A fantastic April was given an unfitting final chapter Tuesday night as Edwin Encarnacion's two homers powered the Blue Jays past the Red Sox, 9-7.
The problems for the Red Sox, obviously, were on the mound, and it all started with Lester in the first. A walk to Rajai Davis provided the Blue Jays with their first runner, but it was the loud double from Jose Bautista over the head of Jacoby Ellsbury that would both put the Jays on the board, and sound a warning shot for things to come.
The biggest inning for the Jays would come in the third, and while Lester dug his own hole there, Jarrod Saltalamacchia would certainly help bury him. After loading the bases with a single, hit batter, and walk, Jon Lester could only watch helplessly as Saltalamacchia made an ill-fated attempt to catch Jose Bautista straying from first. The throw sailed into right field, and two runs came across to score. That J.P. Arencibia doubled with two outs--a hit that likely would have scored all three runs anyways-- provides only the coldest of comfort
The Red Sox would make their first serious rally in the fourth and fifth innings, with David Ortiz and Mike Carp launching solo shots in the fourth, and three singles from Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Dustin Pedroia bringing a run around in the fifth before Brandon Morrow caught Ellsbury napping at second. The Jays, however, would strike right back as Edwin Encarnacion got ahold of a Jon Lester fastball for a massive home run to left field that made it 6-3.
Still, there was no quit in these Red Sox. Jonny Gomes would connect with his first homer in the sixth, bringing the Sox within two, and then a single, error, and walk set up David Ortiz for a big three-run double in the seventh that for a short moment put the Red Sox on top at 7-6.
Unfortunately, it was not to last, and the usually dominant Junichi Tazawa would be the one to blame. With two outs in the seventh, Tazawa came up against the heart of the Blue Jays' lineup and simply couldn't handle it. A walk to Jose Buatista brought Edwin Encarnacion to the plate, and after falling behind 2-1 Tazawa offered up a fastball that caught too much of the plate. For the second time that night, Encarnacion left the park, putting the Blue Jays ahead once and for all. They'd tack on a ninth run against the returning Joel Hanrahan in the eighth, but with Darren Oliver and Casey Janssen nailing down the win, it wouldn't be necessary.