Surging Red Sox embarrass Blue Jays 14-1 0
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz follows through as he hits a two-run home run in the fourth inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Jul 21, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, CAN. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)
It turns out the soft part of the Blue Jays schedule ended when the Texas Rangers left town.
Enter the rapidly improving Boston Red Sox.
The BoSox may have started the night in a last-place tie with Tampa Bay in the AL East, but against the Jays it was like taking candy from a baby. They battered the home side 14-1 in a game that was over by the third inning.
The Red Sox have won five in a row and eight of its past nine and now sit just 3 1/2 games back of the fading Jays.
Drew Hutchison started for the Jays, but didn’t make it through the third inning as he lost for the fifth time in his past six starts.
Boston showed no mercy in the first of the four-game set, raking Toronto pitching for 18 hits.
It was so one-sided that the Jays could pretty much kiss it off as being one of those days.
“Thy beat us around pretty good, that’s about it,” manager John Gibbons said. “None of them (losses) are easy but you got to let it go, it was lopsided, move on. You’re just glad it’s over with. You got to show up tomorrow and get a good outing out of (J.A.) Happ, that’s where it starts.”
Hutchison opened up on an aggressive note as he struck out Brock Holt on three pitches and sailed through the first retiring the side on 10 pitches, nine of them strikes.
In the second inning, the good vibes he established vanished into thin air. Instead of finding the corners of the plate, he found the barrel of Boston’s bats.
The 10-pitch inning was replaced by one that took 35 and, before it ended, the Red Sox had a 2-0 lead on four hits.
The next inning wasn’t much better as a three-run home run by Stephen Drew upped the lead to 5-0 to put the game out of reach at an early stage.
Hutchison has been wildly inconsistent of late and Gibbons was asked if he has seen anything in his delivery or his durability after coming back from Tommy John surgery that is a cause for concern.
“Not yet, but he’s had some real good ones and then he’s struggled some, really struggled at home for whatever reason,” Gibbons said. “But he’s like anybody else, when he’s on he gets his breaking ball over and he’s got a good, lively fastball he can throw by guys but he’s got to keep it down in the zone. But no, I don’t think it’s far enough along that we’ve got to worry about fatigue, I don’t think that’s the case.”
Hutchison didn’t try to sugar-coat it either.
“Obviously I put us in a huge hole and just didn’t get the job done,” Hutchison said. “I guess you could say it’s one of those nights, move forward and be ready to go after this.”
Just because the outing was so bad, won’t make it any easier to forget.
“No. It is what it is and you all saw what it was,” he said. “It wasn’t good, it was bad. It was probably more than bad but there’s nothing you can do when you have a performance like this other than to come back and show what you’re made of.”
Mike Napoli opened the second inning with a double to right-centre and moved to third when Daniel Nava’s blooper fell in front of Colby Rasmus for a single.
Drew brought in the first run with a line-drive single to right. A grounder by Jackie Bradley Jr. resulted in a force at second and once again runners on the corners. Christian Vazquez followed with a nubber that bounded high. Hutchison rushed in and attempted to make the one hand catch-and-throw but couldn’t hang on as Nava crossed the plate.
In the third, Hutchison came back to retire the first two batters but that was followed by five consecutive hits including the third homer of the season by Drew on Hutchison’s 60th pitch of the game.
The Red Sox didn’t let up as Bogaerts ripped a single to right and Bradley followed with a double into the right field corner that scored the speedy Bogaerts all the way from first.
That was enough for Gibbons, who came out and called on Brad Mills, the first appearance by the lefty since he was claimed off waivers from Oakland.
Hutchison’s line was 2.2 innings, nine hits, six runs, two strikeouts. The 2.2 innings marked the shortest non-injury start of his career.
Mills didn’t fare much better. In the fourth, he gave up a long homer to centre by David Ortiz, a two-run shot that was his 21st of the season. It was also the 452nd of his career which put him in a tie with Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski for 36th place on the all-time list.
To show the first 452 were no fluke, Ortiz added a second two-run shot in the fifth to give him 36th spot all to himself.
You had to feel for Mills, who was simply humiliated. In two innings of relief he allowed eight runs on seven hits, including back-to-back shots by Ortiz and Napoli in the Red Sox six-run fifth.
After that inning even the Red Sox looked bored as Rob Rasmussen came on and held them to one hit and no runs over 2.1 innings followed by Todd Redmond, who blanked Boston the final two.
The Jays, meanwhile, managed one run and two hits against John Lackey, three hits overall.