Game 54: Toronto Blue Jays at Red Sox (May 28, 2018)

First of all, I hope everyone enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend and took some time to reflect on the meaning behind the day and to be thankful for our freedoms as we remembered those who lost their lives fighting for it. I spent the day with my family at a cookout with friends, enjoying the hot and humid weather (well, sitting in the shade enjoying cold beers and conversation!) while my kids played kickball, whiffle ball, and dodge ball with their friends. This was followed up by taking my oldest two daughters to the cages so that one could practice her catching with a pitcher friend while I threw BP to the other. With such a busy day, I managed to follow the Sox game on my phone and watch the highlights as they happened and I liked what I saw, especially after yesterday's disappointment.

David Price got the start in this one and as usual, I had no idea what to expect. With Mookie Betts missing a second straight game due to "side tightness," I was concerned the lineup would again have no pop, but thankfully Cora had JD Martinez and Rafael Devers back in their rightful places. Once again, though, it was the red hot Andrew Benintendi who was the star of the day. He had a 3-5 day with 4 RBI and a run scored, but nothing was bigger than his three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Prior to this, JD drove in a run on a fielder's choice in the first inning to get the Sox on the board first, but Kendrys Morales tied it up for the Jays in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of that inning, Brock Holt drove in a run on a sacrifice fly followed by a Jackie Bradley RBI double to make it 3-1 Sox. Then Benintendi hit his blast to put the Sox up big, 6-1. That was all the support Price needed...even giving up a run in the fifth didn't matter, and the Sox got it right back in the bottom of the inning when JD hit his 17th home run, a solo shot, to tie Mookie for the league lead and make it 7-2 Red Sox. Benintendi added one more RBI with a triple in the bottom of the sixth (finishing the game a double short of the cycle) to give the Sox eight runs and while the Jays got one in the seventh, it didn't matter as the Sox cruised to the 8-3 win. With the Yankees losing to Houston, the Sox lead in the AL East went back up to two games. 

David Price was solid but not spectacular, going only five innings on 95 pitches, striking out four but also walking four against four hits and two earned runs. Heath Hembree and Steven Wright both pitched two innings of relief and were aided by some excellent defense, none better than Jackie's incredible catch in deep centerfield in the triangle. If you haven't seen it yet, go watch a highlight video of it now because it was one the best catches I've ever seen. With his bat now starting to heat up (he was 1-3 with two runs scored, a walk, and an RBI double) and his always stellar defense, the Sox lineup is becoming even more potent. Everyone got at least one hit today except for Brock Holt, but he still chipped in with two walks and an RBI on a sac fly. If the Sox are able to do this on a consistent basis, even with Mookie out, just imagine what they can do once he's back? Granted this was only one game (and against a Tornoto team that is fading fast), but this bodes very well for the big series coming up in a few days against the defending champion long as the Astros can keep beating the Yankees before we play them!