The 2019 Red Sox are just so frustrating. They have no been able to find any sense of momentum all year long and that continued on Tuesday. After a win on Monday they were looking to make it two in a row with another victory on Tuesday with their newest pitcher on the mound. Andrew Cashner did not impress in his Red Sox debut, struggling with his command all night and eventually allowing six runs (five earned) on the night. His rough night was the story of this game, but the offense didn’t really do themselves any favors. Boston’s lineup has carried the load of late and theoretically are owed a night off or two. However, they struggled a lot early in the year and also wins are too important now. You have to score more early runs off a pitcher like Jacob Waguespack. When you can’t, that’s how you have a season like this one.
The big story for this Tuesday night contest between the Red Sox and Blue Jays was, of course, the debut of Andrew Cashner in a Boston uniform. While the righty is far from a star, there was still a fair amount of excitement around him given both the team’s shortcomings from his rotation spot so far this year as well as their general struggles in the rotation. Seeing some fresh blood we haven’t seen fail numerous times this year felt like a nice change of pace.
Unfortunately, Cashner didn’t really hold up his end of the bargain and never really looked sharp in this game. His command was rough for most the night, and the Blue Jays were able to get something going in pretty much every inning. That started right away in the first. Eric Sogard led off this game and worked a ten-pitch at bat that ended with a solid base hit. Fortunately, Cashner was able to come back on the very next pitch with a double play, which would be big because Lourdes Gurriel Jr. smacked a triple off the wall in right field in the next at bat. Cashner did get the next batter to end the inning without any runs coming across, but it wasn’t exactly a confidence-filling frame and he needed 20 pitches to get through it.
The second would not end as well. Cashner did start that inning with his first strikeout in a Red Sox uniform, but then Justin Smoak came up and drew a walk. Freddy Galvis followed that up with an infield single that deflected off the glove of Michael Chavis. Suddenly, there were two runners on and one out for Teoscar Hernandez. Soon enough there would be no runners on as the Blue Jays outfielder smashed a three-run shot way out to left field. Cashner came back with two quick outs after that, but the damage was done.
It was only more trouble for Boston’s new righty in the third, too. He started that inning by allowing the first two batters to reach on a walk and a single. Randal Grichuk did ground into a double play after that, making it possible for Cashner to escape the jam. Instead, he’d hit the next batter he saw before Smoak came through with an RBI single to give Toronto four runs in three innings.
Cashner, to his credit, did settle down a bit after that. He recorded seven outs in the next two innings, with one baserunner reaching on a strikeout that made it to the backstop.
So, Toronto had four runs on the board in the first half of the game, which is not ideal. That said, the Red Sox offense has been hot and was going up against a pitcher in Jacob Waguespack that is, frankly, not very intimidating. It was not an impossible task to keep themselves in this game. In fact, they actually had the first lead of the game. That came because, after Rafael Devers eliminated a leadoff single with a double play, Xander Bogaerts demolished a two-out solo shot in the bottom of the first.
Unfortunately, that was all the Red Sox would get for a while. Over the next three innings, they got a pair of baserunners with a couple of walks, but neither runner made it beyond first base.
With that, it was a 4-1 game heading into the bottom of the fifth and the Red Sox hitters finally got going again. It was a two-out rally for the Sox in this inning, with Michael Chavis getting it started with a base hit. Brock Holt then followed that up with a big double to put a pair in scoring position for Mookie Betts. Last year’s MVP came through with a base hit, scoring two and bringing Boston to within one. After Devers drew a walk, Bogaerts got himself another RBI, this time tying the game at four with a base hit of his own. J.D. Martinez had a chance to give his team the lead with runners on the corners, but the Red Sox settled for the tie.
Cashner was still in the game, and his team picked him up and gave him a chance to make a big impact with a potentially massive shutdown inning. He wasted zero time in going in the opposite direction. Smoak led off that inning and crushed a solo homer out to right field on the first pitch he saw. Just like that, Toronto was out in front yet again. Cashner then gave up a base hit to the next batter he saw, and that was the end of his night. He ended up going five innings, which is more than this rotation spot had gone many times this year, but it still wasn’t what the Red Sox were looking for.
Josh Taylor came on with the runner on first for Cashner, and he did not quite get the job done either. After getting a quick first out, Taylor had Galvis dead to rights on a pickoff attempt at first base. His throw sailed way past Chavis, though, and Galvis ended up at third. That proved important because, with two outs and two strikes, Taylor threw a wild pitch (that could have been stopped by Christian Vázquez) and the Blue Jays had a 6-4 lead.
The Red Sox did threaten to get right back into a tie game in the bottom of the inning when Andrew Benintendi led things off with a double. That was followed by a walk and a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners with just one out. The Red Sox could not come through, though, with Chavis striking out and then Sam Traivs — pinch hitting for Holt with a lefty on the mound — doing the same.
With his team still down 6-4, it was Colten Brewer coming on for the seventh. He did give up a one-out double to Gurriel, but he’d get out of it quickly after that when the runner was doubled up at second base on a line out to Benintendi in left field.
In the bottom of the inning, the Red Sox once again had a prime opportunity to get runs back on the board with the top of the order coming to the plate. Betts started things off with a base hit before moving to second on a ground out. After Bogaerts drew a walk, Martinez had a chance with two on and nobody out. He failed to come through, and then so did Benintendi and the Red Sox stranded a pair of runners for the second inning in a row.
The eighth belonged to Darwinzon Hernandez, and he did allow a runner to get to third on a walk, a passed ball and a fly out, but he ultimately kept the deficit at two. After the Red Sox failed to score again in the eighth, it was Heath Hembree for the ninth. He was awful, allowing two runs against three batters and forcing Ryan Weber to come on and finish it off. He would allow a couple more runs to come in, and by the time the dust had settled it was suddenly 10-4 Blue Jays. Boston went down in a scoreless bottom of the ninth bringing this ugly game to a close.
The Red Sox will look to get back on track on Wednesday in the third game of this series. They’ll send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound with Toronto using Aaron Sanchez. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.