Coming in to Tuesday night’s series opener against the American League East leading Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays desperately needed a win. After being swept by the New York Yankees in a four game set over the weekend, the hometown fans at Rogers Center in Toronto were anxious to see their over-priced, and thus far under achieving Blue Jays find their way back into the win column.
To the surprise of many however, the Blue Birds were in fact able to pull out a 9-7 win and get to Bosox hurler Jon Lester [4-0] for 6 runs, [5 earrned], on 6 hits. Lester also fanned five and gave up two walks prior to his somewhat early departure that led to a no-decision. The Jays called on Brandon Morrow to oppose Lester and although Morrow [ 0-2 ], wasn’t able to get his first win of 2013, he did keep Toronto in the game and managed a run of five straight strikeouts during the first and second innings.
Toronto reliever Steve Delabar [2-1], was credited with the win, while Bosox reliever Junichi Tazawa [2-1] took the loss for the visitors. Jay’s closer Casey Janssen converted his seventh save on the year and remains a perfect, 7 for 7 this season in save opportunities.
For a last-place Toronto team that came into this season with unreasonably high expectations, Edwin Encarnacion provided a much needed power source in the form of two home runs, his eigth and ninth so far this season. Not only were the Blue Jays [10-17] able to get the win they needed, they were also able to avoid a franchise-worst, 18th loss in April.
The second game of the three-game series goes tonight in Toronto with Mark Buerhle [1-1] and his dangerously high, 6.35 ERA, taking on Clay Buchholz [5-0], who brings with him an impressive 1.19 earned run average.
After the series wraps up on Thursday, the Red Sox will take their major league- leading [18-8] record to Texas for a weekend series with the Rangers, while the Blue Jays will welcome the Seattle Mariners to Toronto for a weekend series of their own.