Christian Arroyo equals and Alex Verdugo leaves as Red Sox rally to defeat Blue Jays, 6-5
The Red Sox trailed the Blue Jays for most of Friday night, but still found a way to clear their way after a 5-1 deficit for another return win at Fenway Park.
For the second night in a row, Christian Arroyo won with a solo home run tying the game against Blue Jays reliever Carl Edwards Jr. to complete the game at five points apiece.
In ninth, Enrique Hernandez led the way against Jays closest Rafael Dolis, reaching first base on a throwing error by shortstop Bo Bichette, then moved up to second – in scoring position – because of the Toronto error.
Quick Danny Santana raced for Hernandez as he represented the winning race, although he didn’t stay long at second base.
That being the case because Alex Verdugo laced up an RBI single against the Green Monster to score Santana and back down for the Sox in what would turn out to be a 6-5 win over the Blue Jays.
Verdugo’s first hit in a Red Sox uniform sealed Boston’s 23rd win of the season, which is the most important in the major leagues.
With this victory, the Sox improve to 39-25 (19-15 at home) that year. They remain one game behind the Rays for the top spot in the American League East.
Richards gets off to a rough start, but settles in
Garrett Richards made his 13th start of the season for Boston to start things on Friday.
The right-hander worked his first two innings of work – and gave up three runs as a result – but was able to get into the sixth before his day was over.
After throwing 64 shots to record six outs while providing a good amount of hard contact, Richards settled in well, going three straight scoreless frames leading to the sixth, in which case he gave up a one-out single to Marcus Semien, That was it.
Finishing with a final tally of 101 (66 strokes) to eclipse the mark of the century for the first time this season, the 33-year-old pitcher also allowed 11 hits, a season-high. His next start is expected against the Braves on Wednesday.
Sawamura serves moonshot to Vlad Jr.
In relief from Richards, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call from the Red Sox box, and he allowed the only runner he inherited to score serving an imposing 443-foot two-point homerun to the much-vaunted Vladimir Guerrero Jr. .
Guerrero Jr.’s blast gave the Blue Jays a 5-1 lead and officially closed the book on Richards’ night as the Sox starter ended up being charged with four earned runs to take his ERA to 4 , 09. Sawamura managed to get out of the sixth.
Taylor bailed out Workman
From there, Brandon Workman only managed to take out one of three hitters he faced in the seventh, which led to Red Sox manager Alex Cora deploying Josh Taylor.
Taylor stoked the only two Blue Jays he faced (Cavan Biggio, Riley Adams), to block a pair of runners in scoring position and extend his streak of scoreless appearances to 17 straight games.
Whitlock shuts it down
Garrett Whitlock took over in the eighth, worked his way around a starting single in his first run of work, and also blocked potential runs leaving the bases loaded in a scoreless top half of the ninth. . The right-hander would deserve his second winning decision of the season.
The Dalbec circuit begins to score for the Sox
On the other side of things, the Red Sox squad faced another veteran right-hander in the form of Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling.
Bobby Dalbec opened the scoring for the Sox against Stripling by crushing his seventh homer of the season – a solo shot from 441 feet from the deadfield – to reduce Toronto’s lead to two points at 3-1.
Sixth of three points with a wild side
Fast forward to sixth, and the Red Sox knocked out Stripling from that contest when Hunter Renfroe led Alex Verdugo on an RBI single with two strikeouts at center field and Christian Vazquez called with a single of his own.
Blue Jays reliever Tyler Chatwood didn’t fare much better, as he poked Christian Arroyo to charge the goals, walked in a run giving a free pass to Marwin Gonzalez and threw a wild pitch that allowed for Vazquez to score from third to reduce the deficit to one race. 5-4.
With contributions from Garrett Whitlock and Christian Arroyo in the eighth and ninth innings, Alex Verdugo sent the Fenway loyalists into a frenzy with a single that sealed the game in the bottom half of the ninth.
It should be noted that Verdugo also played a quality left field on Friday night.
Next stop: Matz vs. Pivetta
Saturday’s starting game between the Blue Jays and the Red Sox will feature a pair of former National League Eastern enemies.
Former Mets left-hander Steven Matz will start for Toronto, and he will face former Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta who will start for Boston.
The first pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. EST on NESN.