Aaron Sanchez brilliant again as Blue Jays top Red Sox
Aaron Sanchez turned in his third consecutive dominant performance on the mound as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.
The 23-year-old Sanchez (1-0) pitched 7.0 innings of one-run ball for the Blue Jays (6-7), allowing just two hits after taking a no-hitter through four and two-thirds innings. A hard-luck broken-bat flare over the head of Josh Donaldson by Marco Hernandez was Boston’s (6-5) first sign of life at the plate in the fifth inning. This start lowered Sanchez’s ERA to 1.35 on the season.
Jose Bautista got the Toronto offence started in the top of the first with a solo home run, adding an RBI double in the top of the ninth.
The trio of Bautista, Josh Donaldson, and Edwin Encarnacion combined to go 6-for-15 with four RBIs and three runs scored. In his first game outside of the leadoff spot, centre-fielder Kevin Pillar went 3-for-4.
First baseman Chris Colabello added an RBI single of his own on a fortunate flare, but got a scare when a fastball from Steven Wright struck him on the side of the helmet. Colabello stayed on one knee as he spoke with Blue Jays trainers, but was deemed fit to remain in the game.
When Sanchez was ready to hand off after 105 pitches, Drew Storen took the eighth inning and looked as strong as he has all season long. He needed just 11 pitches (8 strikes) to get through his clean inning, striking out one.
Roberto Osuna took the ninth inning in a non-save situation as he hadn’t thrown since Thursday. It wasn’t smooth, as Osuna allowed a leadoff single to Hanley Ramirez then a two-run home run to Travis Shaw before shutting it down the rest of the way.
Wright, the knuckleballer, gave the Red Sox another fine start and is quietly emerging as a reliable piece of their starting rotation. He lasted six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits while striking out six and walking none.
Toronto continued to struggle with strikeouts collectively, though, racking up 11 on the day compared to just one walk from Justin Smoak.