Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0 6 2 Blue Jays - 030 000 00x - 3 6 1Rick Porcello (7-6-3-1-5, 110) made his best start of the young season, but two errors in the second inning proved very costly as the Red Sox's four-game winning streak came to an end. Boston had no luck at all against Francisco Liriano (5.1-4-0-1-6, 91) and three Toronto relievers.
Troy Tulowitzki began the bottom of the second with a routine grounder to third base. Pablo Sandoval's throw from near the line sailed over Mitch Moreland's head at first base. Then Moreland tried to backhand Russell Martin's hard grounder down the first base line, but it skipped past him into right field. So instead of two outs and the bases empty, Porcello had to deal with men at second and third and no outs. Porcello fanned Justin Smoak, but Darwin Barney singled to center to bring home two runs. After Devon Travis lined out to right, singled by Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera scored Barney with the third run. All three runs were unearned.
Porcello walked the leadoff man in the third, then retired the next nine batters. A leadoff single in the sixth never advanced past first. Pillar singled with one out in the seventh (his third hit of the night) and stole both second and third, but was stranded when Jose Bautista struck out (and heard more than a few boos from his hometown fans as his average dropped to .118). (Bautista came into the game with a .421 average against Porcello (16-for-38), but went 0-for-4.)
Nothing happened for the Red Sox batters until the fifth. Liriano walked Xander Bogaerts, who was forced at second by Chris Young (the relay to first was wild). Sandoval singled to right, moving Young to second, but Sandy Leon grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts singled with one out in the following inning. Joe Biagini relieved Liriano and got Hanley Ramirez to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Biagini then retired the Red Sox in order in the seventh.
Sandoval singled off Jason Grilli to open the eighth. Leon struck out and Dustin Pedroia grounded out to first. Pedroia lined the ball off Grilli and the ball caromed to Smoak near first base. Smoak raced to the bag and beat Pedroia, who slowed himself down by diving headfirst into the base. (If he had kept running hard through the bag, like players are supposed to do, perhaps he would have beaten it out.) Benintendi walked, but Betts grounded out to short.
Facing Roberto Osuna in the ninth, Moreland singled with one out. Bogaerts struck out on three pitches and Young forced Moreland at second for the final out.
Betts's streak of regular-season plate appearances ended at 129 when he struck out swinging in the fourth inning. ... In the first relief appearance of his major league career, Eduardo Rodriguez retired the Blue Jays in order in the eighth, striking out Kendrys Morales and Russell Martin.
Baseball announcers can often produce some strangely constructed sentences. In the ninth inning, when Ramirez swung and missed at a pitch that was well outside, NESN's Jerry Remy agreed that the pitch was "not in a location good".
Chris Sale will get the ball tomorrow. The game begins at 12:30 PM.
Pedroia, 2BThrough three starts, Porcello has a 7.56 ERA. He was roughed up by the Rays last Friday (4.1 innings, four home runs, eight runs).
W L PCT GB RS RA DIFF Orioles 8 4 .667 --- 56 52 + 4 Red Sox 9 5 .643 --- 65 62 + 3 Yankees 9 5 .643 --- 68 48 +20 Rays 7 8 .467 2.5 64 64 0 Blue Jays 2 11 .154 6.5 41 62 -21I forgot to include this in last night's recap. When home plate umpire Laz Diaz blew two of the seven ball/strike calls in the top of the first, I decided to see how many pitches he called correctly. While NESN's strike zone graphic is not completely accurate, that's what I used. And if even a portion of the dot touched the border of the strike zone, I regarded that as a strike. Diaz called 167 of 190 ball/strike pitches correctly (87.9%). He was wrong 12% of the time. (That's actually better than I expected.) (Here is Brooks' data.)