Recap: Red Sox 13, Blue Jays 3; Jays Get Knocked Down, Don’t Get Up Again

After dropping two of three to the Rays and getting swept by the Yankees, the Jays could have used a good game against the Red Sox to get back into the thick of things in the American League East. They didn’t get that, as a bad start from Marco Estrada combined with a defense that seemed to forget how to play the game of baseball put them in an early hole, and the Sox ran up the score against the bullpen to hand the Jays a 13-3 loss.

Estrada couldn’t find the plate with a radar for most of his abbreviated outing. Though he wasn’t helped by the umpires, he hurt himself much worse than the guys in blue did, consistently getting to three-ball counts against the Red Sox hitters. Estrada failed to get out of the third inning, throwing a whopping 76 pitches and getting just seven outs for his trouble, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks, striking out two. Aaron Loup induced a double play to get out of the inning, and the Jays were probably glad for the expanded rosters, with six innings left and a full complement of rested pitchers in the bullpen after the off day. After Danny Barnes and Brett Cecil mostly held the Sox down, they blew the game open against Scott Feldman, hitting two home runs in the seventh off the Jays’ long reliever and notching four runs to extend the lead to seven. After that, it didn’t much matter.

Rick Porcello, for his part, was excellent, throwing strikes and working ahead consistently for the majority of the evening. The Jays threatened on a few occasions, but the Red Sox offense mostly kept him well away from potential trouble, building a big lead that meant he could continue to pound the zone. His final line was seven innings, allowing six hits, one walk and two runs, striking out seven. Brad Ziegler and Koji Uehara finished the game without much fanfare.

Top Play of the Game by WPA

Despite the final score, there was actually a brief stretch where the game was interesting, in the third inning. The Jays were down 4-0, and they loaded the bases for Devon Travis. He promptly hit a single that scored two of those runners. That cut the deficit in half, and increased the Jays’ chances to win by 11.3 percentage points.

Bottom Play of the Game by WPA

After Josh Donaldson struck out in that same third inning, the Jays still had two runners on, one out, and a chance to continue to get runs. Encarnacion hit a hard ground ball to third base that was a tailor made double play ball, and the Sox went around the diamond to turn two and end the threat. This decreased the Jays’ chances of winning by 10.4 percentage points.

Upton Has A Night To Forget

While Estrada wasn’t great, he wasn’t helped by a Jays defense that failed to make both routine and tricky plays in the short time he was in the game. Chief among the perpetrators was Melvin Upton Jr., acquired at least in part for his ability to be a better defender in the corner outfield positions. He dropped two fly balls in the third inning, and then had a ground ball go off his glove in the fourth that led to a batter getting an extra base.

Estrada Struggles Again

The Jays were hoping for a good start from Estrada, and didn’t get it on this night, as he laboured through just over two innings of work. It’s been a disappointing stretch for Estrada, who’s only gone over five innings once in his last six starts, and has allowed four or more earned runs four times in his last five starts as well. With the offense lacking of late, the Jays will need Estrada to be return to his early season form if they’re going to reclaim the division, but he’s running out of starts to recapture his magic.

Up Next

The Jays will look to have a better one tomorrow, in a game that will start at 1:05 PM ET. They will send J.A. Happ (17-4, 3.34 ERA) to the hill. The Red Sox will counter with Eduardo Rodriguez (2-6, 4.83). Happ last faced the Red Sox in April, throwing seven strong innings en route to a Jays win. The Jays faced Rodriguez in his second start this year in June, getting five runs and handing him a loss.

Lead Photo: John E. Sokolowski – USA Today Sports

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