Sox continue slow start with frustrating loss on Fenway Opening Day
Image via AP Photo/Tony Dejak
The Red Sox got the scoring started early. With two down in the bottom of the first, Mitch Moreland continued his hot start as he put a ball in the right field bullpen to give the Sox a 1-0 lead, his fourth home run of the year.
Dustin Pedroia, appearing in a game for the first time since May 29, 2019, picked up an RBI in the second. With runners on the corners and no one out, Pedey drove in a run on a double play ball. While it wasn’t the most productive RBI, having Pedroia playing on Fenway opening day was awesome.
Chris Sale picks up third loss in as many starts
Chris Sale‘s velocity has been one of the biggest talking points after his first two starts. Sale, whose fastball had been sitting in the upper 80s, struck out his second batter of the day with a 95 MPH 4-seamer. He looked like his old self through the first two innings, but things quickly unraveled for the left-hander. While he got plenty of weak contact, the Blue Jays kept finding the hole, stringing together single after single. They tacked two runs off of Sale in the second to tie the game at 2.
The Jays continued their small-ball barrage against Sale in the top of the fourth. They scored their third run on an RBI single. Danny Jensen then stole third on a miss played ball by Christian Vazquez and made it home on another passed ball. To cap off the frustrating inning, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – who advanced to third on the passed ball – made a straight steal of home. The 2019 Red Sox have found plenty of different ways to dig themselves in a hole. Allowing a steal of home takes the crown as the most absurd.
Sale was pulled after the fourth, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits to just 3 strikeouts. While his velocity seemed to be back to normal, his inability to put away hitters was something to take note of. Many of the Jays’ small ball singles came on two strike counts.
Red Sox comeback attempt falls just short
After Sale was pulled, the Sox bullpen held the Jays’ lineup in check. Tyler Thornburg, Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, and Marcus Walden combined for four innings of one run ball. The bullpen gave the offense an opportunity to get back in the game.
Mookie Betts kicked off the comeback effort with a home run over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox their third run of the day. The Sox then had some luck slip their way. Rafael Devers hit what should have been an easy out to left fielder Teoscar Hernandez. However, Hernandez misplayed the ball, allowing Xander Bogaerts to score from first.
Down 6-4 headed into the 8th inning, the Sox got another run back. JD Martinez and Bogaerts hit back-to-back doubles to make it a one run game. With two outs in the innings, Devers worked a long, full count at-bat. He missed what would have been a game-tying hit by inches. In the end, he grounded out to first to stifle the comeback.
In the ninth, the Jays got to Matt Barnes. Barnes, who looked great in the closer role coming into the game, gave up a run to the Jays. Twice the Sox got within a run and twice the Blue Jays were able to increase the gap.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Sox had a great chance to complete the comeback. Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr. reached base to start the inning. Then, with two outs, Mookie pushed Ken Giles to a full a 3-1 count. Giles hung a slider that Mookie took for strike two. That would be his best look in the at bat. Mookie struck out on a slider in the dirt to end the game.
The Red Sox have a much needed day off tomorrow, as they face the Blue Jays on Thursday at 7:10 p.m.