Gurriel and Stoman lead Jays past Red Sox
The Blue Jays now have two wins in two, and three wins in four, as Marcus Stroman pitched six shutout innings to lead them past the Boston Red Sox on Sunday evening. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also had three hits and threw out a runner at the plate in the 6-1 win.
Danny Jansen hit a two-run single and Eric Sogard a solo homer for the Blue Jays, who won the final two games of the three-game series. Rowdy Tellez added two hits and scored twice.
The Red Sox had won eight of nine after taking the series opener Friday on Christian Vazquez’s two-run, walk-off homer.
Stroman held Boston to five singles. With three coming consecutively in the second inning when Gurriel made his throw from left field – and struck out six while walking one. It’s the fifth time in his last eight starts that he has held an opponent to no more than one run.
Meanwhile, Rick Porcello gave up five runs on eight hits during six innings.
Toronto scored single runs in the second and third before adding three more in the sixth for a 5-0 lead.
However, unlike the first two games of the series when each team blew a big lead late. This time Stroman and three relievers made this one stand.
On Friday, Boston trailed 5-1 during the seventh. The Blue Jays fell behind 6-0 and trailed 6-1 in the seventh Saturday before coming back against Boston’s beleaguered bullpen.
With the Jays leading 2-0, Porcello balked home a run before Jansen lined his bases-loaded single to left centre.
Gurriel cut down Brock Holt trying to score from second easily on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s single with two-on and one-out.
Brandon Drury’s broken-bat RBI single made it 1-0, and Cavan Biggio had a run-scoring double.
Tellez went two-for-three with a double, single and intentional walk. Over seven games against Boston this season, he’s batting .423, with five homers and nine RBIs.
“He’s been killing us,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before the game.
Barring Boston’s game being postponed Monday, knuckleballer Steven Wright is eligible to return Tuesday after serving his 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Stroman celebrated some big plays, including a strikeout of Eduardo Nunez where he let out a big yell towards the Red Sox dugout as he got out of the inning.
While there was little to no reaction from the Boston bench; NESN broadcaster and Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley took issue with Stroman’s antics.
“Oh please,” Eckersley said. “That’s tired.”
After the game, Stroman took to Twitter and responded to Eckersley’s comments, calling him a “hypocrite” because the former Oakland Athletics reliever was known for his own emphatic celebrations on the mound. Stroman also tweeted that the broadcaster’s comments are “always trash.”
“Every player has a dog in him,” said Blue Jays analyst Cliff Floyd.
“When you look at Stroman, that is who he is. I remember certain players when I played against them and when they strike you out or do something good they give you the fist pump. You never know, your emotions get the best of you sometimes, it’s just unfortunate when you have announcers get caught up and some things get said. Stroman is that guy who gets under your skin but that’s who he is.”
While Stroman’s swagger might rub some people the wrong way, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo appreciates his starter’s passion.
“I love it,” Montoyo told reporters after the game. “That’s who he is. And that’s why he’s that good.”