The Boston Red Sox have been searching for answers lately, and they found some Monday night in the form of Christian Vazquez.
The Red Sox were trailing the Toronto Blue Jays by one run in the seventh inning, and were in danger of losing their fifth consecutive game. But Vazquez launched a massive two-run home run off Danny Barnes to give Boston a one-run lead and spark a four-run inning en route to a 6-5 win at Rogers Centre.
Vazquez’s home run allowed Drew Pomeranz to record his eighth consecutive win, and stretched the Red Sox’s lead in the American League East to 3.5 games over the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox improved to 74-57 with the win, while the Blue Jays fell to 61-70.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox were staring at their first five-game losing streak of the season, but a huge seventh inning vaulted them ahead of the Blue Jays and the bullpen held on to secure the win.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Boston scored four runs in the seventh inning to take a three-run lead.
The Blue Jays’ high-powered lineup was unable to come all the way back against the Red Sox’s bullpen.
ON THE BUMP
— Pomeranz continued to do what he’s done for the past two months, as the left-hander was able to hold the Blue Jays down despite shaky command en route to his 14th win of the season.
Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Kendrys Morales laced a two-out two-run double to right field.
Ryan Goins broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single to center field. Pomeranz wiggled out of further damage, though, as he got Steve Pearce to bounce into a 5-3 double play to strand runners at first and second.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Pomeranz was able to get Kevin Pillar to ground into a fielder’s choice in which Rafael Devers threw out Josh Donaldson at home for the second out of the inning. The Red Sox lefty then got Darwin Barney to fly out to center end the threat and keep Toronto’s lead at one.
Pomeranz allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking five in six innings.
— Addison Reed recorded a scoreless seventh inning with one strikeout.
— Brandon Workman pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.
— Craig Kimbrel gave up a two-run home run to Justin Smoak, but he got Morales to pop out to end the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox got their first run in the second inning when Hanley Ramirez scored on a throwing error by Blue Jays catcher Raffy Lopez. Lopez attempted to throw out Vazquez at second base, but his throw sailed into center and allowed Ramirez to score.
— Boston tied the game in the third when Eduardo Nunez (2-for-4) ripped a solo home run over the left field fence off Marcus Stroman.
— The Red Sox trailed 3-2 in the seventh inning but that changed in a hurry when Vazquez blasted a towering two-run home run to left field off Barnes. But Boston wasn’t done as it tormented the Blue Jays’ bullpen for the remainder of the inning. The Sox loaded the bases with one out ahead of Mitch Moreland, and the first baseman pushed across a run with an infield single to make it 5-3. Xander Bogaerts followed with a walk to drive in another run.
— Vazquez went 4-for-4 with a home run, a double, two singles and two RBI.
— Ramirez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
— Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-5 with a single and a double.
— Moreland went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
— Bogaerts went 0-for-4 with an RBI.
— Brock Holt and Devers both went 0-for-4.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
The Red Sox will continue their three-game series with the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Chris Sale will take the mound for Boston and will be opposed by Brett Anderson. First pitch from Rogers Centre is set for 7:07 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports Images