Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 2
August, 27, 2014
By Mark Polishuk, Special to ESPNBoston.com
TORONTO -- An error from David Ross and a shaky relief outing from Junichi Tazawa sunk the Red Sox during a rough seventh inning in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
When Dioner Navarro popped a foul ball in front of his own dugout, Ross was in position to make the play but the catcher muffed the catch. Navarro made Ross and the Sox pay by singling to put runners on the corners with none out, as Boston clung to a 2-1 lead.
Tazawa, who had held right-handed batters to a .243 average in 2014, came out of the bullpen to face pinch hitter Danny Valencia, who had only a .212 average against righty pitching this season. The statistics couldn't help Tazawa, however, as Valencia deposited his 2-0 fastball over the left-field wall for a three-run homer. Tazawa allowed another run in the inning, albeit an unearned one, when Kevin Pillar scored on a fielder's choice.
Swell Kelly: Joe Kelly still is looking for his first win in a Red Sox uniform, though the right-hander delivered a quality start on Wednesday. Kelly allowed two runs on three hits and two walks over six-plus innings, as he was pulled after allowing a leadoff double to Edwin Encarnacion in the seventh. The only run Kelly was completely repsonsible for was a first-inning solo home run by Jose Bautista.
Defense: Ross' error spoiled an otherwise superb defensive outing from the Red Sox. The solid glovework began early when Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli each made diving plays that led to outs in the first inning.
In the fifth, Jays second baseman Munenori Kawasaki hit a chopper that shortstop Brock Holt grabbed with his bare hand and quickly snapped to first, with Napoli making a nice pickup for the putout. Napoli was at it again an inning later, stretching to corral a throw from third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who made a tremendous snag of a sharply-hit grounder from Adam Lind.
Big inning: The Red Sox lineup didn't muster much against Toronto rookie starter Marcus Stroman save for two runs in the sixth inning. With one out, Ross reached base on an error from third baseman Juan Francisco, then scored after consecutive singles from Holt, Pedroia and David Ortiz. Holt scored on another Toronto miscue, racing home from third after Stroman threw a wild pitch.
Debut: Edwin Escobar made his major league debut by throwing a perfect relief inning. The left-hander, acquired last month from the Giants as part of the Jake Peavy trade, was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the day.
Brief encounter: Wednesday's game was wrapped up in 2 hours 38 minutes, the first of 25 Boston games in the month of August to clock in under the three-hour mark.
Coming up: The Red Sox have an off-day Thursday, then continue their road trip by kicking off a four-game series in Tampa. The Sox have yet to name a starter for Friday; they'll face Rays right-hander Chris Archer.