February 15, 2019

MLB Story
By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: April 17, 2016 04:57:34 PM


Sanchez leads Blue Jays past Red Sox

BOSTON -- Aaron Sanchez's laissez-faire approach paid off for the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
Sanchez had reason to be uptight, having pitched well in both of his first two starts this season but emerging without a win in each because of lackluster run support.
This time around, Sanchez got some help from the bats -- but he didn't really need it.
The 23-year-old gave up just one run on two hits and struck out seven over seven innings as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.
He has his laid back attitude to thank for that.
"I try to go out there every time relaxed," Sanchez said. "When I try to speed things up, that's when I tend to not have the command that I want. Going into a start like today, this is a huge, big team win for us."
Sanchez flirted with a no-hitter after retiring the first 17 batters before giving up a hit in the fifth inning, but happily settled for his two-hit gem.
"I think at that point, it's too early (to be thinking about a no-hitter)," Sanchez said. "There's a lot of times where you can get through five innings like that."
Jose Bautista hit a solo home run, his third of the season and 18th at Fenway Park since 2010, and had two RBIs while Chris Colabello, Josh Donaldson, and Edwin Encarnacion also drove in a runs for Toronto (6-7).
The Blue Jays had lost six of their last seven games against the Red Sox, including the first two of their four-game Patriots' Day weekend series.
"Obviously struggling the last few days, these guys putting up runs early and let me do my thing," Sanchez said.
Toronto had a season-high 14 hits, but added to its major-league-high total of 136 strikeouts with 12 more Sunday.
"If you win, nobody cares. If you lose, everybody cares," said Toronto manager John Gibbons, whose club has struck out 10 or more times in all 13 games. "You just kind of live by that."
Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer and Mookie Betts drove in another run for the Red Sox (6-5), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Steven Wright (0-1) was the victim of poor run support again in his second start of 2016 for Boston, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out six over six innings Sunday.
Wright also gave up two in 6 2/3 innings in a 3-0 loss at Toronto in his season debut April 10.
"I felt pretty good," Wright said. "First inning definitely didn't go the way I wanted it to. But overall I felt like I was able to keep the ball over the plate. We had lot of mis-hits. The first inning they were able to scratch some runs from us."
Toronto struck for two in the first frame on Bautista's homer and Colabello's RBI single.
Sanchez held the Boston bats in check until the fifth when Marco Hernandez had a broken-bat single to left -- the first hit of his career.
Hernandez, playing in his first big league game, walked in his first plate appearance before getting that two-out hit off of Sanchez. He then stole second and advanced to third on an error.
Betts drove him in with his single up the middle, cutting the Red Sox's deficit to one.
"I think the best part about that is obviously the broken bat, the run, and that's it," Sanchez said. "That's a huge stepping stone for our team trying to get us back into the dugout and not let them get too much on their side."
David Ortiz teased the Fenway faithful with a deep fly ball to center to lead off the sixth, but Kevin Pillar made a leaping catch just shy of the wall.
Donaldson's RBI double and Encarnacion's single in the seventh and Bautista's RBI two-bagger in the ninth padded the Blue Jays' lead.
Shaw hit his homer in the ninth to bring Boston within two runs.
Colabello gave fans a scare in the fourth when a Wright fastball hit him in the helmet. Colabello, a native of nearby Framingham, Mass., immediately dropped to the ground -- as did Wright with a sense of grief -- but Colabello stayed in the game after being checked out.
"It sounded like it got him pretty good, but they tested him out and he's feeling pretty good," Gibbons said of Colabello. "Another hard-headed guy."
Justin Smoak entered as a defensive replacement for Colabello in the eighth.
NOTES: Boston INF Marco Hernandez made his major league debut Sunday, starting at second base for Dustin Pedroia, who had the day off for rest. Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. INF/OF Brock Holt was also off and OF Chris Young started in left field. ... Blue Jays CF Kevin Pillar was dropped to eighth in the lineup after hitting .188 (9-for-48) in 12 games at the leadoff spot. LF Michael Saunders, who hit .281 (9-for-32) in nine games, assumed the leadoff role. ... Boston DH David Ortiz's 59 home runs, 65 doubles, and 182 RBIs are the most all-time against the Blue Jays. ... Boston's starting pitchers led the majors with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings ratio entering Sunday. ... Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (0-0, 3.00 ERA) counters Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (0-1, 10.00 ERA) in Monday's series finale


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