September 5, 2020

G41: Red Sox 9, Blue Jays 8

Blue Jays - 010 103 300 - 8 16  1
Red Sox   - 040 200 102 - 9 15  2
Xander Bogaerts tied the score with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox's fifth long ball of the night. Three batters later, Christian Vázquez (3-for-5) - who had reached on a fielder's choice, stolen second, and gone to third on a throwing error by the Jays' catcher - scored the winning run on an infield grounder by Yairo Muñoz.

Boston hit three dongs in the second inning. J.D. Martinez hit his fourth of the year to start the inning, which also tied the game at 1-1. Vázquez singled to right and Bradley connected with one out for his fifth, to right-center. With two outs, Bobby Dalbec went yard to left, his second of the year.

The Red Sox had a 4-1 lead, which became 6-2 after Rafael Devers's two-run double down the right-field line in the fourth. That was the score when starter Ryan Weber (5-5-2-1-2, 66). The Blue Jays wiped out that lead and eventually put the Red Sox in a 6-8 hole in the seventh. Josh Taylor and Phillips Valdez each surrendered three runs.

Devers's seventh homer led off the seventh, giving Boston its seventh run. In the top of the eighth, Mike Kickham was hit for a single by Rowdy Tellez and a two-out double by Travis Shaw. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (who had hit a three-run homer in the sixth) was walked intentionally. Kickham faced Joe Panik, who lined a 2-2 pitch to left, stranding three runners. The Red Sox left the bases loaded against Anthony Kay in their half of the eighth.

Kickham dealt with Jays on base in the ninth, as well. He walked Joseph and, after two strikeouts, gave up a single to Randal Grichuk. Tellez the Red Sox-Killer ended the inning by lining out to Bradley in center.

Jays reliever Anthony Bass stayed away from Bogaerts with his first five pitches in the ninth, resulting in a 3-2 count, before leaving one out over the plate. Bogaerts crushed it to left-center, over the Wall, and the score was 8-8. J.D. Martinez walked and pinch-runner José Peraza was forced at second on Vázquez's grounder to third. Muñoz swung at and missed Bass's first two pitches (both sliders, off the plate, away) before laying off a third outside slider for a ball. Bass followed with an inside sinker and Muñoz chopped it towards third. Shaw gloved it on the infield grass and threw home. But his throw was to the first base side of the catcher. Joseph lunged to his right to snag it and he kept going around to make a tag. He was in great position, but his tag was a bit late. Vázquez had already slide across the plate.

Devers knocked in three runs. Martinez went 2-for-3, and also walked twice. JDM was one of four Red Sox with two hits, a group that also included Alex Verdugo, Devers, and Dalbec. Everyone in Boston's starting lineup had at least one hit and seven of the starters scored a run.

The Rays (27-13) have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East, with the Blue Jays and Yankees (both 21-18) are tied for second place.
Chase Anderson / Ryan Weber
Verdugo, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Vázquez, C
Muñoz, LF
Bradley, CF
Chavis, 2B
Dalbec, 1B
Factoids re the DH yesterday:

The only other time the Red Sox have ever played a doubleheader in which both games lasted 7 innings or fewer (and not because of a stupid-ass rule) was September 19, 1912 at Cleveland. 
The 1912 Red Sox played five consecutive games with none of them lasting nine innings:
September 15 (G2): Red Sox 2, Browns 1 (8)
September 17 (G1): Naps 4, Red Sox 3 (11)
September 17 (G2): Naps 3, Red Sox 2 (5)
September 19 (G1): Naps 9, Red Sox 3 (5)
September 19 (G2): Naps 6, Red Sox 0 (6)
It turns out that the last three games of that streak comprise a major league record for most consecutive games of six innings or fewer.

Yairo Muñoz had three hits in each game of yesterday's doubleheader. The last Red Sox player with 3+ hits in each game of a DH was Marco Scutaro (September 19, 2011).

Jackie Bradley has hit safely in each of his last seven games, as well as 12 of his last 13, and 16 of his last 18. JBJ has a .921 OPS in those 18 games.

Alex Verdugo ranks among the AL's top 10 in average (10th, .310), hits (6th, 44), doubles (T-2nd, 13), and runs scored (T-7th, 26). He has hit safely in 26 of his last 29 games. In that span (beginning August 4), Verdugo leads the majors in doubles (13) and is batting .328 with a .955 OPS. He also leads MLB with seven outfield assists, which is actually more than 23 of the other 29 teams have!

Rafael Devers hit only .183 with 5 RBI and a .556 OPS in his first 21 games of the season. In the 17 games since, Devers has batted .324 with 17 RBI and a .975 OPS. In his last seven games, he has as many walks (five) as strikeouts (five).

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