BOSTON – (Staff Report from Fenway Park) – On Friday, the 13th, the Boston Red Sox were hoping to roll a “Yo 11,” but they came up “Craps” as both their starting and relief pitching staffs let them down and the club’s 10-game winning streak is now a one-game losing streak. The Toronto Blue Jays tallied a lofty 13 runs and 14 hits to take an 13-7 decision in the second of a four-game weekend series at Fenway.
Kendrys Morales (8) and Justin Smoak (14) of Toronto
From the onset, Boston starter Rick Porcello was not sharp. He allowed his season-high of eight earned runs and four walks in the first third of the game, uncharacteristic for the dependable righty who entered the game with a 3.58 ERA and the fourth-most wins in the American League this season. He departed with a 4.12 ERA after his shortest outing of the season in both innings pitched and pitch count.
On a night with loads of scoring, the Red Sox struck first when Betts crushed the fifth pitch of his initial at bat towards dead center field and he legged out a triple. Betts crossed home when Toronto shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made a throwing error to the plate on a J.D. Martinez fielder’s choice ground ball.
Toronto took the lead in the top of the 2nd inning as Porcello struggled with his control, walking the first two batters (Kendrys Morales and Russell Martin) before Kevin Pillar knocked in a run with a double to left-center field, Dwight Smith Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to score Martin, then Gurriel redeemed himself of his earlier error with an RBI single to score Pillar, providing the Blue Jays with a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the 2nd inning.
Justin Smoak hit a solo home run to lead off the 3rd inning, hitting a 1-2 pitch into the Red Sox bullpen in right-center field for his 15th HR of the season. It was a sign of more trouble lurking for Porcello as he allowed four more runs culminating from a walk to Moralesa single to Martin, then a 2-run RBI double by Pillar and a 2-run home run by Smith.
Porcello departed after 2 innings (plus 5 batters), seven hits, eight runs (all earned), four walks and two punch-outs. He threw only 35 strikes on 64 pitches for the night and hit the showers with the Red Sox trailing 8-6. Porcello took the loss and is now (11-4). The Sox had won six of his prior eight starts at Fenway, and each of his prior four starts overall.
Porcello’s opposing pitcher, lefty Ryan Borucki, didn’t fare much better. He left four batters into the 4th inning having allowed seven runs (four earned), eight hits, four base-on-balls (one intentional) with five strike-outs. Borucki threw 81 pitches with 49 strikes.
Toronto finished-off the Red Sox with a three-run 8th inning with Smoak, Morales and Pillar each recording RBI hits, Smoak’s knocking out Boston reliever Joe Kelly and Morales’ ground-rule double and Pillar’s single beating-up reliever Robby Scott. Kelly was charged with all three earned runs.
In the 9th, Smoak clocked his second HR of the night and 16th of the season, hitting a 2-1 pitch into the Green Monster seats in left field for a 2-run homer. It was Smoak’s eighth multi-HR game of his career and his second this season, the other coming back on April 1st against the New York Yankees.
Blue Jays reliever Jake Petricka was credited with the win and is (1-0) on the season.
GAME NOTES: There’s a quick turn-around for the Blue Jays and Red Sox as they’ll be back out at Fenway Park on Saturday for a 1:05pm afternoon start. Boston will toss LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (11-3, 3.62 ERA) against a Blue Jay to be determined later. … Boston’s Mookie Betts created a lot of buzz with his 13-pitch Grand Slam home run Thursday night, his second 4-bagger of the year. As a matter of fact, Betts is among nine major leaguers with multiple Grand Slams this season, two of them being Boston teammates Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Betts GSHR was Boston’s eighth of 2018, so they’ll need three more to tie the club record of 11 grannies set in 2005. Last season, the Red Sox (as a club) hit zero Grand Slams. … The Red Sox winning streak ended at 10 games tonight, concluding the longest active streak in the majors. As of first pitch tonight, no other team had won or lost more than one or two games with the exceptions of Texas (lost three straight) and Detroit (lost four straight).
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