Blue Jays - 010 000 200 - 3 3 1 Red Sox - 310 001 00x - 5 9 0Eight of the nine batters in the Blue Jays' starting lineup found Rick Porcello (6.1-2-3-1-8, 100) absolutely unhittable on Friday night. Edwin Encarnacion was the outlier, cranking two home runs and driving in three runs off the Red Sox starter. EE also singled in the ninth inning, giving him all three of Toronto's hits.
Boston got all the runs it would need in the first two innings off an inconsistent R.A. Dickey (4.2-6-4-4-3, 106). With two outs in the first, Xander Bogaerts grounded a single into left field. David Ortiz crushed a full-count pitch off the wall in deep center for an RBI-double. After Hanley Ramirez reached first base on a strikeout-passed ball, Travis Shaw ripped a first-pitch double off the center field wall. The two baserunners scored before Shaw was trapped in a rundown and was tagged out 8-4-3-5-6-2.
Christian Vazquez, in his season debut, made his presence felt in the second inning. Encarnacion had gone deep to open the frame and Porcello hit Troy Tulowitzki with a pitch. Justin Smoak had been called out on strikes. When Michael Saunders struck out swinging, Vazquez whipped a throw behind the batter to first. Ramirez was quick with the tag for the inning-ending pickoff. Vazquez then cracked a one-out double high off the Wall and scored on Mookie Betts's two-out single.
Vazquez also singled in the sixth and scored on Dustin Pedroia's infield single. Pedroia also walked in the second, which extended his on-base streak against AL East teams to 46 games. According to a NESN factoid, it is the second best mark in Red Sox history, behind Wade Boggs's mark of 61 games. (Of course, the AL East did not exist before 1969.)
After Porcello plunked Tulowitzki in the second, he set down the next 13 batters before drilling Kevin Pillar with a pitch in the sixth. Toronto closed the gap in the seventh when Jose Bautista walked and Encarnacion went deep again. Junichi Tazawa finished the seventh and Koji Uehara pitched a perfect eighth.
Craig Kimbrel made fans a little nervous in the ninth when Encarnacion blooped a two-out single to right and Kimbrel issued a five-pitch walk to Tulowitzki. The dirty water flowed, however, when Kimbrel struck out Smoak to end the game.
Boston pitchers struck out 12 and walked only two. The Red Sox drew six walks.
The Mariners beat the Yankees 7-1, scoring runs in each of the final six innings, allowing Boston (5-4) to sit alone in second place.
Betts, RFThis week: Pablo Sandoval was placed on the disabled list (the team says it's a strained left shoulder but they didn't even do an MRI before putting him on the DL). ... Rusney Castillo was sent to Pawtucket. ... Catcher Christian Vazquez will be activated before tonight's game.