Red-hot Boston Red Sox try to continue mastery of Toronto Blue Jays

Larry Millson, The Sports Xchange
Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) runs after hitting a single against the Washington Nationals on July 4, 2018 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) runs after hitting a single against the Washington Nationals on July 4, 2018 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

TORONTO -- The Boston Red Sox can win in many ways.

They showed that Tuesday night when they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 10-7 in 10 innings in the opener of a three-game series when their pitching was not at its best.


The Red Sox relied on the home run -- three-run shots by J.D. Martinez and Mitch Moreland, and a two-run shot by Jackie Bradley Jr. -- to continue their dominance over the Blue Jays and become the first team in the majors to reach 80 wins.

Boston is 11-3 against Toronto this season, winning nine of the past 10 meetings. The Red Sox, who are 24-9 against the Blue Jays over the past two seasons, also have won 16 of their past 20 games at the Rogers Centre.

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The Blue Jays (51-61) will try to reverse that trend Wednesday night in the second game of the series when they start right-hander Mike Hauschild (1-0, 0.00 ERA) while the Red Sox (80-34) will start left-hander Brian Johnson (2-3, 3.74 ERA).

The Red Sox have control of the American League East, leading the New York Yankees by nine games.


They have won five in a row after sweeping a four-game series from the Yankees, having a day off Monday, and defeating the Blue Jays on Tuesday, but there is no suggestion that they might become complacent.

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"I know it sounds boring and is cliché, but it's the truth, it's how we do things here," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "[Monday] was a great day for us; we were able to recharge and disconnect from everything that happened this past week."

Meanwhile, nothing is going right for the Blue Jays. They put infielder Brandon Drury on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a fractured left hand. Drury was obtained as part of the July 26 trade that sent left-hander J.A. Happ to the New York Yankees. Richard Urena was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take his place.

Drury was originally injured after being hit by a pitch when he was with the Yankees' Triple-A team. He was kept out of the finale of a four-game series in Seattle on Sunday because his left wrist was sore. An MRI and CT scan showed a fracture at the base of the pinky finger.

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X-rays that were provided to the Blue Jays before the trade did not reveal a fracture and Drury tried to play through the pain, batting .154 in eight games with Toronto.

"My hand was broken, I was just trying to play through it," Drury said. "I was doing everything I could to play through it, but it was just at the point where I couldn't swing right, I couldn't catch the ball right."

There also has been speculation that Blue Jays manager John Gibbons could be let go.

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said there haven't been discussions about the possibility.

"Right now, Gibby and I are having conversations about our future and about solutions and improvement and getting better every day, but nothing about him moving on," Atkins said.

Johnson will be making his sixth career appearance (fourth start) against Toronto on Wednesday. He is 1-1 with an 7.47 ERA against the Blue Jays.

He is coming off a win over the Yankees on Aug. 2 when he struck out a career-best 11 over five innings. He allowed five runs (four earned), six hits and two walks. Johnson is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA over seven starts this season. He also has made 21 relief appearances.


Hauschild has won his only appearance for Toronto after being signed as a free agent on Aug. 2, the same day he pitched six scoreless innings of relief to earn the win over the Seattle Mariners. He allowed four hits and one walk and struck out five in his first career major league win. He is now 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA in five major league outings.

He was released by the Fresno Grizzlies, the Houston Astros' Triple-A team, on July 30 after going 7-6 with a 4.88 ERA in 19 starts.

"It's a tremendous story," Gibbons said. "You know the odds of him being here weren't really good anyway. The way it all laid out, sometimes things are meant to be, and I thought he did a tremendous job. ... He threw strikes, he threw everything at any time, which is the key to pitching in the big leagues. He looked like he belonged. He looked confident and comfortable out there and gave us a shot in the arm because we were pretty depleted down in that bullpen. You're happy for the guy."

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