The Red Sox are out to even up their three-game series against the Blue Jays at one game a piece as they send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound Tuesday night to take on Aaron Laffey and the Toronto Blue Jays.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1, End 8th -- With David Pauley staying in the game, the Sox strike for a couple of big insurance runs. David Ortiz nearly leads off the inning with a home run, but falls just short as his high fly ball clanks high off the Monster for a double. Moving to third on a Cody Ross single, Ortiz is in excellent position to watch Adrian Gonzalez match his wall ball double with one of his own before crossing home plate. Will Middlebrooks adds a sacrifice fly to right off of Scott Richmond to plate Ross,and give the Sox the 5-1 lead.
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1, Mid 8th -- Vicente Padilla comes in for Andrew Miller and makes sure that the Jays don't make any inroads on Boston's newfound lead in the eighth, striking out Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in the process. The Sox are three outs away from the win now, headed to the bottom of the eighth.
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1, End 7th -- The break through comes in the seventh, as the Sox get to the Toronto bullpen for three big runs! While the second and third are team efforts, Jarrod Saltalamacchia takes care of the first on his own. Finally turned around to bat left-handed against Jason Frasor, Salty gets a fastball belt-high over the outside part of the plate and goes to the opposite field, sending the ball up and over the Monster in a hurry for the equalizing home run.
Things get no better for John Farrell as he turns first to Luis Perez, who gives up a double down the right field line to Ryan Kalish, and then David Pauley, who hits Daniel Nava and walks Mike Aviles to bring the suddenly hot-hitting Dustin Pedroia to the plate. The 0-1 pitch to Pedroia is away, but the second baseman reaches out and puts the head of the bat on the ball, sending a speedy grounder back up the middle. With neither Yunel Escobar or Kelly Johnson able to cover the requisite ground, it gets into center field, bringing two runs home even as Mike Aviles gets caught in a run down to end the inning.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 7th -- Andrew Miller comes in to pick up the final out of the seventh with Adam Lind on second. Getting ahead 0-2, Miller had Rasmus work the count full before he dropped a slider over the inside part of the plate for the called strike three. An excellent out pitch for a relatively big moment.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, End 6th -- Rajai Davis ends up preserving the Toronto lead in the sixth, leaving the Red Sox offense frustrated once again. Aafter Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk, David Ortiz went to the opposite field for a wall ball double. With the carom getting past Rajai Davis in left, Pedroia rounded third and looked almost guaranteed to score, right up until Davis fired off his cannon. Going all the way through the air, Davis put the throw almost perfectly on target to Jeff Mathis, who just got the tag on Dustin Pedroia as he was sliding in to the opposite side of home plate to record the big out. With Cody Ross grounding out immediately afterwards, the Sox were again held scoreless.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 6th -- Daisuke struggles a bit as his night comes to an end, as his first walk of the night ends up costing him a runner at third after a two-out double down the left field line. The second hit prompts Bobby Valentine to turn to the bullpen, with Scott Atchison coming on to face Rajai Davis. Atchison needs just two pitches to induce a ground ball, but with an angle that shouts "seeing-eye single," it seems like trouble. Mike Aviles, however, does not let it get by him, ranging to make the grab and then spinning and firing to second just in time to keep the run off the board.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, End 5th -- The Red Sox choke hard after a leadoff double from Adrian Gonzalez. Needing just some productive outs, the Sox produce two ground balls to the left side of the infield (with Jarrod Saltalamacchia having swung at a 3-1 pitch about a foot outside and low) and, after a Darnell McDonald walk, add a pop-up from Brent Lillibridge to end the inning.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 5th -- Two strikeouts highlight another 1-2-3 inning for Daisuke Matsuzaka. He's struck out five now and walked not a single batter. In other words, he hasn't been himself.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, End 4th -- Unluckily for the Sox, Aaron Laffey is playing at being Cy Young, grabbing three ground outs against the heart of the order to keep the home team trailing.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 4th -- A two-out single is all the Jays get, as once again Daisuke has settled down after early trouble. Luckily for the Sox, this time the early trouble was minimal, leaving them just one run down.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, End 3rd -- Since the leadoff single, Aaron Laffey has now sat down nine straight Red Sox. It's becoming apparent that the key to success against the Sox lies in having mediocre numbers in Triple-A. Or something like that.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- Daisuke enjoys his first 1-2-3 inning of the game, striking out Edwin Encarnacion to finish the third. Dustin Pedroia does have to do some cleaning up for Adrian Gonzalez in the process, however. Gonzalez snagged the line drive that started off the inning, but after dropping it clearly on the transfer, the umpire decided not to call the out until (with Colby Rasmus having assumed he was out), Dustin Pedroia scooped up the ball from the ground and jogged over to first to complete what may have been his first time forcing a runner out on said bag.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- This is not a pretty start to Boston's offensive night. The Sox go 1-2-3 in the second, with only a hard hit ground ball up the middle from Adrian Gonzalez to show for it. Unfortunately, Escobar was shading him that way, and it goes for an easy out.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- Daisuke's second inning doesn't go a ton better on the mound, with another pair of hits coming. This time, however, the defense is solid and Matsuzaka adds a picture-perfect pickoff of Rajai Davis in-between the hits to keep runs off the board.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- Despite a good deal of solid contact, the Red Sox can't pull even in the bottom half of the first. Mike Aviles leads off the inning by pulling an outside fastball past Yunel Escobar and into center field for a single. Unfortunately, though, the Sox leave him there. Dustin Pedroia hits a long line drive to left, but has it come just short of the wall, allowing Rajai Davis to settle in front of the scoreboard for the out. Ortiz goes the same way, but without as much distance leading to a rather easier second out. Cody Ross, on the other hand, can't even put the ball in play, ending a seven-pitch battle with a strikeout.
Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Things go sour for Daisuke in a hurry--at least in terms of at bats, as after an eight-pitch battle Brett Lawrie takes the ninth toss and sends it to deep center field for a double. Colby Rasmus would hit an easy ground ball to Mike Aviles, and arguably Daisuke should have been spared a run because of Lawrie's decision to run on it, but Aviles' throw to third goes very wide of the bag, pulling Will Middlebrooks much too far away to make any sort of play. After a pop-out, the defense's troubles continue, as Middlebrooks makes an excellent diving play to take away a ground ball double down the line...and then gives it right back by throwing high over Adrian Gonzalez' head as the run comes in to score.
Matsuzaka manages to work out of the inning without any further trouble, but with one run already in the Sox have to be lamenting their early misadventures in the field.