The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.
Our Fake Sox were coming off a pretty wild Sunday, starting with a big victory against a red-hot Minnesota Twins team to avoid a sweep there. Then, after the game, Chaim Bloom lost his damn mind and dumped half the farm system for Ken Giles from the Blue Jays. In our little one-season simulation world it’s fine. In fake Chaim Bloom’s real world, it’s absurd. Anyway, the Red Sox were now heading to Toronto to face off against Giles’s old team for a three-game set.
Boston dropped three of four north of the border to start the year, so they were looking for some revenge in this one. They had Josh Taylor starting as an opener in front of Martín Pérez, and the lefty was solid. He got a quick 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the first and looked to have another one in the second. However, on a ground ball that should have been the third out Xander Bogaerts booted it to keep the inning going. That put Taylor at 27 pitches and ended his night, with Pérez coming on with a runner on first and two outs. He quickly got a strikeout to end the inning.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox offense jumped out quickly against Chase Anderson. After two quick outs to start the game, Alex Verdugo drew a walk and Bogaerts smacked a double to put a pair in scoring position for J.D. Martinez, who was moved down to fifth in the lineup due to some recent struggles. Said struggles continued here, as Martinez stranded the runners and kept Boston off the board.
The second went a little better as Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his obsession with bunt singles to start off the inning, and then after a couple of outs the Red Sox offense turned it on. With Bradley on second, Ryder Jones smacked an RBI single, then Andrew Benintendi brought him home with a double before Tzu-Wei Lin — who was inexplicably batting second — went down the right field line for a two-run shot. The two-out rally resulted in a 4-0 lead for Boston.
That was still the score heading into the bottom of the third, but it wouldn’t be for long. Pérez hasn’t been very good in this season with Boston, and that continued here. He started his first clean inning of the night by giving up a base hit, bringing Teoscar Hernandez up with one on and nobody out. With a 1-2 count, Pérez made a mistake and Hernandez launched it 365 feet down the left field line. It was a two-run homer, and with it the Jays cut their deficit in half to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
The Red Sox offense did not wait long to answer right back, though. The fourth started with Jones’s second hit of the night, and he’d move to second on another single and then to third on a ground out. Alex Verdugo then came up with runners on the corners and one out and the right fielder came through with a deep fly ball to bring Jones in and make it 5-3. After a pitching change and a wild pitch, Bogaerts had a runner in scoring position and he’d bring him home as well thanks to an RBI double, and just like that it was a four-run lead again.
Toronto did, however, get some of that right back once again. Bo Bichette led things off with a weak infield single that was well-placed on the left side of the infield, and then after stealing second he was brought home on a one-out double from Randal Grichuk. Fortunately, Pérez settled down from there and the Jays managed just one run in the inning.
Boston did manage to get that run right back in the fifth, too, with a similar sequence as earlier in the game. Bradley led off with a single once again, though this one was swinging the bat, and he was eventually driven in on an RBI single from Ryder Jones to make it 7-3. This was, essentially, the end of any drama in this game. However, it should also be noted that Pérez was still pitching in the bottom of the sixth, and doing much better. After the second out, though, he must have landed funny. The lefty was taken out of the game with a left leg injury, though the diagnosis is not known as of yet, so the Red Sox may need to grab a new starter before this spot comes back up in the rotation.
Other than that, though, this game was a romp. Boston would add four more in the eighth just for good measure, a rally that included Martinez snapping out of his funk with a big three-run home to put the game away for real. In all, it was an 11-3 victory that put Boston’s record at 18-13. With the Yankees having the day off, that meant a tie atop of the American League East.
After the game, Giles was officially added to the roster with Colten Brewer being sent to Pawtucket to make room. Meanwhile, down on the farm, Jantzen Witte had three hits including a homer in a PawSox win, Bobby Dalbec went deep and Bryan Mata was solid in a Sea Dogs win, Salem was off and Ricardo Cubillan had a four-hit effort in a win for Greenville.