The Blue Jays have a tendency for playing one-run games. Friday, they came out on top of yet another one, defeating the Red Sox 7-6 after a late Red Sox rally.
In his first start after his contract extension Clay Buchholz was noticeably struggling with his control--an issue that was not helped by a noticeably stingy strike zone. Walking two of the first three batters of the game, Buchholz dodged a bullet when Adam Lind launched a fly ball down the line and into the stands by Pesky's Pole. The umpires signaled homer, but when later review showed that it had landed inside the yellow line on the stands but outside the pole itself, which designates fair/foul territory, it was called back. Buchholz escaped the inning, and would retire the next eight straight batters.
The Red Sox meanwhile, went to work on scoring some runs in the third inning after leaving the bases loaded in the second. Dustin Pedroia got them on the board first, hitting his second home run of the season into the Monster seats. Adrian Gonzalez walked behind him to set up Kevin Youkilis with a man on. While it's been a slow start to the Sox third baseman's season as far as hits are concerned, given all the walks he's taken, it wasn't clear if he was slumping or just not getting anything to hit.
He got a pitch to hit this time, catching a hanging sinker and dropping it on the batter's eye in the deepest part of center field for a two-run shot.
It was the fifth inning where things started to come apart for the Red Sox. Clay Buchholz' control problems returned, walking Juan Rivera and Jayson Nix and then, with two outs, throwing a changeup that caught far too much of the plate. Corey Patterson sent it into right field, and ended up at third base with a two-run triple. After he walked Adam Lind and gave up a single to Aaron Hill to start the sixth, Buchholz' night was done .
Alfredo Aceves came in to clean things up for the Sox, and it seemed as if he had done so, quickly inducing a double play (beautifully turned by Youkilis and Pedroia, who was making flashy plays all night) and getting Travis Snider to hit a fly ball that would have been playable if Carl Crawford knew how many steps he had. Instead, he stopped short of the wall, and allowed an RBI double.
Tied 3-3, the Red Sox called on Bobby Jenks to pitch the seventh. After starting his Red Sox career with four very strong outings, he undid all his good work in just one appearance, allowing five baserunners without even recording two outs. By the time Felix Doubront had finally quieted the Jays, they had pushed across four more.
Every single one of those runs would be needed, it turned out, as the Red Sox took advantage of Toronto reliever Marc Rzepczynski in the eighth, with Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro knocking in three runs after Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez walked earlier in the inning. Jacoby Ellsbury flew out with the tying run in scoring position, however, and the Sox went down in order in the ninth, falling to 2-10.