The Red Sox scored five times in the ninth inning Saturday evening, first overcoming a two-run deficit, then padding the lead just enough to hold off Toronto's response in the bottom half.
Somehow, for all that the game finished with 13 runs scored, it took until the sixth inning for first blood to be drawn. The Red Sox managed to put a runner in scoring position for each of the first three innings, but could never pick up the big hit to push across their first run, leading into a calmer fifth and sixth for the knuckleballer. Meanwhile, on the other side of things, Wade Miley was putting on a high-wire act, setting himself up for a fall with plenty of walks, but escaping every time.
Finally, in the sixth, the sides exchanged blows for the first time, each by way of the homer. For the Red Sox, it was Xander Bogaerts leading off the inning with a first-pitch solo shot on a knuckleball that floated more than it knuckled. But in the bottom half, the walks finally came back to haunt Miley, with a free pass to Josh Donaldson to start the inning proving the difference between the teams when Edwin Encarnacion went deep to put the Jays ahead 2-1.
The Jays lead would last for about as long as Boston's had. Brock Holt led off the seventh by chasing Dickey from the game with a double to left, and replacement Mark Lowe managed only one out before surrendering the tying run on another double, this time from Jackie Bradley Jr., the first sign of his return from a nasty slump.
The second sign would come only after a disaster appearance from Noe Ramirez allowed the Jays to take a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth, allowing the first four batters to reach before Jean Machi came in to clean up the mess while keeping the damage minimal. Once again, Brock Holt was up to start the inning, and this time, he swung over a changeup for strike three. Except that the umpire said he'd gotten a piece, giving him new life and, after another few pitches, a leadoff double. And once again, with Holt on base, Bradley showed signs of life. This time in the biggest possible way, putting a quick swing on a fastball down the middle and depositing it in the second deck in right field to tie the game.
But the inning had just begun. After a Mookie Betts ground out, Dustin Pedroia drew a walk, and singles from Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz moved him into scoring position and brought him home respectively.Travis Shaw got the intentional walk (Travis Shaw! An intentional walk!) to bring Rusney Castillo to the plate, and the left fielder made the Jays pay with a seeing-eye single up the middle to put the Sox ahead 7-4.
And, ultimately, every run would count. While Robbie Ross Jr. managed to get a couple quick outs, the third was a long time in coming. A walk to Josh Donaldson brought Jose Bautista to the plate, and his 36th homer of the year brought the Jays within one. Pinch-hitter Matt Hague would even double, putting the winning run in scoring position with Justin Smoak up to bat. Finally, though, Ross got the ground ball he needed to wrap up the win for Boston.