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21 April 2017, 08:17 | Andy Ferguson
Chris Sale Earns Pedro Martinez's Admiration After Best Red Sox Start Yet
We got some key hits and our defence was really good and of course it starts with Liriano, who was dynamite.
Kevin Pillar had three hits for the Blue Jays, who improved to 3-11.
After striking out Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista for the fourth time in the game, Sale went into the dugout having logged eight almost unhittable innings.
Myers cracked his fourth homer in the first and Hedges added his third in the seventh as the Padres won their second straight to earn a split of the four-game series.
The horrors of April have pushed out into the open the question that has hovered over the Blue Jays since the arrival of president Mark Shapiro in the fall of 2015: would they try to keep a creaky roster largely intact, or trade veterans to restock the system with young talent? They leave for a two-city road trip with baseball's worst record: 3-12. "I don't think any of us do". It's going to take a hell of an effort, that's for sure.
I see an old team.
Sale does most of his damage by getting ahead early in counts. Catcher Russell Martin and second baseman Devon Travis have averages hovering near the.100 mark. Toronto is also 1-4 in Estrada's last five starts and 1-4 in Estrada's last five starts with four days' rest.
The pitching has been decent and injuries haven't helped matters. J.A. Happ is on the DL with elbow inflammation, and Aaron Sanchez is on the DL with a blister issue.
Some players are pressing to make things happen at the plate. "He doesn't have an overpowering fastball, but I don't know anyone in the game who has a better changeup". Unfortunately, in baseball - as in life - the correlation between what one deserves and one gets is tenuous at best. "It's the feel of it". But since Toronto has struggled out of the gate - when expectations for 2017 were high - the skid has been a real talking point.
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The Red Sox challenged the call but it was upheld after a review.
Sale, meanwhile, allowed just four hits and a walk.
In the sixth inning, Boston had runners on first and second with one out, after which Liriano was removed in place of reliever Joe Biagini.
After Troy Tulowitzki reached leading off on a throwing error by third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Kimbrel then sat the Blue Jays down on a Justin Smoak flyout and back-to-back strikeouts of Ezequiel Carrera and Darwin Barney.
Joe Smith struck out two batters in setting Boston down in order in the eighth.
Sale was momentarily in-line for his second win of the season after Xander Bogaerts's go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth. After that rotten start, they had climbed back to 7-9 and had Paxton going, the guy who hadn't allowed a run in his first three starts. Eighty of his 102 pitches were strikes. "I just tried to throw strikes". I don't really care about that.
In the rotation because Jake Odorizzi strained his left hamstring, Ramirez allowed one run and two hits in five innings with five strikeouts and no walks. Roger Clemens and Oil Can Boyd are the only other Red Sox pitchers to ever strike out at least 12 in back-to-back outings. Bogaerts changed it with his right-field single just after Moreland's two-out double slid under the glove of Bautista, no doubt thrown off by the weight of his golden sombrero.
Announced attendance was 30,842 and the game took two hours 45 minutes to play. Mookie Betts went 129 at-bats between strikeouts, with his streak ending yesterday, but he struck out in his first two at-bats today. As a result, when Chris Sale arrived in Boston this offseason, I was not expecting him to pitch to his full potential in his first starts with the Red Sox.
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