For a while, you may have doubted it, but the Red Sox powered up and came from behind Monday to beat the Blue Jays in a home stand series opener, 6-5.
The Red Sox have now won their first 7 series openers for just the third time in club history. They won their first 7 in 1917 and their first 8 in the World Champion season of 2013.
Monday ended a 2-game losing streak for the Sox and marked the club’s 4th come-from-behind win after trailing 3-0 and 5-2 earlier in the game. The 3-run comeback win is Boston’s largest so far in the season. Boston is now 4-8 when opponents score first.
Joe Kelly set a new career high of 10 strikeouts over 6.0 innings, but also allowed 5 hits, 5 earned runs, and 3 walks.
Koji Uehara, about whom there has been much worry so far this season, made his 300th major league appearance with a perfect inning of work that included two strikeouts. Of 16 pitches Monday, Uehara threw just four fastballs, though each with slighty better velocity than in his blown save Saturday at Baltimore.
As he entered a tie game in the 9th Uehara earned the win when Mookie Betts, who was already 2-for-3, recorded his 1st career walkoff hit to end the game. Betts joins the slightly-older Xander Bogaerts as the youngest players this season to record a walkoff RBI. The last Red Sox player to record a walkoff RBI prior to his 23rd birthday was Jim Rice in July 1975. Elias Sports Bureau reports that the last season in which multiple Red Sox players aged 22 or younger recorded a walkoff RBI was the 1967 club’s Tony Conigliaro and Tony Horton.
Pablo Sandoval, who left the game early with neck soreness after a diving play to rob the Blue Jays’ Dalton Pompey from a successful bunt, contributed to the offense with his 2nd home run in as many games. Manager Farrell said Sandoval had “a little bit of a whiplash type of movement injury.” Sandoval is heating up with now 7 RBI over his last 3 games.