The Red Sox's slide into mediocrity continues with a 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays. Unlike most of their other losses, however, this one is squarely on the offense. Wade Miley wasn't great, but he was good enough. Boston's bats were just overpowered by Aaron Sanchez.
At the start, it looked like it was going to be another long outing for a Red Sox starting pitcher. Miley left a pitch down and in to Josh Donaldson who demolished a solo home run into the left field seats. The rest of the inning was littered with hard hit balls as well, but Boston was able to escape the frame allowing just the single run. It didn't get much better in the next inning when Chris Colabello hit a solo shot to the opposite field. It wasn't hit nearly as well as Donaldson's shot, but it counted the same.
From there, though, Miley settled down and kept the Red Sox in the game for as long as he could. From the second inning through the fifth, he gave up just the one run on Colabello's homer and struck out seven. He got into some more trouble in the sixth, allowing two runs on a walk and two hits. It could've been even worse if not for Danny Valencia coming off the bag at second base after advancing on a sacrifice fly. The inning would be the end of Miley's respectably decent night.
The game officially got out of hand thanks to another lackluster performance by the middle relief, specifically Robbie Ross, Jr.. After a strong seventh inning from Alexi Ogando, Ross came for the 8th. He promptly gave up a triple to Jose Bautista that was a couple inches from being a home run, followed by two singles and a double. Craig Breslow then came in and got three quick outs, but not before Toronto took a commanding 7-0 lead.
This one would be defined by a lack of offense against an erratic rookie pitcher, though. The best opportunity for damage came in the fourth when Sanchez walked the first two batters he faced and followed that up by hitting Allen Craig. So, the Red Sox had the bases loaded with nobody out and a perfect chance to jump start a lineup that has been brutal with runners in scoring position. Instead, Blake Swihart struck out looking and Xander Bogaerts grounded into an inning-ending double play. It was the offense's season in a nutshell. From there, the chances of the offense doing anything looked bleak.
To his credit, Sanchez pitched extremely well. His typical control problems were still there, but he limited any and all hard contact from this Red Sox lineup. Boston only managed two hits over the course of the entire game, and both of them were singles. They were able to draw five walks, but it's always going to be hard to score when you have to travel one base at a time. After this performance, we have even more reason to hope we don't have to watch another game this year in which David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez are both absent from the lineup.
If you're looking for silver linings here, we got a second consecutive solid outing from Miley, but the offense and bullpen turned in another disappointing performance. But hey, it can only go up from here, right? RIGHT?!