Toronto Blue Jays beat Boston Red Sox 7-5
The Boston Red Sox stacked Fenway Park with memorabilia of the city’s championship past to welcome the newest members of their World Series club.
However, it wasn’t enough to scare off another setback. The Red Sox are yet to resemble the look of a team that was so successful last year.
Chris Sale let a Toronto runner sneak home. Meanwhile, Mookie Betts fanned with two on for the final out. As the Red Sox stumbled again in the infant stage of this season, losing to Toronto 7-5 in their home opener.
After receiving their World Series rings that included 185 diamonds, rubies and sapphires during a ceremony that included the Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, the Red Sox fell to 3-9.
A return to Fenway failed to shake the doldrums that affected the Red Sox during their season-opening, 11-game trip that included Seattle, and Arizona. The Red Sox have now dropped to the last place in the AL East.
Jackie Bradley Jr said: “We’re not playing very right now as a team and it’s showing. It’s early and these games still count. We have to get better and get better faster.”
Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia went one for four in his first MLB game since May. He played on only three occasions last year, as he suffered his a knee injury.
There was also history made in the fixture, due to it being the first matchup between Puerto Rican managers.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. raced home and added an RBI single as the Blue Jays ended a four-game losing streak. Also, Freddy Galvis drove two runs in, to back Matt Shoemaker (3-0), who allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Sale never looked comfortable and surrendered five runs and seven hits before being pulled after four innings. His velocity has been down this season- his fastball averaged 91.8 mph in this outing- and he has a 9.00 ERA after three starts.
“I’m struggling and I don’t know if I’ve really pitched like this in my life,” Sale said. “It’s a tough spot to be in. But I’ve got guys up here fighting and I’ve got to keep fighting. There’s no giving up. If something’s not working you gotta go to something else. When that’s not working you got to go something else.”
Sale’s day hit the lowest point during the fourth. After Danny Jansen scored on a passed ball. Gurriel also kept extending his lead off the third base as Sale went into the full windup, before then breaking for the plate. Meanwhile, Gurriel easily got on the scoreboard when Sale’s pitch was wide and went to the backstop — therefore making it 5-2.
Mitch Moreland and Betts had home runs for Boston. They got within 6-5 on a two-out RBI double by Xander Bogaerts during the eighth.
They put their first two batters on base in the ninth inning against Ken Giles. However, pinch-hitter Blake Swihart and Andrew Benintendi flew out and, with most of the crowd standing on a cold afternoon and chanting for Betts, the AL MVP struck out and gave Giles his third save.
The loss spoiled the Red Sox’s celebrations. But, Cora said it hadn’t affected their resolve to turn their poor start around.
The Blue Jays face Boston again on Thursday.