BOSTON – Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers bounced a hard grounder into right field for the first walk-off base hit of his major league career as pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez scored from third to cap Boston’s bottom-of-the-ninth, come from behind rally, stealing a 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Nunez was on board after Boston first baseman Mitch Moreland hit a game-tying double to center field which scored OF Mookie Betts to knot the game at 6-6. Earlier in the game, Moreland hit a solo home run. He has either tied the game or given the Red Sox the lead in each of their four wins this season.
The Red Sox rally came at the expense of Toronto’s closer, Ken Giles, who had converted each of his last 34 save opportunities, dating back to September 12, 2017. Giles was 26-for-26 in converting saves last season, the eighth-best mark in MLB history.
Devers went 2-for-4 on the night and recorded his fourth multi-hit game of the young season. He had two RBI.
Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi fell victim to a five-run 3rd inning as DH Justin Smoak and first baseman Rowdy Tellez each homered for the visiting Blue Jays. Eovaldi exited after five innings pitched, allowing six hits, five earned runs with four walks and four strike-outs. He threw 89 pitches and 51 strikes.
Immediately after Toronto staked that 5-0 lead, the Red Sox cut their deficit to two runs with doubles by J.D. Martinez and Devers and an RBI single by Dustin Pedroia.
Toronto RHP Aaron Sanchez went five innings, allowing five hits, four runs (one earned) with four walks and five strike-outs. He threw 100 pitches and 61 strikes on the night before giving way to LHP Tim Mayza in the 6th inning. Sanchez has a (1.69 ERA) in his first three starts of 2019.
The Boston defense turned double-plays in four of the first five innings to help Eovaldi out of jams. Pedroia, the Red Sox second baseman who is working his way back from injury, was involved in three of those while Moreland turned an unassisted double play to end the 5th inning. The four double-plays were the most since July 18, 2017.
Toronto shortstop Freddie Galvis went 4-for-4, scored two runs, and had an RBI on his go-ahead solo home run in the 8th inning. Galvis has hit safely in his last six games and has three HRs in his last five games.
Boston is now (4-9) on the season, as is Toronto. Reliever Marcus Walden (2-0) was credited with the win while Giles (0-1) took the loss.