|Closing Time: Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 1||08.11.10 at 10:08 pm ET|
With their 10-1 win over the Blue Jays Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, the Sox are now suddenly 3 1/2 games in back of Tampa Bay in the race for the American League Wild Card. But not only are the Sox gaining ground, they appear to be putting their pieces together, having now won three straight. (Click here for a recap.)
This win was a collective effort between starting pitcher Clay Buchholz and pretty much the entire Sox offense, although it should be noted that Bill Hall supplied much of the momentum for the attack, coming away with his first two-homer game in more than two years. It gave Hall 15 home runs for the season, which, in case you were counting and comparing, is as many as Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria.
Here is a lot that went right for the Red Sox, and the little that went wrong:
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
- It has to begin with Hall, who first gave the Sox the lead for good with a solo homer in the second inning, and then went deep again with a two-run blast in his next at-bat in the fourth inning. Adding to Hall’s memorable night was an RBI single in the fifth. The second baseman now has seven homers in his last 14 games with an at-bat. Hall also did his part in the field, turning a nice 4-3 double play in the fourth inning, tagging Yunel Escobar and then proceeding to throw out Vernon Wells at first.
- Lost somewhat in the offensive barrage by the Sox was the performance of Buchholz. After allowing a sacrifice fly to Jose Bautista in the first inning, the Red Sox starter settled down, facing just 17 batters over the next five innings. Buchholz has now allowed three runs or fewer while going at least seven innings in each of his last four starts. He finished the night having allowed just one unearned run in eight innings, in the process taking over the league lead for ERA with a 2.49 mark.
- Virtually the entire lineup got in the act, totaling their most runs since scoring 14 on July 9 at Rogers Centre. Besides Hall, J.D. Drew and Adrian Beltre also chipped in with homers, while Mike Lowell equaled Hall’s three-hit night. Most of the damage was done in the fifth inning, when the Red Sox scored five — four before an out was recorded — while driving Toronto starter Shaun Marcum from the game (4 IP, 8 R).
- A definitive plan for the return of Dustin Pedroia was presented by Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who said that Pedroia would be playing second base for Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday and then serve as the PawSox’ DH Sunday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
- Marco Scutaro continued to struggle, going 0-for-4 to make him 3-for-38 in his last nine games. The only other Red Sox starter not to contribute to the team’s 14-hit attack was Jacoby Ellsbury (0-for-4). Scutaro did make a stellar play, diving and robbing Bautista of a hit to end the eighth inning.
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