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Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 3: Sox Avoid the Sweep

The Red Sox manage to avoid a sweep thanks to home runs by Napoli and Sandoval, and a strong outing by Clay Buchholz.

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a day makes!

On Saturday, the Red Sox couldn't buy a run if their lives depended on it. On Sunday, with Jackie Bradley, Jr. replacing Allen Craig in the lineup, they got off to a fast start. I know you don't believe me, but it's actually true—there were multiple Sox runs in the top of the first inning against Blue Jays knuckleballer R. A. Dickey. Mookie Betts got things off to a fast start—literally, as he hit a triple to lead off, although he was almost erased by a diving grab attempt by Kevin Pillar. Then, for the second game in a row, Dustin Pedroia brought in a run in scoring position. (No, really!) Then David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, and Pablo Sandoval all managed to reach base, although Ramirez did so only by erasing Ortiz. The downside of this was that there was one less baserunner for Mike Napoli to bring in by way of the longball, giving the Sox a 4-0 advantage before the Jays had a chance to come up to the plate.

Unlike the Red Sox hitters, who clearly were not flummoxed or fooled by Dickey's fickle floating flutterers, the Jays did not easily solve Clay Buchholz. However, Buchholz was not helped by the umpires, who awarded the Jays a basket of free passes—but Devon Travis's leadoff walk was erased by Josh Donaldson hitting into a double play. So, in spite of the tough umpiring, the Sox managed to keep runs off the board.

In fact, the Blue Jays didn't manage to get on the board at all until the fourth inning, when Edwin Encarnacion scored after a single, a Pillar ground out, and a Chris Colabello single. The Jays would then score again in the fifth inning, courtesy of a Josh Donaldson double—but not before Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning, expanding the lead to an unimaginable five runs.

Buchholz's good performance throughout the day managed to last a total of 6.1 innings before giving way to Junichi Tazawa. Unfortunately, the runner Tazawa inherited did make his way home, becoming the third run charged to Buchholz—but in any event still a quality start by any reckoning.

After that, however, there wasn't much left to do but another inning of work by Tazawa, and then it was Koji Uehara time. And then, miracle of miracles, the Red Sox win on Mother's day by a final score of 6-3.