Boston Red Sox Game Recap: April 20, 2017 @ Toronto Blue Jays

The final game of Boston’s series against the Toronto Blue Jays was an early afternoon pitching duel between lefty Chris Sale and righty Marco Estrada.

The Toronto righty allowed his first hit of the day to Dustin Pedroia in the top of the third inning. Andrew Benintendi followed that with the team’s second hit with a ground-ball single through the left side of the field. Estrada ended the potential rally by striking out Mookie Betts for the second time.

In the bottom of the inning, after striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Sale coughed up his first hit of the game on a Devon Travis single to right field. Ryan Goins hit a soft infield single to Xander Bogaerts who got caught in between hops backing up on the ball, then made a poor choice by going to second base with the throw, resulting in both baserunners being safe. With men on first and second, Sale struck out Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista to end the inning.

Sale and Estrada continued trading zeroes through the sixth inning when the Blue Jays starter was lifted from the game in favor of righty Joe Biagini. Estrada had thrown six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out seven Red Sox. Biagini continued Estrada’s work by sitting the Red Sox down 1-2-3.

Sale continued to dazzle in the seventh and eighth innings, while the Blue Jays went to Joe Smith in the top of the eighth and then turned to their closer, Roberto Osuna, in the top of the ninth.

Osuna induced a Mookie Betts pop out to first before striking out Hanley Ramirez for the second out of the ninth. Mitch Moreland then laced his league-leading 11th double past the diving Bautista in right field. Xander Bogaerts chased Moreland home for the first run of the game with a single down the first-base line. The Red Sox shortstop was thrown out at second base attempting to stretch the single into a double for the final out of the inning.

Craig Kimbrel entered the game in the bottom of the ninth after Sale threw eight scoreless innings. The lefty struck out a baker’s dozen and only allowed four baserunners – three via hits and one on ball four.

Kimbrel immediately blew the save on his second pitch of the inning when Kendrys Morales blasted a solo shot to straightaway center field. Kimbrel then sat the Blue Jays down on a Justin Smoak flyout and back-to-back strikeouts of Ezequiel Carrera and Darwin Barney.

Manager John Gibbons sent out Jason Grilli to pitch the top of the 10th for the Blue Jays. Grilli retired Pablo Sandoval on a deep fly to center field before allowing singles by Sandy Leon and Brock Holt. Marco Hernandez then entered the game as a pinch runner for Leon. After Dustin Pedroia popped out to the catcher, Grilli loaded the bases on an Andrew Benintendi walk. Betts cleared the bases on his 100th career double, giving the Red Sox a 4-1 lead. Danny Barnes replaced Grilli and retired Hanley Ramirez on a fly ball to center field to end the inning.

Kimbrel remained in the game for the bottom of the 10th, and struck out the side in order. The Red Sox closer got the win with two innings of work and five strikeouts.

The Boston Red Sox will travel to Baltimore tomorrow to face the Orioles, who have yet to announce their starting pitcher. Lefty Drew Pomeranz will be on the hill for the Red Sox looking to rebound after his five-run, 10-strikeout oddity on April 16.


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Featured image courtesy of Toronto Blue Jays Fan Club.

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Pete is the Editor-in-Chief of Sons of Sam Horn. Currently residing in North Carolina, he enjoys reading and spending time outdoors when not editing or working with his tremendous team.

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