By MyFM's Jake Archer - After an interleague series over the weekend, the Sox welcomed in a familiar opponent for a three-game set yesterday afternoon. The Toronto Blue Jays were coming in for a Memorial Day matchup with Aaron Sanchez on the mound going against Boston's David Price. Mookie Betts was still out of the lineup for the Red Sox with "side tightness." Luckily, Boston's offense wouldn't sweat his absence this time.
After Price worked around a Josh Donaldson single in the first, Aaron Sanchez got clipped by the Sox in the bottom half. The righty allowed back-to-back one-out singles to Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland. With runners on the corners, JD Martinez grounded into a fielder's choice with Bogaerts scoring, Moreland out at second and Martinez reaching first. Sanchez spun his way out of further trouble and things stayed quiet with both offenses for a bit.
In the fourth, Price let the Jays tie it back up at one. Kevin Pillar doubled to lead off the frame and advanced to third on a groundout by Russell Martin. Kendrys Morales singled Pillar home to knot the game back up but Price got the next two batters to escape the inning. The Boston offense would respond and back him up with a big inning off of Sanchez in the bottom half.
Rafael Devers led off the inning with a single and Eduardo Nunez followed with a single of his own. Toronto catcher Luke Maile let a ball get by him and both runners moved up into scoring position. After a mound visit, Brock Holt lifted a sac-fly to Martin (playing left field?! Has this been happening all year and I haven't noticed!?) to bring in a run and take the lead back. Christian Vazquez then singled and Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled to drive in Nunez and make it 3-1. Toronto used up another mound visit to talk to Sanchez, but the little break didn't work as the next batter, Andrew Benintendi smacked a three-run homer the other way to left field. Boston had gone up 6-1 and Sanchez got the next two outs to stop the bleeding.
Price gave a run back in the top of the fifth when he walked Donaldson with one out, gave up a double to Justin Smoak and then let Yangervis Solarte float a sac-fly to right. Gio Urshela was the runner who scored because he had replaced Donaldson on the basepaths due to the third baseman hurting his calf running on the double. Boston took the run right back when Martinez murdered a ball over the Monster for his 17th homer of the season. He is again tied for the league lead with Betts.
David Price was done to start the sixth. He pitched decently as he only gave up two runs on four hits, four walks and four strikeouts. The problem was that he only lasted five innings due to throwing 95 pitches. He did have a scary moment in the first when he took a line shot back at him in the chest, and he should be credited for wearing that one and staying in the ballgame (although when asked about it postgame he went on a sarcastic tangent about how everyone calls him soft). The sixth inning also saw Jackie Bradley make a highlight reel catch out in deep center. He ran back and robbed Morales of a hit with a leaping, over-the-shoulder grab.
Sanchez was finally done to start the sixth as well. He, for a guy who is supposed to be so good, has been pretty bad this season. He went five innings while giving up seven runs on nine hits, one walk and four Ks.
The righty was replaced by Danny Barnes, who walked JBJ with one out. Bradley stole second and Maile made a bad throw to get him, resulting in an error that allowed him to get to third. Benintendi ripped a triple (the Sox had gotten triple happy and Benintendi had stayed scorching hot) to make it 8-2. In the top of the seventh, Heath Hembree allowed back-to-back triples to Devon Travis and Teoscar Hernandez to make it 8-3, but the score would stay there for the rest of the game.
David Price earned the win to go to 5-4 and Sanchez took the loss to drop to 2-5. The Red Sox improved to 37-17 and are now two games better than the Yankees in the AL East and still own the best record in the whole MLB. Currently, they are in the bottom of the seventh and up 6-3 on the Jays. Stay tuned for the recap of this one and tune in to MyFM 101.3 for tomorrow's 1 p.m. game. Eduardo Rodriguez will be going against Sam Gaviglio.