Boston Red Sox

Saturday was Xander Bogaerts’ turn to hit a grand slam, and he had even more of a flair for the dramatic. The shortstop blasted a walk-off slam in the 10th inning to give the Boston Red Sox a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, Boston’s 11th win in 12 games.

Bogaerts is now up to 15 homers and 62 RBIs in just 78 games on the season, to go with a .284 average and .884 OPS. The walk-off was made possible with an RBI double by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game 2-2, as the center fielder tagged Jays reliever Tyler Clippard after four pitchers combined to allow just one Red Sox run through the first eight innings.

The Red Sox couldn’t scratch Bradley home for the game-winning run so the game headed to the 10th inning, where Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless frame to eventually earn his second win of the season. Mookie Betts got the rally started when he reached on an error, followed by a Brock Holt line drive base hit.

Then, Bogaerts made reliever Chris Rowley pay for intentionally walking J.D. Martinez to load the bases. He easily hit it far enough to guarantee the Red Sox a win, crushing a 2-0 fastball just barely out to the center field corner.

Bogaerts’ slam quickly followed up on Betts’ dramatic four-run shot in Thursday’s W.

Martinez got the Red Sox on the board first with his 29th home run of the season, taking Toronto starter Sam Gaviglio into the Green Monster Seats with a fastball golfed out to left. He finished the game with the AL lead in home runs with the Cleveland Indians’ Jose Ramirez (28) sitting in second.

E-Rod Injured

Eduardo Rodriguez had one of his best starts of the season, shutting out the Jays for 5.1 innings with just four hits and no walks and striking out five. Unfortunately, had to leave with a sprained right ankle in the sixth inning after landing awkwardly on a hop to avoid the sliding Lourdes Gurriel Jr. at first base. Manager Alex Cora said after the game that the injury looked “bad”, but Rodriguez was “moving around” in the clubhouse and will still need further tests.

Rodriguez was on his way to a win, but Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly necessitated the Red Sox’ late comeback. He had a rough seventh inning, getting just two batters out and allowing two runs on a pair of hits and a walk. Cora didn’t mince words when speaking about Kelly’s outing.

“He’ll be the first to tell you that he didn’t do his job,” Cora said.

With the win, the Red Sox are now 67-30 on the season, holding a four-game lead in the American League East over the New York Yankees (61-32) as they take on the Cleveland Indians Saturday night.

Up Next: The series concludes on Sunday night with Brian Johnson (1-2, 4.23 ERA) taking on Marcus Stroman (2-6, 5.90 ERA).

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