One inning was all the Red Sox needed Thursday night, as they used a seven-run rally in the second inning to knock Chien-Ming Wang from the game and top the Blue Jays 7-4 Thursday night at Fenway Park.
After being sent down in order quickly in the first, Red Sox hitters were much more patient with Wang to start the second inning as David Ortiz and Mike Carp forced back-to-back walks. Five consecutive hits and a Dustin Pedroia two-run home run later, the Red Sox had a commanding seven-run lead.
Thursday marked the eighth time this season the Red Sox have knocked out an opposing starting pitcher before the third inning, which is more than any other team in the majors.
That run support was more than enough for Jon Lester, who was having a very strong outing before injuring himself in the top of the eighth inning. The lefty left the game with nobody out in the frame, exiting with what appeared to be a leg injury. He showed no semblance of discomfort upon leaving the field.
Here is a look at what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
- Lester was nearly flawless through the first four innings of the game, only allowing two walks without allowing a hit in the effort. Even when he allowed a baserunner, he forced ground balls that turned into double plays later in the inning both times.
The lefty allowed only four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five through seven innings pitched. The last time Lester pitched deeper into a start was on May 10, when he pitched a complete game shutout — also against Toronto.
- Pedroia capped off the second-inning rally with a two-run home run over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox a 7-0 lead and knock Wang out of the game early. It was Pedroia’s fifth home run of the season and first since June 5. Four of Pedroia’s five home runs this season have come at Fenway Park.
- Stephen Drew made several nice defensive plays in the game, including a nice one-handed scoop and throw on a Jose Reyes broken bat grounder in the fourth inning. He also was a part of two inning-ending double plays in the game to help Lester keep his pitch count down.
While Jose Iglesias is praised for being one of the top defensive shortstops in the league already, Drew has quietly ranked among the elite defensive shortstops as well. Entering Thursday, Drew was only behind Andrelton Simmons and Pedro Florimon with a 6.9 UZR as the best defensive shortstop in MLB this season.
- Daniel Nava, who hit an RBI single in the middle of the second-inning rally, made an impressive leaping catch to help preserve the Red Sox lead in the top of the eighth inning. Edwin Encarnacion hit a long fly ball that would have hit the bottom of the wall in left field, but Nava sprinted back before catching the ball at the top of his leap to save two runs from scoring.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
- Lester had to leave the game with an apparent injury in the seventh inning with runners on first and second. With Clay Buchholz already shut down for the time being, an injury to Lester would be a blow to Boston’s rotation if the injury is significant.
- The Red Sox could have had an even bigger inning in the second, but Shane Victorino broke up the five consecutive hits off Wang by grounding into a 4-6-3 double play. Victorino was one of only three Red Sox that did not drive in a run in the game.
Mike Carp was the only Red Sox hitter without a hit in the game, going 0-for-3 with a walk in the process. Carp had only been held without a hit once in his last nine games.
- While the Red Sox had no trouble with Wang, they had no answer for left-handed reliever Juan Perez. Perez pitched three hitless innings of relief for the Blue Jays, striking out two batters in the process. The Blue Jays were unable to climb back into the game, but that type of effort was crucial for Toronto in regards to keeping its bullpen rested for the rest of the series.
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain why Patriots owner Robert Kraft came out on the offensive Wednesday and hit back at the NFL for upholding Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension.
Law Professor Michael McCann calls in to talk about how Tom Brady can fight the NFL in court.
Peter King calls in to talk about Roger Goodell not reducing Tom Brady's suspension.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Joe and Dave are joined by Pedro who was at the game and had his number 45 retired by the Red Sox in a very touching pregame ceremony. Pedro talks about going into the Hall of Fame, his time in Boston and love for the game of baseball.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox designated hitter, who hit two home runs and drove in seven runs in the win over the Tigers.
Joe and Dave talk with Xander after he hits the walk-off single that snapped the Red Sox losing streak as they beat the Tigers in 11 innings.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
We know the leak to ESPN on deflate gate.
Beverly Scott hired by Obama.
ESPN's reporter ducked the show.
Josh Beckett is in the news but not for a baseball reason, the guys discuss his possible romantic run-in with country star, Miranda Lambert.
Greg and Lou discuss Chris Mortensen bailing on his interview with Dennis & Callahan.
Buster Olney, of ESPN, gives the guys the latest scoop on any potential deals regarding the Red Sox on MLB Trade Deadline Day.
Exactly what it
The title says it all
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton talk about all things Patriots, including the challenges on the field and the drama off the field as 2015 training camp opens today in Foxborough.
Mikey Adams lets the Red Sox have it and welcomes callers who do the same. The Red Sox (stink)!
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola get 36 glorious minutes between games of a Monday doubleheader, and after an 11-1 Red Sox loss, to vent about the declining state of the team.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola talk to #RedSox great Bill Lee, The Spaceman, about the current version of the Sox as only The Spaceman can describe things.
Intern extraordinaire Lucy joins Jerry once again to discuss the most vexing questions in the history of mankind: can men and women coexist? What are the differences between how men and women think? And how mean can women really be?
If you play Fantasy Football then you know there are several “Elephants in the Room!” And nobody is talking about them. Are they afraid? We’re not! The Dallas Running game, Leveon Bell, Demarco Murray & Ryan Matthews in the Philly backfield, the Saints offense and so much more. Right here, WEEI’s own Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson cover all of the main “Elephants in the Room” to help you get the edge for your upcoming drafts. Enjoy!
Russ & Alex discuss Andrea Pirlo's MLS debut, Didier Drogba signing with Montreal and debate which team has had the best transfer window so far.
We know the leak to ESPN on deflate gate.More from this show
Adam Schefter joined us to discuss the latest on deflategate and Chris Mortensen's false PSI report.More from this show