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Former Fisher Cat Stroman masters Red Sox
Toronto starting pitcher Marcus delivers a pitch against Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
If Stroman’s mastery had continued, the Blue Jays manager would have faced a difficult decision. Would he let Stroman, a New Hampshire Fisher Cat in 2012-13, go for the no-hitter or take the rookie right-hander out to protect him from a mounting pitch count?
Boston right fielder Shane Victorino led off the seventh with a soft single to center.
“It was getting a little hairy there,” Gibbons said. “If he keeps that no-hitter going. ... I can’t say that I’m glad he gave up a hit, but ... It was going through my mind. If he keeps going, you’ve got a young kid, you’re trying to win a division, do you keep throwing him out there? I don’t know if relieved is the word, but it didn’t hurt.”
First baseman Juan Francisco led the offense with a home run and four RBIs and was a double short of hitting for the cycle.
Stroman (6-2) struck out seven and allowed two walks in seven innings to win his second start in a row — both times going seven shutout innings — and his third straight decision in six starts.
Gibbons was asked if he would have let Stroman stay in if he still had a no-hitter.
“You’ll never know,” he said.
Stroman said, “I think they would have let me go. They’re definitely watching pitches. It would have been tough.”
He said started to think about the no-hitter in the sixth inning.
“I looked up and saw a zero and said this is pretty crazy,” he said.
“It just kind of hung up there,” Stroman said. “(Catcher Dioner Navarro) came in and said, man, you should have spiked it. We were pretty mad at each other.”
Red Sox right-hander Rubby De La Rosa (3-3) allowed nine hits, two walks and seven runs (six earned) in four-plus innings.
Outfielder Jonny Gomes pinch hit and ended the game with a fly ball.
Francisco hit his 15th homer of the season to score two runs in the third inning. He also drove in two runs in the fifth with a single against right-hander Burke Badenhop.