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Cora, Boston's Bats Return in Blowout Win

April 27

Ross Stripling pitches for the Jays against Wacha. They were teammates and roommates at Texas A&M. Cora’s back, so hopefully that will boost morale and get the Sox out of the slump. In the top of the first, a runner is at first with two out for Devers, who doubles to the gap in center to score Bogaerts and make it 1-0 Sox. Scoring first is crucial against a team like Toronto. A groundout ends the inning. A runner is at second with two out after a stolen base in the bottom of the frame, but a strikeout ends the inning. Back-to-back hits lead off the top of the third and a single loads the bases with one out before back-to-back strikeouts mean that the Sox squander an enormous opportunity in the third. Back-to-back singles start the bottom of the inning, and a force out that should have been a double play puts runners at the corners with one out. Heineman scores on another botched double play to tie it at 1-1. A walk puts two on before a strikeout ends the inning. It could have been a lot worse, and I expected it to be worse with the funk in which the Sox find themselves at the moment. Another break doesn't go Boston’s way in the top of the fourth when Hernández wallops a fly ball down the left-field line that just curves foul.

With a single in the sixth, Bogaerts is the first player to get at least three hits in seven or more of Boston’s first 20 games of any season, and this is a franchise that dates back to 1901, when they were the Americans. Then a single by Devers puts runners at the corners for Martinez, whose single to right scores Bogaerts and puts the Sox ahead again at 2-1. Hernández’s sacrifice fly brings in Devers for some much-needed insurance at 3-1, but that lead is not comfortable yet, as we’ve seen many times already this year. Toronto puts runners at the corners with two out in the bottom of the seventh, but the go-ahead run strikes out as Sawamura preserves the lead. Martinez leads off the top of the eighth with a double to center and promptly swaps places with Hernández when he doubles to left-center to make it 4-1. Hernández moves to third on a sacrifice bunt and scores on a sacrifice fly by Dalbec to open this game up at 5-1. The first two batters reach in the top of the ninth before Bogaerts singles to left to score Story and make it 6-1. Bogaerts is now 4-for-4, having reached every time he’s come to bat. A failed double play puts runners at the corners with one out and causes a pitching change. Francis makes his MLB debut out of the bullpen and doesn’t have it easy. Refsnyder pinch-hits for Martinez right after and hits a double down the left-field line that scores Verdugo and makes it 7-1. That is the thirteenth hit of the game, a season-high for Boston. A groundout ends the inning. At long last, the Sox bust the streak with a 7-1 thrashing.