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Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Sox take early lead, hold it late

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Marco Estrada was a mess, and Eduardo Rodriguez back to his old self, allowing the Red Sox to make it three straight wins.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox took an early lead against a wild Marco Estrada and held onto it despite a late Blue Jays rally to earn their third straight win, 4-3.

To give you an idea of how Estrada's night went, he carried both a no-hitter and a 2-0 deficit into the second inning. The first baserunner of the night was not his fault--Devon Travis struggled to handle a ground ball from Mookie Betts, then bounced his throw past first base. But the second, third, fourth, and even fifth certainly were, as Estrada offered up a full four free passes in the inning, the last three coming with two outs and bringing two runs in to score.

Perhaps resolved to throw strikes, Estrada ran into an entirely different sort of trouble in the second and third innings. Staring a fifth walk in the face on a 3-2 count, Estrada gave Jackie Bradley Jr. a pitch to hit, and he obliged, connecting for his first home run in more than a year. Less unusual was the solo shot David Ortiz connected on in the third. Just your run of the mill Ortizian blast to right field to make it 4-0 for the Red Sox.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, John Gibbons had seen enough, bringing Estrada's night to an end. And while Boston would find another few baserunners here and there, that was it for the night in terms of serious threats, as the Jays bullpen put an abrupt end to Boston's offensive outburst. Those four runs would have to hold up.

Thankfully, Eduardo Rodriguez was neither tipping pitches, not suffering the same difficulties he faced in his first outing against the Blue Jays. He was not completely untouchable facing one of the league's best lineups, but he was more than good enough.

There were certainly some shaky moments. Rodriguez had to work around a pair of baserunners in the first, and a 1-2-3 second came in spite of some hard contact. The fourth was the one time he was actually hurt, giving up back-to-back hits to put the Jays on the board and prompting a visit to the mound from Carl Willis, but he escaped the frame without giving up another run,  and picked up a clutch strikeout of Josh Donaldson in the fifth with one out and a man at third to keep the Jays on just the one. He would finish his night with six innings of one-run ball and, of course, the win.

But said win did not come too easy. Tommy Layne made sure of that, allowing a two-run homer to Jose Reyes to bring the Jays within one. But Alexei Ogando came in to get the Sox into the ninth without having to go to the dread matchup of Tazawa vs. the Jays, giving Koji Uehara the chance for a 1-2-3 save.