Clay Buchholz earned the win in his first appearance out of the bullpen. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports)
It wasn’t easy, but the Red Sox came away with the win.
With the game tied at three in the 11th inning, Dustin Pedroia hit a ground-rule double scoring Blake Swihart who walked to open the frame and that was followed by a RBI ground out from Xander Bogaerts as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 5-3 in 11 innings.
Clay Buchholz picked up the win in his first appearance since 2008. The right-hander threw a scoreless 10th inning and Koji Uehara earned the save with a scoreless 11th.
Buchholz and Uehara were able to save the Red Sox bullpen, which blew a lead earlier in the game.
With the Red Sox leading 3-2 in the eighth inning, Edwin Encarnacion laced a solo home run to tie the game at three off reliever Heath Hembree. This spoiled David Price’s start as he gave the Red Sox the start they needed coming in losers of three straight.
Making his first start in Toronto against his former team, Price was solid. The left-hander went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three. The three strikeouts were tied for the fewest in a game this season. His only mistake came in the fifth inning when he allowed a two-run home run to Bautista.
With Bautista coming up with one out and the tying run at second base in the seventh inning, Price was removed from the game in favor Hembree. Hembree was able to strike Bautista out and then retire Josh Donaldson to get out of the jam.
The Red Sox were held hitless until the sixth inning against Jays starter R.A. Dickey, but once they got their first hit they made it count.
Betts started the inning with a triple and that was followed by two straight singles by Pedroia and Bogaerts to make it a 2-1 game and set up runners on first and second. Travis Shaw walked and then Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch to tie the game and end Dickey’s day.
Relief pitcher Chad Girodo entered and walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. The Sox could’ve had more, but Josh Rutledge popped up and Christian Vazquez flew out to end the inning.
With the win, the Red Sox continue their streak of not losing four straight games this season.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Price seems to have turned a corner. In his last four starts he has gone 27 1/3 innings and allowed just eight earned runs. Over that time he has lowered his ERA from 6.75 to 5.11.
— Bogaerts’ single in the sixth extended his hit streak to 22 games. It is MLB’s longest-active streak and the second-longest streak overall in the majors this season with the longest being Jackie Bradley Jr.’s 29-game streak that came to an end late last week. Overall, Bogaerts has now hit safely in 34 out of his last 36 games.
— Dustin Pedroia’s RBI single in the sixth inning extended his hit streak against the Blue Jays to 23 games, which is tied for the third-longest all-time.
— Blake Swihart made a nice diving catch in left field during the second inning. He appears to be getting more and more comfortable by the day in the outfield. Prior to the game, manager John Farrell hinted he could be the full-time left fielder even when Brock Holt returns if he can begin to hit.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— It was the second straight day the Red Sox bullpen couldn’t hold a lead and it’s become quite clear the team needs some help, especially with Carson Smith being done for the season.
— The Red Sox could have added a run in the seventh inning, but Swihart took too big of a turn around third base and was caught in between third and home for the final out of the inning. The Red Sox would have had first and third with two outs for Ramirez.
— Getting into the lineup when David Ortiz was scratched, Rutledge went 0-for-4 with a key strikeout in the sixth inning when the Red Sox could have broken the game open.