Sunday, April 17, 2011
Notes: Running Jays keep Sox on toes
By Steven Krasner
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays, who have been aggressive on the basepaths all series, pulled off a successful double steal in the second inning, scoring a run that put Toronto on top 1-0.
Boston manager Terry Francona said the Sox were expecting the Jays to try the play. But the Red Sox didn’t look very crisp in executing their defense, though they did get the final out of the inning.
Aaron Hill was on third base and Juan Rivera was at first with two outs. Rivera took off on Jon Lester’s first pitch to Jayson Nix. Well, actually he sauntered, hoping to draw a throw, get in a rundown and allow Hill to score.
Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia came up throwing, but made a poor throw. He short-hopped second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who made a diving stop. Hill scored without a throw, and Rivera was put out in a rundown. Saltalamacchia admitted he hadn’t executed the plan perfectly.
“That was one of those things where I have to peek at the runner at third,” Saltalamacchia said. “I saw that he [Rivera] didn’t get a good jump so I came up throwing. Luckily that didn’t kill us.”
Francona said he didn’t mind giving the Jays a run and a lead at that point in the game.
“We’ll take a tradeoff for a run to come off the field. We didn’t execute it the way we wanted to, but we got the out,” Francona said.
Eventful birthday: Jed Lowrie had an interesting 27th birthday Sunday.
He made his second straight start at shortstop. He went 1-for-4, but figured in all three of the Sox’ rallies. Lowrie also failed to run out a pop fly and made an error, possibly costing Jon Lester another shutout inning.
In the second, Lowrie lofted a pop fly to left that seemed destined to drift way into the stands. But the strong winds pushed the ball back. It landed just fair, but because Lowrie hadn’t been running, he was forced to stop at first instead of making it to second with a double. No problem there as he and three other Sox scored in the inning for a 4-1 lead.
“I don’t think anyone in the stadium thought that would be fair,” Lowrie said. “I started and stopped three times. The wind must have been blowing between 20 and 25 miles an hour. [It was officially at 21 m.p.h. at first pitch.] There was a 30-foot difference all day where the ball was headed and where it ended up.”
In the sixth, Toronto third baseman Nix mishandled Lowrie's checked-swing bouncer for an error, paving the way for two more Boston runs. And with the bases loaded and none out in the eighth, Lowrie’s easy bouncer to first was misplayed by Adam Lind. Two runs scored and Lowrie got credit for an RBI.
In the seventh, Lowrie bobbled a double-play ball up the middle with none out. Instead of getting two outs, the Jays had runners at first and second with none out, prompting Francona to lift Lester. But Daniel Bard escaped further trouble.
Roster move coming? Left-hander Felix Doubront was called in to pitch the eighth, but the rookie didn’t fare very well. He faced four batters, walking two and allowing a hit. Doubront caught Corey Patterson trying to steal third, but he had to be rescued by Bobby Jenks with two outs and runners at first and second.
After the game, Doubront was seen cleaning out his locker and packing his stuff in a box. It’s possible he could be optioned to Pawtucket to get some regular work.
There was no word from the Sox about a roster move.