For the first time this month, the Red Sox have lost consecutive games. After dropping Monday’s series opener to the Blue Jays, Boston nearly bounced back with a come-from-behind win but were instead walked off by Toronto in a crushing 6-5 loss.
It was nearly a come-from-behind win because the Sox found themselves trailing by three runs after just one inning. Michael Wacha, making his 13th start of the season, ran into some early trouble as he walked two of the first three batters he faced before giving up an RBI double to Teoscar Hernandez. One batter later, Matt Chapman followed with a two-run double that plated both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez.
Despite facing an early 3-0 hole, the Boston bats quickly responded in the second inning when Trevor Story laced a 375-foot solo shot to left field off Toronto starter Ross Stripling. Story’s 12th home run of the season left his bat at a blistering 113.4 mph, making it the hardest-hit batted ball of his career.
With his team only trailing by two runs now, Wacha was able to settle in a bit. The right-hander yielded one more run on a Santiago Espinal single in the third but retired five of the final six Blue Jays he faced from the middle of the fourth inning up until the end of the fifth.
Moments before Wacha tossed a scoreless fifth inning, the Sox cut into the Jays’ lead a little more in their half of the fifth. Christian Vazquez and Franchy Cordero led off with a single and double to put runners at second and third with no outs. Rob Refsnyder then drove in Vazquez on an RBI groundout to make it a 4-2 contest in favor of Toronto.
Upon recording the final out of the fifth, Wacha had thrown 90 pitches (57 strikes). The 30-year-old hurler wound up giving up four earned runs on seven hits, three walks, and two strikeouts over five innings of work. His ERA on the season now sits at 2.69.
In relief of Wacha, Ryan Brasier was first dispatched out of the bullpen by the Red Sox. The righty maneuvered his way around a pair of two-out singles to hold the Jays at four runs heading into the seventh.
Now matched up against Blue Jays reliever Trent Thornton, Christian Arroyo reached base with two outs to bring the potential tying run to the plate in the form of Refsnyder. Already 1-for-3 on the night, Refsnyder delivered in the clutch yet again with a game-tying two-run home run that came on a 1-0, 96 mph fastball down the heart of the plate.
Refsnyder made it a 4-4 game with his second homer of the season. After John Schreiber took care of business in the latter half of the seventh, Vazquez gave his side its first lead of the night a half-inning later on a go-ahead RBI single off Tim Mayza.
The Sox then loaded the bases with one out when the pinch-hitting Bobby Dalbec drew a six-pitch walk off new reliever Matt Gage. But Arroyo followed by lining into an inning-ending double play.
Taking a newfound 5-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth, Tyler Danish sat down the side in order on 15 pitches. With closer Tanner Houck unavailable due to his vaccination status, though, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was forced to get creative and he turned to Danish for a second inning in the ninth.
That decision did not pan out, as Danish gave up a single and issued a walk to lead off the inning. He was then given the hook in favor of Hansel Robles, who proceeded to surrender a game-tying single to Bo Bichette that was followed by a walk-off hit off the bat of Guerrero Jr.
Danish was charged with the loss, Robles with the blown save, and the Red Sox fell to 2-7 against the Blue Jays this season. They now sport an overall record of 42-33 on the year.
Next up: Pivetta vs. Manoah in finale
Having already seen their streak of consecutive series wins snapped at seven, the Red Sox will look to snap their two-game losing streak against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night. Canadian-born right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Alek Manoah will do the same for Toronto.
First pitch from Rogers Centre is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: Mark Blinch/Getty Images)