There was a bit more drama involved than Boston fans might have hoped for, but after putting up eight runs in the first inning, the Red Sox survived a near-implosion from Wade Miley and kept scoring late to wrap up a series win over the Blue Jays with a 12-6 rout.
Sometimes, it's just not a pitcher's night. You may have thought you'd seen that with Marco Estrada on Tuesday and Rick Porcello on Wednesday, but Matt Boyd made it clear what that really looks like. In his first start against the Rangers, he had been victimized by the home run--three of them in 6.2 innings of work--but had struck out seven and turned in a decent-if-not-quality start by holding Texas to four earned runs.
Tonight, he started the game by getting ahead 0-2 on Mookie Betts, and it was all downhill from there. Actually, that's generous. There was no steady decline. Boyd fell right off a cliff and hit just about every rock possible on the way down. Betts hooked the third pitch he saw into left to give the Red Sox their first baserunner of the night, and Brock Holt singled through the right side of the infield to move Betts along to second. Xander Bogaerts put the Red Sox on the board with a line drive into center, and after falling behind 2-0 to David Ortiz, Boyd offered up the big one. The 2-0 fastball was towards the corner down-and-away, but Ortiz went with it, and did so with authority, going the other way for a three-run shot that had the Red Sox ahead 4-0 four batters into the game.
When Hanley Ramirez followed up with a mammoth shot in the same direction, it was clear what direction this game was headed. Boyd would allow a single to Pablo Sandoval and walk to Mike Napoli before Liam Hendriks was finally ready in the bullpen, and was tagged for both runs when Alejandro De Aza hit a line drive past a diving Kevin Pillar and to the wall in left-center for a triple. Boyd had allowed seven runs and recorded zero outs.
The Red Sox would enter the second with an 8-0 lead thanks to another hit from Mookie Betts bringing De Aza in. The inning might have gone on even longer had Betts not been the victim of a very questionable interference call, as his path to third intersected perfectly with Josh Donaldson's path to a ground ball kicked his way by Hendriks. But with the lead at eight, it was hard to get too up-in-arms.
Or at least it was until Wade Miley allowed four runs in the second. It was a night completely devoid of control for Miley, who alternated between off-speed pitches in the dirt and fastballs that flew seemingly at random. In fact, were it not for a great play on a deep fly ball to center by Mookie Betts, Miley may have been punished worse in a frame which saw him allow a great deal of loud contact and walk in a run. But as it stood, the Red Sox escaped with half their lead intact. The only question was how long Miley could last before giving that away.
As it would happen, he lasted through five, and didn't allow another run. It wasn't for a want of threats. The Jays had four baserunners in the fourth (one via an error, granted), and only failed to score thanks to a big double play. And in the fifth the only thing that kept the Jays from pushing across a run was a questionable play at home plate, with Mookie Betts getting a ground ball single from Devon Travis back in to Ryan Hanigan not in time to get Danny Valencia before he reached home, but in plenty of time to tag him when he apparently failed to touch home on the way by.
From there, Boston's bullpen just had to be serviceable, and when the Red Sox tacked on three more runs in the seventh on RBI hits from Alejandro De Aza, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts (who finished with three, three, and four hits respectively), they just had to avoid total disaster. Better still, Alexei Ogando and Matt Barnes combined for three scoreless innings. Only Craig Breslow failed to hold his end of the bargain, allowing rocket after rocket including two solo shots to let the Jays pull within all of six runs.