The shorthanded Red Sox fell to the Blue Jays by a final score of 3-2 in 10 innings at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. With the loss, Boston drops to 60-64 on the season and a measly 3-12 against Toronto.
In similar fashion to Tuesday night, the Sox jumped out to an early lead on Wednesday. While matched up against Jays starter Jose Berrios, Enrique Hernandez led off the second inning by drawing a six-pitch walk. Franchy Cordero followed by crushing a two-run home run over the Green Monster.
Cordero’s sixth home run of the season traveled 350 feet and left his bat at 98.7 mph. It also gave the Red Sox — and Brayan Bello — a 2-0 lead through the first two innings of play.
Bello, making his first start for Boston since suffering a left groin strain earlier this month, allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over five solid innings of work.
Both of those runs came in the final two innings of his start. After facing the minimum through three scoreless frames, the rookie right-hander began to run into trouble in the fourth when he issued a leadoff single to George Springer and a five-pitch walk to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
After Lourdes Gurriel Jr. grounded into a force out that put runners on the corners, Alejandro Kirk drove in Springer with a hard-hit RBI single to left field. Bello got through the rest of the fourth unscathed with a pair of strikeouts. In the fifth, Whit Merrifield and Springer each reached base to put runners at first and second with two outs.
Following a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush, Bello proceeded to surrender another RBI single to Guerrero Jr. that got past a sprawling Hernandez in shallow right field. The Blue Jays knotted things up at 2-2 on Guerrero Jr.’s base hit and Bello’s night came to an end after he recorded the final out of the fifth.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 65 (46 strikes), Bello induced 13 swings-and-misses while mixing in his sinker, changeup, four-seam fastball, and slider. The 23-year-old hurler topped out at 98.7 mph with his four-seamer. He did not factor into Wednesday’s decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season by more than one full run.
In relief of Bello, Matt Barnes scattered two hits and struck out one in a scoreless sixth inning. Garrett Whitlock followed by retiring six of the seven batters he faced across two more scoreless frames.
The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, had been completely shut down since Cordero went deep in the second inning. Berrios was able to settle into a groove and wound up striking out six in the process of twirling four shutout frames from the middle of the third inning on.
With Yimi Garcia taking over for Berrios out of the Blue Jays bullpen in the bottom of seventh, the Sox threatened by loading the bases with two outs. But Rob Refsnyder lined out to Jackie Bradley Jr. to extinguish that threat.
The same thing happened in the eighth. With two outs and the bases loaded following an intentional walk of Cordero, Anthony Bass proceeded to strike out starting shortstop Bobby Dalbec on three pitches.
With things still tied up at 2-2, Reese McGuire led off the ninth inning with a sharply-hit single. Jarren Duran proceeded to ground into 4-6-3 double play before Refsnyder grounded out to short.
Ryan Brasier took over for Whitlock in the 10th and allowed the automatic runner (Bradley Jr.) to score when he gave up a leadoff double to Springer that bounced off the Green Monster.
While Brasier limited the damage to one run, the Red Sox failed to respond in the latter half of the 10th. Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano did not allow Refsnyder to advance past second base by retiring Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez for the first two outs of the inning. He then intentionally walked Rafael Devers before fanning Hernandez on five pitches to end it.
All told, the Red Sox went 0-8 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday. They left 10 runners on base as a team.
Next up: Crawford vs. Gausman in series finale
The Red Sox will look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays on Thursday night. Kutter Crawford will get the start for Boston while fellow right-hander Kevin Gausman will do the same for Toronto.
First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.
(Picture of Brayan Bello: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)