Kendrys Morales forced extra innings with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the Toronto Blue Jays ultimately fell to the Boston Red Sox 4-1 on Thursday, lowering their American League worst record to 3-13.
Making his third start since being traded to Boston (10-6) in December, Chris Sale pitched a masterful game, surrendering four hits and striking out 13 over eight innings.
Despite his dominance, the Red Sox failed to provide Sale with any run support, an emerging theme in the early part of this season, and the left-hander was forced to walk away with a very unpalatable no-decision.
Same is the story for Blue Jays’ pitcher Marco Estrada, who over the course of six scoreless innings, had seven strikeouts and three hits. Lowering his ERA on the season to 2.63.
With both clubs’ pitching dialed in, the first eight innings lacked any sort of offensive fire, with the two teams combining for only seven hits heading into the game’s final frame.
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The Blue Jays managed to get runners on first and second with only one out in both the third and fourth inning, however, Sale managed to overcome each instance, walking away unscathed.
The Red Sox scored the first run of the game after Roberto Osuna yielded back-to-back two out hits to Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts, the latter giving Boston a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.
Despite Sale’s pitch count sitting at a manageable 102, Craig Kimbrel was called on to close the game for the Red Sox and on only his second pitch, surrendered a lead off home run to Kendrys Morales, tying the game at 1-1, and ending Kimbrel’s streak of 25-consecutive saves.
It was the Morales’ eighth career tying or go-ahead 9th inning home run.
Jason Grilli came in to relieve Osuna in the tenth, and promptly loaded the bases on two walks and a base hit. Mookie Betts then scored three on a bases clearing double, giving the Red Sox a 4-1 lead.
Kimbrel (1-0) struck out the Blue Jays in order to secure the Red Sox victory in the bottom of the10th.
After registering five outs the night before, Joe Biagini returned in relief for the Blue Jays pitching a perfect seventh inning.
Jose Bautista had an afternoon to forget, going 0-4 at the plate with four strikeouts. He has now failed to register a hit in his last 16 at-bats.
Of Chris Sales102 pitches, 80 were strikes.
Mat Latos will pitch for the Blue Jays tomorrow when they face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.