Going into the Jays’ first series in Boston this season they have started to hit the pitching injury bug. JA Happ, Josh Johnson and possibly Brendan Morrow are out for a while and of course Ricky Romero is not ready at all to return to the big leagues. So the Jays look to Ramon Ortiz, who did not pitch at all in the Majors last season and had one game this season out of the bullpen. Ortiz pitched 5 innings with 4 hits and only 1 run against him and a strikeout. He unfortunately walked 5 batters, but was not terrible in his 5 innings pitched. The bullpen unfortunately could not hold the 1-0 deficit. Brett Cecil would allow 3 runs and Storey would have another run scored on him to make it 5-0 for the Red Sox. On the Sox side of the mound John Lester once again proved how great he can be. Lester earned his fifth win of the season with a 1 hit complete game shut out against Toronto. If it was not for Maicer Izturis it would have been a perfect game for John Lester. If the Jays need to, I say give Ortiz another chance, but if that does not work then the Jays might be running out of pitching options. I wonder if Canadian Scott Richmond is available – I always felt he had a lot of promise!
Going into the second game of the series in Beantown, news came out the Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan would have to undergo season ending surgery on his right forearm. The Red Sox will hope to find a decent replacement in the absence of Hanrahan, but this might affect the Red Sox and a good playoff chase if they cannot find a good enough closer. For now we shall wait and see. The Jays going into this game were hoping not to repeat the last game and get more than one hit in the game. The Jays were also hoping for solid pitching from Mark Buehrle, who did not disappoint in his 7 innings with 5 hits and only one run against with 5 strikeouts. Toronto would take a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning, but would walk into a little snag. The Red Sox would score 2 runs and have many Jays fans fearing that the worst was yet to come, luckily Darren Olive would get two strikeouts and the Jays and Sox would be tied 2-2 at the top of the 9th. First at bat was Adam Lind and he would smash his second home-run of the season to retake the lead for the Jays and then Casey Janssen would come in and close it out and get his 10th save of the season.
The final game of the series winner takes the series and the Jays were hoping they could get back at Canadian Ryan Dempster who beat the Jays the last time the Sox were in Toronto. This team before the season started was built to be a powerful contender and obviously this has not been the start that the Jays wanted, but this was another game that showed they could and should be a powerhouse with the way they beat the Red Sox. The Jays would beat the Red Sox 12-4 to win the series in Boston, this was a game where the Blue Jays would show their power by hitting five home-runs. Emilio Bonifacio would hit his first of the season, Lawrie his 4th, Encarnacion his 11th and Jose Bautista would hit 2 home-runs that game to bring his total up to 9. Chad Jenkins would pitch 5 innings and had 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts, which was not a bad outing for Jenkins. It is really good seeing the Jays getting some good pitching from guys like Jenkins and Ramon Ortiz. Dempster struck out 6, but only pitched 5 innings because of the continuous onslaught from the Blue Jays. Only Craig Breslow would have no runs scored against him. The Jays go home to Toronto for a 2 game series against the San Francisco Giants.
This was one of the better weeks that the Jays have had in a while, tying the Rays in that series and beating the Red Sox put the Jays at 4-3 in 7 days. If the Jays keep this up and play more solid baseball games and get some of their injured pitchers back they could possibly be in a unique spot by the All-Star game. I am not saying that they will make the playoffs, but they are showing signs of life!
Toronto went 5-10 with runners in scoring position.
In both wins the Blue Jays out hit the Red Sox.
Adam Lind is really starting to play better baseball and currently leads the team in avg with a 264. Hopefully all the Jays will be able to raise their avg just a bit.
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photo credit: Keith Allison via photopin cc