Blue Jays - 010 030 900 - 13 15 0 Red Sox - 503 000 011 - 10 12 1Friday's game raised an interesting question: How many "worst loss(es) of the season" can one team have?
In this latest (and very strong) contender, the last-place Red Sox excited their fans by strutting out to an 8-1 lead. Then, over the course of the next four innings, they blew that seven-run advantage - and ended up trailing by five runs. For the Blue Jays, it was their ninth consecutive victory. The 13 runs tied a season-high.
Before tonight, teams in 2015 that led by seven or more runs were 142-1.
The Red Sox, back at Fenway after dropping three games in Baltimore, showed some encouraging signs of life in the first inning. Brock Holt walked with one out and Bogaerts doubled to left. With two on, Ortiz smacked an opposite field single to the Wall in left, scoring both runners. After Mike Napoli struck out, Pablo Sandoval (mired in a deep slump, like Ortiz) hit a first-pitch, two-run home run. Mookie Betts followed with a solo shot. Blake Swihart singled to left. Rusney Castillo singled to right. Pedroia walked, loading the bases. Holt spoiled any additional fun by flying to right. (The first-inning fireworks were a rarity for the Red Sox. They had scored 19 runs in the first inning all season entering tonight's game.)
Pedroia launched a three-run dong in the third, after Swihart singled and Castillo walked. (Betts left the game in the top half with a low back sprain, sustained when he crashed into the padded wall in the triangle.)
According to Elias' win probability model, the Red Sox were 97.1% likely to win the game after Pedroia's home run gave them an 8-1 lead. But ... the Jays scored three in the fifth off Joe Kelly (6-7-4-2-3, 101) and exploded in the seventh, scoring nine times against three relievers (Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, and Tommy Layne) before making an out.
Boston tried to rally in the eighth. With two outs, Napoli batted with the bases loaded, as the potential tying run. But after swinging at a pitch that actually bounced to the catcher, he looked at a curveball in the heart of the zone for strike three. (Napoli is 1-for-his-last-20, with 10 strikeouts.)
Drew Hutchison / Joe Kelly
Pedroia, 2BToronto (31-30) has won eight straight games. In those eight games, the Jays failed to score at least six runs only once.
Kelly has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his past five starts.