The Red Sox have snapped their five-game losing streak. They were going up against old friend Clay Buchholz and got some runs on the board early. The pitching was solid all night, too, with a couple bad performances here and there but guys like Darwinzon Hernandez and Brandon Workman worked out of jams to hold leads. Mookie Betts also scored run number 130 (and 131), making him the first Red Sox player in nearly 70 years to reach that mark.
The Red Sox offense, which has been so good for stretches this year even while the overall team performance has been generally mediocre, has disappeared for a few days. They apparently forgot their passport on the trip up to Toronto, but they were looking to turn it back on for Thursday’s matchup against old friend Clay Buchholz. They were without Rafael Devers, as Alex Cora continues to give days off to his stars as the season comes to a close, but they were actually able to get some early runs on the board, even if it wasn’t a total explosion.
They didn’t make it happen right away, though, as Buchholz got himself through a perfect first inning against his old team. They got going in the second, though. After Wednesday’s game marked the first in 159 games in which the Red Sox failed to record an extra-base hit, they got off the schneid here. It started more modestly, however, with J.D. Martinez leading things off with a walk before Mitch Moreland contributed a one-out single. That eventually brought Marco Hernández to the plate with two outs, and he hit a sinking line drive to right field. Billy McKinney made a run for it, but couldn’t come up with the sliding catch. That led to a two-run double and gave Boston an early 2-0 lead.
The Red Sox would keep it going in the next couple of innings as well. In the third, it was a mini two-out rally when Xander Bogaerts and Martinez smacked back-to-back doubles to push their lead to three. In the following frame, Jackie Bradley Jr. hit yet another double before Juan Centeno — making his first start of 2019 — knocked him in with a two-out base hit.
So, the Red Sox scored four runs in the first four innings. That is a good thing, but it is also not exactly a safe lead with this pitching staff. They were going with another bullpen game on Thursday, with Jhoulys Chacín getting the start. He did his job, tossing a perfect inning in the first. He came back with two quick outs in the second before giving up a double and a walk to get himself into a bit of trouble. He’d escape the jam, though, with McKinney flying out to end the threat and keep the Jays off the board.
Chacín would find himself in more trouble in the third, too, this time giving up a walk and a double with just one out on the board with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. coming up to the plate. Chacín did come through with a big out there, but that would end his night. Darwinzon Hernandez was called upon after that with Red Sox killer Rowdy Tellez due up. Boston’s southpaw got a huge strikeout, stranding the runners and keeping the shutout going.
After Josh Taylor came in for a perfect fourth, Brian Johnson got the fifth. He started off well with two quick outs, but then the wheels fell off a bit. Bo Bichette drew a walk, giving Cavan Biggio a chance to smack a triple into right field to cut the Red Sox lead to three. Guerrero would then single against Ryan Brasier, and the Blue Jays had the score down to 4-2 by the end of the inning.
That score would remain heading into the seventh after a scoreless inning from Andrew Cashner in the sixth. Here, the Red Sox added to their lead again. Thanks to a trio of singles, aggressive baserunning and bad defense, the Red Sox scored two more runs here to make the score 6-2.
Marcus Walden then came on for the seventh and he worked out of a jam that saw runners on first and third. Matt Barnes would get the call for the eighth and, uh, it didn’t go great. He did strike out two of the first three batters he faced, but he also issued three walks and allowed one single. That let one run cross the plate, and it forced Brandon Workman into the game with a three-run lead and the bases loaded. As he has all year, though, he came through with a big out to end the inning and hold the 6-3 lead.
Boston would get one more run in the ninth before Workman came back on with a four-run lead. He did give up one, but that was all. The Red Sox went home with a 7-4 win.
Boston will have a rare Friday off day before starting a short two-game set in Philadelphia on Saturday. That series will kick off with Eduardo Rodriguez taking on Aaron Nola at 7:05 PM ET.