Coming off a 5-3 homestand, the Red Sox opened up a seven-game, two-city road trip on Monday afternoon with a dominating 12-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in their first visit to Rogers Centre of 2019.
Making his seventh start of the season and first since May 2nd was David Price, who spent nearly two weeks on the injured list due to left elbow tendinitis.
Activated from the IL earlier on Monday, the left-hander shook off the rust and looked solid this time around, limiting Toronto to just two unearned runs on three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the day.
Both of those unearned runs came in the bottom half of the second inning, when with two outs and Billy McKinney aboard first, Luke Maile drilled a two-run home run to left center field to put the Blue Jays on the board.
That all could have been prevented though, had it not been for a Michael Chavis fielding error which allowed McKinney to reach base in the first place instead of grounding into the second out of the inning.
Still, Price didn’t allow the homer to phase him, as he went on to toss three more scoreless, no-hit frames from the middle of the third on to the conclusion of the fifth, retiring the final 10 Blue Jays hitters he faced to wrap up his outing.
Finishing with a final conservative pitch count of only 67 (48 strikes), the one-time Blue Jay, with Sandy Leon back from paternity leave and behind the plate for this one, turned to his cutter nearly 30% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.7 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 14 times.
Eventually picking up his second winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA down to 3.29, Price will look for win number three in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros next weekend.
In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen did not allow a single hit over four collective innings of work, with Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier, and Hector Velazquez combining to sit down 12 of the last 13 Blue Jays he faced.
The only Toronto hitter to reach base over that span was Freddy Galvis, who drew a leadoff walk off of Hembree in the seventh in what was an otherwise shut-the-door kind of performance from the pen to secure the blowout win.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson for the Blue Jays.
Now with his 14th big league club since 2003, the Sox bats got to Jackson beginning right away in the first, all with two outs in the inning.
Back-to-back singles from Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts led to the Sox’ first two runs of the day crossing the plate on a Rafael Devers RBI single to score Moreland and an errant throw from Blue Jays cathcer Luke Maile trying to nab Devers stealing second that allowed Bogaerts to score from third with Michael Chavis at the plate. 2-0.
Two innings later, after Toronto had battled back with two runs of their own, Bogaerts was at it again, this time driving in both Mookie Betts and Moreland on a one out, two-run single to left.
Following a Rafael Devers lineout to center, Chavis bounced back from that punchout in the first by scoring Bogaerts and himself on a two-run, 389 foot homer to left field to make it a four-run game. His ninth dinger of the season already.
Fast forward all the way to the sixth, and the bottom of the lineup came through in a run-scoring spot with Steve Pearce drawing a one-out walk and Jackie Bradley Jr. depositing his first big fly of the year off Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, another two-run shot to give his team an 8-2 lead.
Another inning later, a Mitch Moreland leadoff two-bagger resulted in two more Red Sox runs coming across thanks to another RBI base knock from Devers and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pearce to score Devers from third and make it a 10-2 contest.
And in the ninth, just for good measure, Bogaerts and Devers capped off their fine days at the plate by going back-to-back with solo jacks off Toronto reliever Ryan Tepera to leadoff the inning.
Per Statcast, Bogaerts’ eighth of the season registered at 417 feet and 104.1 MPH off the bat, which is pretty incredible when you see the way the shortstop swung at that 1-1 face-high changeup.
Devers’ fourth of the year, meanwhile, was hit even further and harder, registering in at a whopping 445 feet and 114.4 MPH off the bat. In other words, crushed.
Anyway, those two solo home runs put the Red Sox ahead 12-2, which would go on to be Monday’s final score in the first of four between these two clubs.
Some notes from this win:
From Red Sox Notes:
From Red Sox Stats:
The Red Sox’ 3-6 hitters on Monday (Moreland, Bogaerts, Devers, Chavis):
11-for-20, three home runs, nine runs scored, and eight RBI.
Through 27 games this month, Rafael Devers owns a .562 slugging percentage.
The Red Sox are 8-3 in their last 11 games.
Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second game of this series against the Blue Jays.
Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston in what will be his 10th start of the season, while right-hander Marcus Stroman will do the same for Toronto.
Despite giving up five runs in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies, Rodriguez still owns an ERA of 2.84 through three starts this month. As a matter of fact, the Red Sox are 7-0 in the southpaw’s last seven outings.
In four career outings (three starts) at Rogers Centre, Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA over 19.2 total innings pitched.
Stroman, meanwhile, got off to a scorching hot start to the 2019 season, but has since cooled off. That much is evident by the fact that the Blue Jays are 0-4 in the Duke University product’s last four starts.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third straight win.