ONE LAST RUN FOR A
RED SOX LEGEND -
FROM SEASON CHAMPS TO PLAYOFF CHUMPS
Christian Vazquez impresses in his return,
as Rick Porcello stifles the Blue Jays
15, 2016 ... Rick Porcello, trying to rebound
from a disastrous first year in Boston, took a big step toward a
comeback. The right-hander handled the heavy hitting Toronto Blue
Jays for 6 1/3 innings of a 5-3 victory. Porcello (2-0) allowed a
run to Edwin Encarnacion (his first homer of the season) and that was
the only hit for the Jays (5-6) until Encarnacion, who had all three
Toronto hits, cracked a two-run shot in the seventh. Porcello, who
left one batter
after Encarnacion’s two-run blast, struck out eight and walked one in
his first victory at Fenway Park since last Sept. 7th.
His effort coincided with the return of young catcher Christian Vazquez,
activated from the disabled list before the game. Vazquez handled the pitcher,
went 2-for-4 and scored two runs, and picked a runner off first base.
Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel worked the
last 2 2/3 innings with Kimbrel surviving a two-out threat in the ninth to notch
his second save in as many games. He dealt Justin Smoak his fourth strikeout of
the game to end it with two on.
Travis Shaw’s two-run double off loser R.A. Dickey (1-2)
capped a three-run first inning that also included an RBI double by David Ortiz.
Mookie Betts singled home a run in the second and Dustin Pedroia did the same in
the sixth as the Red Sox improved to 5-4.
Dickey, 4-0 against the Red Sox in 2014, came in 0-4 with a
5.36 ERA in seven starts since. Those numbers got worse early as Boston scored
four runs (two earned) in the first two innings.
He got the first two outs in the first, but Xander Bogaerts
singled and scored when Ortiz doubled off the center-field wall. Hanley Ramirez
struck out, but Toronto catcher Josh Thole could not handle the knuckleball and
Ramirez hustled to first as Ortiz took third. Both scored when Shaw doubled to
that wall in center.
Encarnacion’s homer got a run back, but Vazquez doubled and,
one out later, scored from third on Betts’ single. Vazquez, known for his
defensive ability as a catcher, had ended the top of the second by picking Troy
Tulowitzki off first base on a Porcello strikeout of Michael Saunders.
Dickey pitched out of a jam that included a throwing error by
Josh Donaldson. Pedroia grounded back to Dickey and into a double play with
first and third and one out in the fourth.
Jays manager John Gibbons added some levity to the evening
when, coming out to call on ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte, he signaled with
both hands. Venditte stranded two runners by retiring Brock Holt.