|Jon Lester Served First Loss in 6-4 Defeat to Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox||Avery Bradley’s Role With the Celtics: Present and Future||Connelly’s Top Ten: Bruins Up 2-0||2013 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: Third Round|
The Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 10-4 in a matinee game on Wednesday. The Sox were led by a strong pitching performance from Jon Lester, and an explosion of offense early in the game.
Similar to last night’s game, Brett Lawrie led off with a double to left field. Colby Rasmus followed with a single, scoring Lawrie and giving the Blue Jays the early 1-0 lead. This would be the only time the Blue Jays would lead in the game. Lester was able to record three consecutive outs after the Rasmus single to get out of the inning.
The Red Sox answered back mightily in the bottom of the first inning as Blue Jays starting pitcher Ricky Romero was never able to get it going. Setting the tone for the game, Daniel Nava led off with a walk. Dustin Pedroia then doubled on a line drive to right field, scoring Nava to tie the game at one. David Ortiz then recorded a walk of his own. Cody Ross singled to load the bases, still with no one out. Adrian Gonzalez then reached on an error by Blue Jays’ firstbaseman Edwin Encarnarcion, Pedroia and Ortiz scored on the play giving the Sox the 3-1 lead. Will Middlebrooks grounded out to Brett Lawrie, but Ross scored on the play pushing the score to 4-1. Mike Aviles then lined a ball off of Lawrie and into left field, scoring Gonzalez in the process making the score 5-1. Aviles then stole second and scored on a Darnell McDonald single to to center. Romero was finally able to get out of the inning, but not after surrendering six runs.
Lester looked strong in today’s game, and recorded a smooth one, two, three inning in the top of the second. The Red Sox continued to take advantage of Romero’s lack of accuracy, as Ortiz and Ross recorded back-to-back walks. Adrian Gonzalez roped a hard ground ball single to right field, which scored Ortiz and pushed the score to 7-1.
The Blue Jays were able to disrupt Lester’s strong outing, but only slightly as Jose Bautista led off the fourth inning with a monstrous homerun over the Green Monster. The Red Sox would answer right back in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ortiz led off the inning with another walk, and Cody Ross followed that with a double off the Monster in left. Jesse Chavez came into replace Romero at this point. Adrian Gonzalez then lofted a single to left field, scoring Ortiz. Mike Aviles then doubled to center field, scoring Ross and making the score 9-2. The Red Sox tacked on one more run in the bottom of the fifth inning as David Ortiz blasted his 21st homerun of the year, and 399th of his career, over the bullpen, giving the Sox the 10-2 score.
After two quick outs in the top of the sixth inning, Jose Bautista doubled to right field. Edwin Encarnarcion then launched a homerun of his own over the Monster in left, making the score 10-4. Clayton Mortensen came on in relief in the ninth inning to close the game out, and received some defensive help from Darnell McDonald as he robbed Kelly Johnson of a sure homerun. The Red Sox finished up their homestand with a record of 7-2, and get ready to head out to Seattle for a four game series with the Mariners.
Jon Lester has pitched well recently, but has not been getting the run support he needed. Luckily for him and the Red Sox, that was not the case today. The Sox offense exploded for 10 runs, seven of which came in the first two innings. The early run support allowed Lester to settle in and trust his pitches en route to his fifth win of the season. Today Lester went seven strong innings, allowing seven hits, four earned runs, walked no one, and struck out four. He showed excellent command of his fastball and cutter, which allowed him to dictate the pace of the game throughout.
David Ortiz has been an incredible part of the Red Sox offense in his career in Boston, but none more so than this year. In a season where the team struggled mightily in the first two months, Ortiz has been a consistent bright spot. Today was no different. He walked three times and launched a homerun. That homerun now brings him within one of 400 for his career. While Pedroia has battled injuries, and Gonzalez has struggled to find his stride, Ortiz has put the Sox offense on his back. So far this season he has 21 homeruns, a batting average of .309, and 53 runs batted in. The thought of the rest of the offense catching up to the pace Ortiz has set, makes the Red Sox a threat as the second half of the season approaches.
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Blue Jays, Brett Lawrie, Clayton Mortensen, Cody Ross, Colby Rasmus, Daniel Nava, Darnell McDonald, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Edwin Encarnarcion, Jesse Chavez, Jon Lester, Jose Bautista, Kelly Johnson, Mike Aviles, Red Sox, Ricky Romero, Will Middlebrooks