Well, it was fun while it lasted.
After sweeping the Nationals, Royals, and Rangers, and winning last night’s series opener, the Red Sox 10-game win streak came to a disappointing end tonight. Final score: Boston 7, Toronto 13.
It started off well enough, with Mookie hitting a leadoff triple in the first and scoring early on a Blue Jays error (one of many) to make it 1-0.
Unfortunately, that lead melted away about as quickly as ice cream on a hot day, as Sox starter Rick Porcello gave up three runs and the lead in the 2nd. The Sox rallied with five runs in the bottom of the inning… only to watch Ricky give up five runs in the top of the 3rd.
Hector Velazquez, Tyler Thornburg, and Ryan Brasier contributed scoreless 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. It was Joe Kelly and Robby Scott who ultimately continued Rick Porcello’s nightmare.
Things disintegrated pretty quickly after Kelly came into the game. Though the Red Sox had added another run in the 4th to cut Toronto’s lead to one, the Jays came back with a force in the 8th and 9th, adding a combined five runs to win, 13-7.
Maybe we can blame it on Friday the 13th?
All in all, a pathetic showing from the Sox, who looked a bit lackluster without Andrew Benintendi (bereavement leave) and Rafael Devers (DL). They stranded a ridiculous number of runners on base, something we hadn’t been seeing them do as much lately. I was hoping they were finally past that mess, but here they are, giving us all a nice cold dose of reality.
Rick Porcello takes the L tonight, as well he should. The man just didn’t have it. It happens. But what’s more annoying to me is that it was blatantly clear to anyone with eyeballs how little control Ricky had over his pitches tonight, yet Alex Cora and pitching coach Dana Levangie left him in.
I get it; no manager wants to have to go to the bullpen in the 3rd inning, but sometimes it has to happen. With the Yankees only 3.5 games back and a great win streak on the line heading into the All-Star break, the timing was ripe to hit the pen, but they didn’t. Split that loss into three pathetic pieces, and spread it around.
It’s especially hard when you lose to, as Dennis Eckersley called them tonight, “a very mediocre team.” Toronto is 43-50 on the season, 21.5 games out of first, and well under .500. This game felt like the Sean Manaea no-hit back in April. Let’s hope this loss doesn’t rock them the same way.
With this loss, the Red Sox are 66-30 on the season, the last team in MLB to reach 30 losses.
On a positive note, the Indians beat the Yankees, 6-5, so our hold on first place stays at 3.5 games.
Photo: Boston Globe