scrapping home run onto the top of the monster, which at first, was suspect to fan interference but was ruled a home run. The Sox extended their lead to 2-0.
Toronto finally got to E-Rod in the top of the sixth inning. Rodriguez gave up a walk to Gio Urshela, and then gave up a two-run home run to Teoscar Hernandez which landed in the Monster seats, The score was immediately tied at 2.
The Sox took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Andrew Benintendi singled to open Boston’s half of the inning, and then J.D. deposited a two-run home run over the Monster. The Sox took the lead again, 4-2.
Boston extended their lead once again in the bottom of the 8th inning. Xander Bogaerts got on base with a single and J.D. reached base on a throwing error. Nunez drove in Bogey with an RBI double. Brock Holt came up to the plate and hit an RBI single to score J.D. The Boston lead was 6-2 at the end of the inning.
The bullpen had a hard time closing the game out in the ninth inning. Brian Johnson started the ninth by giving up back to back hits to Kevin Pillar and Yangervis Solarte, and was immediately taken out of the game. Craig Kimbrel entered the game to clean up the mess, but, it did not come easy. Kimbrel gave up a walk to Justin Smoak to start his outing and gave up an RBI double to Morales to score Pillar and Solarte which cut the lead to 6-4. It was not pretty, but Kimbrel was able to notch a save and complete the series sweep 6-4.
Swihart is starting to see more playing time due to the Hanley Ramirez transaction, and it has seemed to pay off in the early going. He went 2 for 3 with a run scored in Wednesday’s game and has gone 3 for 9(.333) in his appearances at the plate thus far.
JBJ has stepped it up of late. He also went 2 for 3 on Wednesday and drove in Swihart early in the game for an RBI. Jackie is 11 for 30(.366) in his last ten games.