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Sunday, 02 October 2016 02:57

Boston Red Sox: Craig Kimbrel blows game, Sox lose 4-3 to Jays

Written by 
David Ortiz in his last regular season series David Ortiz in his last regular season series AP Photo/ Michael Dwyer

The Boston Red Sox (93-68) fell 4-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays (88-73) after closer Craig Kimbrel gave up a run in the ninth inning of a tie game. Boston now falls 0.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the second best record in the American League and Toronto moves back into a tie with the Baltimore Orioles for the first Wild Card spot.

BOSTON - On a rainy night at Fenway, hoards of Boston sports athletes greeted David Ortiz before the game, and the game remained close throughout despite the consistent light rainfall and sloppy play. 

The Red Sox trailed 3-2 going to the bottom of the eighth inning but Mookie Betts scored on a balk by Jays closer Roberto Osuna to tie it at three. 

In the top of the ninth, Kimbrel walked Michael Saunders to led off, and after Dalton Pompey pinch-ran, Kevin Pillar sac bunted Pompey to second and he moved to third on a wild pitch by Kimbrel. The Jays took a 4-3 lead on a sacrifice fly for Ezequiel Carrera, a lead they would hold and win. 

Boston has now lost four of the last five games following an 11-game win streak. 

Rodriguez, Happ struggle early

The Red Sox jumped all over Happ early as the Cy Young candidate was wild in the first few innings. After a 1-2-3 inning for Eduardo Rodriguez, Happ walked Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz after retiring Dustin Pedroia. 

Hanley Ramirez walked an out later and Chris Young came to the plate looking to do damage. Young ripped a 2-RBI double to center field, scoring two runs. Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out to end the inning. 

In the top of the second, E-Rod gave the lead right back. He walked Jose Bautista, Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki in succession to load the bases with no outs. After Rodriguez struck out Melvin Upton Jr., Pillar came to the plate and lined a 2-RBI single to center to tie the contest at two. E-Rod struck out Carrera and Devon Travis to end the frame. 

Both pitchers settle down, but Jays score in 6th

Following the 2-2 tie, neither team scored until the sixth inning. Ortiz grounded out with two base in the second inning, and E-Rod got through the meat of the order in the third with just a walk. 

E-Rod struck out four batters in the fourth and fifth innings, including the side in the fifth. There were very few hits in the game, with 13 walks and nine hits in total for the teams combined. 

The Sox starter walked Martin to lead off the sixth and was pulled for Matt Barnes. Barnes recorded an out, but then he ran into the walk problem, as he gave pinch-hitter Saunders a free pass. Pillar ripped an RBI single to center for his third RBI of the game. The run was given to E-Rod. 

Rodriguez's Line (ND): 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 9 K (Season high in walks for Rodriguez)

Happ reaches 7th, Sox bullpen solid

Happ reached the seventh inning, despite five walks and only one strikeout. He was taken out when he walked Dustin Pedroia with an out in the seventh. Boston couldn't score off Jason Grilli in his absense. 

Joe Kelly pitched a 1-2-3 seventh and eighth inning with four strikeouts in total. 

Sox tie game, but Kimbrel blows it

Betts led off the eighth with a double to right field off Grilli. After a Ramirez walk, Jays manager went to closer Osuna to try to get out of the inning. 

He got pinch-hitter Brock Holt to hit into a big double play. During JBJ's at-bat, Osuna was charged with a balk and Betts scored to tie the game at three, the run given to Grilli. 

Kimbrel came in to a tie game in the ninth, where he has struggled this year. Nothing changed in this one as he walked Saunders to lead off the inning. As noted above, pinch-runner Pompey rounded the bases and scored on a sac fly. 

In the bottom of the ninth, Osuna got the Sox 1-2-3 to get six outs in all and give Toronto a big 4-3 victory at rainy Fenway. 


- Night two of Ortiz's sendoff honoring took place before the game, when the entire 2016 Boston Celtics team arrived and former and current Boston Bruins and New England Patriots players greeted him. Also, some Boston Marathon survivors made an appearance. For a quick look at the highlights, see below. 

What's Next?

The season goes right down to the wire on Sunday in the season finale. The Red Sox need a win over the Jays to get second place and have home-field against the Indians in the ALDS. Boston will send David Price (17-9) to the mound to face Aaron Sanchez (14-2) at 3:05 p.m.

If you want MORE coverage of your team, check out Red Sox Beat Podcast here on CLNS Radio! The latest episode is below and check us out on ITUNES as well!   




Jess Thomas

Jess Thomas is the Red Sox Beat Team Manager and a member of the Boston Celtics beat team for CLNS Radio. Jess is a co-host on CLNS Radio's Red Sox Beat Podcast as well as a contributor to Celtics Postgame Shows.

Jess currently is a Celtics Production Assistant at the official home of Boston Celtics telecasts, Comcast Sports Net New England.

Jess also currently writes for the MetroWest Daily News.

Previously, Jess was General Manager for Framingham State University's radio station, WJDM 91.3 FM, as well as sports editor for FSU's newspaper, the Gatepost.

Prior to joining CLNS Radio, Jess was an intern at CSNNE as well as WCVB.

Jess is a 2014 graduate of Framingham State University, with a degree in Communication Arts.

You can follow Jess on Twitter @CLNS_JessSayin