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Fake Sox Game Two: Jackie Bradley Jr.’s clutch homer leads to victory

The Red Sox avenge the tough Opening Day loss with a close win on Friday.

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

(Excuse the technical hiccup trying to get the game started initially)

Our fake Out of the Park Baseball 21 Red Sox did not get their season off to their desired start with Thursday’s Opening Day loss in Toronto and they were looking for revenge in game number two. They were going up against top prospect Nate Pearson, who was not going to start the year on the real Blue Jays roster, but the Fake Blue Jays said damn your service time manipulation. Honestly, I respect it.

Neither team scored in the first with Pearson striking out two in a perfect top half while Nathan Eovaldi worked around a pair of singles in the bottom. After Pearson struck out two more in a scoreless second, the Blue Jays got to Eovaldi in the bottom half. The Red Sox righty started things off with a strike out, but then Derek Fisher put a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right field for a solo home run to make it 1-0 Toronto. Then, after a two-out walk, Bo Bichette came up and absolutely demolished a two-run shot to make it 3-0 Blue Jays. If you’ll recall, Bichette hit the big grand slam on Thursday to lead the Jays to victory.

So, the Red Sox were down 3-0 but they did have a chance in the next inning when José Peraza dropped down a bunt single before moving to second on a wild pitch. A ground ball would move him over to third and a Jackie Bradley Jr. walk put runners on the corners, but J.D. Martinez struck out for the second time in the game and Boston remained scoreless.

It wouldn’t stay that way too much longer, though, with Rafael Devers coming through with a leadoff double to kick off the fourth. A ground out moved him over to third with two outs, and it looked like he’d be left there when Christian Vázquez hit a grounder to third. Instead, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made a diving stop but threw it away, allowing Devers to come in and give Boston their first run of the game.

Eovaldi did not led that run go unanswered, however. He got a couple of quick outs to start the bottom half of the fourth, but then Cavan Biggio ripped one out to left-center field for a two-out double and Reese McGuire lined a base hit through the middle. Just like that, it was back to a three-run lead for the Blue Jays. The Red Sox would get to Pearson in the next half inning, though, with a single from Peraza and then an RBI double (which was really a triple but the game said Bradley advanced on the throw) got the deficit right back down to two.

The score was still 4-2 as we entered the sixth, and the Blue Jays decided to lift Pearson despite the young righty racking up nine strikeouts in just five innings. The Red Sox took advantage of this move. Xander Bogaerts started things off with a double before Mitch Moreland came in and hit a third-deck two-run shot out to right field to tie this game up at four runs apiece. A couple of batters later Kevin Pillar kept the rally moving with a double before moving up 90 feet on a wild pitch and Peraza’s third single of the day would bring him in. Chase Anderson came on for Toronto and he would give up three runs, letting the Red Sox take a 5-4 lead.

Both pitchers would toss perfect half-innings after that, bringing us to the top of the seventh. This is where it went wrong for the Red Sox the night before, and once again they were sticking with their starting pitcher. Once again, it went poorly. Eovaldi was facing McGuire to start things off and the Toronto catcher jumped on a 2-1 pitch and snuck it over the wall down the line in left field. One batter into the inning, and it was a tie game again. That was it for Eovaldi, as Josh Taylor came in. The lefty was great, though, tossing two perfect innings.

So, we headed into the ninth with the score still all knotted up at five and Jackie Bradley Jr. came up with nobody on and one out against Ken Giles. He hit a home run in Thursday’s game to give Boston their first run of the season, and here he’d give them their first win. Bradley smashed a solo homer out to right field, giving the Red Sox a 6-5 lead. That would stick into the bottom of the ninth when Matt Barnes — who is the closer in this fake world and I promise I did not make that happen — struck out two in a perfect inning. That’s a win, and our Fake Sox are 1-1.