Early season Red Sox offensive power ran into Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada Sunday and the result was Boston’s first shut out loss of the season.
Estrada pitched 7.0 strong innings, allowing five hits but no runs with two walks and eight strikeouts. The Blue Jays’ bullpen, their weak underbelly, proved sharp Sunday, allowing no Red Sox hits over 2.0 innings, including a third save of the season for youngster Roberto Osuna, who struck out the side to end the game. Osuna was the youngest player of all major league teams on Opening Day this year.
Sunday’s was the 25th Blue Jays shut out of the Red Sox in both franchises’ history, the first since May 8, 2015, also at the Rogers Centre. The Jays win avoided their first 3-game home losing streak since August 24-26, 2014. It also ended a string of four straight losses to the Sox, their longest such streak since losing five in a row to Boston in 2010.
Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright survived a rocky start after allowing two first-inning runs (one earned). Those would be his only runs allowed, settling down to go deep into the game. Wright threw a career-high 118 pitches finishing the day with 6.2 innings of work, with six hits and three walks allowed and five strikeouts. Noe Ramirez, working in relief pitched the remaining 1.1 innings, but allowed a Josh Donaldson home run, his second of the weekend series including Friday’s grand slam.
Boston got another three hit performance (including a first double of the season) from Hanley Ramirez, who continued to look defensively just fine at first base.
Mookie Betts, off to a slow start, was 0-for-4 Sunday, his AVG slipping to .130 at the start of the young season. Travis Shaw saw his nine game hitting streak dating back to last year end Sunday, going 0-for-2 with two walks.
The Red Sox head home for the chilly home opener Monday afternoon. They’ll face the Orioles, who have opened the season impressively at 5-0 to be the only undefeated time in baseball. Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to go for Baltimore. He owns a 1-0, 1.80 ERA record in his one start of 2016. Against the Red Sox he’s 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA over four career starts.
It will be David Price for the Red Sox. He’s 8-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 19 career appearances, all starts, against Baltimore. Price is 6-1 with a 1,95 ERA in 11 career starts at Fenway Park.
Price said he’s looking forward to the holiday-like atmosphere of Fenway’s opening day. “To get to throw the home opener in my second start,” he said, “will be very exciting.”
Last season the Red Sox were 43-38 (.531) at Fenway, 9th of 15 American League teams. Since 2000, Boston has gone 753-543 for a home win percentage of .581, 3rd best in the AL and 5th best in baseball.
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