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Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Rich Hill strikes again

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Rich Hill was once again excellent as the Red Sox picked up another impressive series win over the division-leading Blue Jays.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Hill was not quite as untouchable Sunday afternoon against the Jays as he had been against the Rays, but he was plenty good enough to keep the top-scoring offense in check and earn the Sox another impressive series win against the division leaders.

Really, it was mostly smooth sailing for Hill once again, with one major exception. After a 1-2-3 first, Hill gave up a leadoff single to Edwin Encarnacion, kicking off a pretty rough inning. While he would strike out Chris Colabello, turning to high 92 MPH heat to start off the at bat to Dioner Navarro proved a costly mistake, as the Blue Jays' catcher cleared the wall in left with ease. Now down two runs, Hill continued to struggle, allowing singles to Kevin Pillar, Ryan Goins, and Ben Revere to give the Jays a 3-0 lead before he finally struck out Josh Donaldson to end the frame.

That, however, was it for the Jays. Hill had actually managed to strike out the side, if far from in order, in that three-run inning, and proceeded to pick up two more whiffs in a 1-2-3 third. He would strike out the side again in the fifth, this time around a single from Jose Bautista, and when the Jays weren't striking out, they were pounding the ball into the ground, where the infield was mostly doing its job. Hill managed to finish the day with just those three runs to his name in seven innings of work, with the Jays managing only two hits outside of the second, and striking out 10 times against the lefty.

On the other side of the ball, the Red Sox were not so explosive as they had been to end Saturday, but a slow and steady attack would prove just enough thanks to some sloppy play from the Jays. A double play into the shift from David Ortiz had snuffed out a promising first, and after a leadoff single from Travis Shaw in the second, Buehrle seemed to settle into a rhythm, retiring the next six batters he faced. But Xander Bogaerts led off the fourth with a single, and induced a throw when he tried to go first-to-third on David Ortiz' ground out. Mark Buehrle, having covered first, was unable to make an accurate throw across the diamond, and Bogaerts came in to score easily on the error.

The Sox went back to work more methodically in the fifth. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit the first pitch he saw into left field, and Bogaerts followed up with a two-out single of his own to put runners on the corners. Working carefully against David Ortiz, Buehrle offered up a walk to the designated hitter, leaving it up to Travis Shaw to capitalize. With Buehrle giving him a 1-0 pitch to hit, Travis Shaw went the other way to drop a two-run single in front of Ben Revere, tying the game up at 3-3.

The game would get to the bullpens still tied, with Brett Cecil coming in to retire the last two batters of the seventh by way of the strikeout. Cecil would return for the eighth, but pitched only one at bat, failing to field a ground ball back to him off the bat of Pablo Sandoval, and giving the Red Sox their winning baserunner. Mark Lowe came in to attempt to keep him from scoring, but a single from Sandy Leon and sacrifice fly from Jackie Bradley Jr. was enough for Sandoval to put the Red Sox on top. Noe Ramirez handled the eighth, and while Robbie Ross allowed a two-out double to Russell Martin, Justin Smoak went down swinging to wrap up the Red Sox win.