The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball.
Our Fake Sox have had a hell of a start to their series against the Blue Jays, not only taking the first two games but doing so in dominating fashion. They won those two games by a combined score of 30-8 including a 17-3 blowout just this afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader. Tonight they were looking to make it a sweep, not only of the doubleheader but of the entire series. They had their work cut out for them, though, going up against Toronto’s best pitcher in Shun Yamaguchi while Bryan Mata took the mound for them.
Both of the pitchers found themselves working out of trouble early, with Mata allowing leadoff singles in the each of the first two innings and putting two on in the second but still not allowing a run. On the other side, the Red Sox had their first two reach in the bottom of the first but managed to not score any runs.
It was still a scoreless game as we headed into the bottom of the third, and the Red Sox got themselves another chance when Andrew Benintendi ripped a one-out double. They got to two outs, but then the middle of the order did their job. First it was Rafael Devers with a second double in the inning to make it 1-0 before J.D. Martinez followed it up with a double of his own. Just like that, it was a 2-0 lead for the Red Sox.
Unfortunately, Mata wasn’t up to the task of keeping that lead in his favor. He got off to a rough start in the fourth allowing the first two batters to reach with base hits. It looked like he caught a break, though, when he got Reese McGuire to ground into a huge double play. That put a runner on third, but also two outs on the board. That last out proved to be elusive for the young righty, though. He lost his control a bit from there when he issued a walk and hit a batter, loading up the bases for Travis Shaw. Boston’s old friend came through with a base hit and then Anthony Alford did the same, and just like that it was a 3-2 lead for Toronto.
Mata would have to be taken out of the game in the fifth, but no more runs were scored for a few innings as he and Martín Pérez managed to wiggle their way out of trouble. The Red Sox would actually be the next to score as we headed into the bottom of the sixth. Xander Bogaerts reached on an error to lead off that inning before Jackie Bradley Jr. smacked a base hit. A double play threw a wrench into the inning, but they did tie up the game thanks to a big two-out single from José Peraza.
Once again, though, the Red Sox couldn’t keep the Blue Jays from answering. Pérez gave up a leadoff single before his night ended. Drew Pomeranz then came in for his first appearance since being traded back to Boston. It...did not go well. His first opponent was Teoscar Hernandez, who welcomed the lefty back to Fenway with a triple into the triangle to make it a 4-3 Toronto lead. Pomeranz did settle down a little bit from there and only allowed one more run on a sacrifice fly, but it was a two-run lead for the Jays now.
This time, the Red Sox wasted no time getting back into it when Benintendi drew a leadoff walk before coming all the way around to score on an Alex Verdugo double to bring Boston to within one. They could not, however, get Verdugo home in the three chances they had after his double. They’d then have a frustrating eighth as well, stranding runners on the corners as Benintendi watched strike three go by the end the inning. Frustration boiled over at that point as Benintendi was tossed for arguing with the umpire.
Ryan Brasier and Josh Taylor then struggled in the ninth, giving up one run to push Toronto’s cushion back to two. It could have been worse, to be fair, as Taylor had the bases loaded and nobody out even after the run scored and managed to get out of it without the deficit getting any larger.
That would turn out to be big, too, as the Red Sox came to play in the ninth. Devers was the one to get the momentum rolling as he came to the plate with one out and the bases empty before unloading on a pitch from Anthony Bass. The third baseman crushed it 418 feet into the right field seats, and the Red Sox were within one. Martinez then followed that up with a base hit before Bogaerts ripped a double into the left field corner. Martinez came all the way around from first base, and just like that we were all tied up at six.
Bogaerts was left at second, which sent things into extras. After Ken Giles came on to strike out the side in the top of the tenth, the Red Sox got to work in the bottom of the inning. They made two quick outs, but Ryder Jones, who came in for Benintendi, kept things alive with a base hit. After another single, Devers came up with runners on the corners. He came through for the second straight inning, this time putting one through the right side for a single. Jones easily came around to score, and that was the walk off victory.
Devers’s walk off gave the Red Sox a 7-6 win and finished off the sweep, pushing their record to 50-42. With the Yankees losing, the deficit in the division fell down to four games.