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Somehow, the Red Sox managed to get the 4-1 win over Toronto. You can thank Toronto starter Jo-Jo Reyes for that, thanks to his early struggles. Boston really had trouble afterwards, but they had enough to win thanks to Beckett’s help. A single, walk, single and double to start the 1st gave Boston the 2-0 lead, but then they did something quite terrible; they loaded the bases with another walk. For some reason, the Red Sox have a lot of trouble with the bases loaded, especially when they’re loaded with no outs. Two strikeouts and a ground out later, the Jays escaped with no further damage.
In the 2nd, Toronto scored their only run on two consecutive hits. They threatened to tie the game when Travis Snider stole 2nd later in the inning; Jason Varitek threw the ball into center field, but Snider stumbled when rounding the bag. Snider also stole 3rd uncontested later in the inning, but the next pitch resulted in a strikeout for the third out.
In the bottom of the frame, Jacoby Ellsbury drew a lead-off walk after nine pitches. Reyes threw five pickoff attempts, including three in a row, and promptly forgot about Lowrie, giving up the two-run homer over the Monster. Ellsbury was also hit by a pitch in the right shoulder in the 3rd, but fortunately, there was no injury.
After giving up a single and walk to lead off the 4th, Reyes was chased out of the game after 3.0+ innings and 94 pitches. Carlos Villanueva frustrated Boston over three innings, as did Octavio Dotel and Luis Perez for the remaining two innings. Boston did have a chance in the 7th, following Varitek sacrificing two runners into scoring position without any previous outs, but the ball never again left the infield.
In the 8th, Corey Patterson came up to bat for Toronto. This was a big moment because he was facing Daniel Bard, who beaned him in the head with a fastball during spring training. This time, Patterson grounded out to 1st. A strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out double play squashed a lead-off single for Boston in the 8th, but Mike Cameron made sure Toronto didn’t cut into the lead when he made a sliding catch in shallow left (moved over from right as part of a defensive substitution) to end the game.
Lowrie had three hits on the day, including the two-run homer in the 2nd to give Boston the three-run lead.
It looks like Boston found Crawford’s ideal place in the line-up; keeping everyone else’s seats on the bench warm.
“It’s hard to always continue to get a grip on the ball.” – Terry Francona on how the low temperature affected errant pitches on both sides throughout the day.
W: Josh Beckett (2-1)
L: Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (2)