After a pathetic showing against the Angels at home, the Blue Jays, braced for a tumultuous time at Boston’s Fenway Park, managed to leave Boston with a pair of wins in hand, thanks chiefly to some stellar starts and surprisingly clutch performances from some of the team’s big bats.
In a much-needed series victory, the team showed that, despite some subpar stretches this month, there may be just a hint of hope for a decent finish this season.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this weekend’s set in Boston:
Marcus Stroman (6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 6 SO) was outstanding in his start, while fellow starter Trent Thornton (6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, BB, 7 SO) put together his second straight solid outing. In the bullpen, Daniel Hudson (1.0 IP, SO) and Nick Kingham (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 SO) were both flawless.
With the bats, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (5-for-15, R, 2B) had a productive series, so too did Rowdy Tellez (3-for-6, 4 R, 2 BB, HR, 2B). Teoscar Hernandez (2-for-8, 2 BB, 4 R, 3 SO) demonstrated solid plate discipline, while Freddy Galvis (4-for-13, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB) also had a great time at Fenway.
Finally, Eric Sogard (5-for-15, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB) had himself a great series, raising his batting average to .305 on the season. Sogard, 33, has the highest average on the team (.356) and the second highest OBP (.396) over the last 30 days.
Reliever/opener Derek Law (1.1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 BB) was battered in his lone appearance, while Tim Mayza (1.0+ IP, H, R, 2 SO) and David Phelps (2.0 IP, 3 H, SO, ER) also were touched up in their outings out of the bullpen.
At the dish, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3-for-13, 4 SO) struggled, with Randal Grichuk (3-for-13, 4 SO, HR, 3 RBI), and Danny Jansen (1-for-8, 2 RBI, 2 SO) following suit, despite the latter notching a pair of RBI in Sunday’s finale.
During Sunday’s game, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello was charged with a controversial balk call, much to the chagrin of the pitcher and his manager. However, a replay review showed that Porcello, waiting for a sign from his catcher, stepped off the rubber and did, contrary to the thoughts of many, commit a balk. The Blue Jays scored a run because of Porcello’s gaffe.
The Blue Jays (now 29-49) will head to Yankee Stadium in New York to face off against the Yankees, who will send CC Sabathia (4-4, 4.14 ERA, 57 SO), an unknown pitcher, and James Paxton (5-3, 3.75 ERA, 78 SO) to the hill against Aaron Sanchez (3-9, 5.49 ERA, 65 SO), Clayton Richard (0-3, 7.46 ERA, 14 SO), and Thornton (2-5, 4.25 ERA, 87 SO).