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Sox clinch playoff spot with 7-2 win over Jays

Field Level Media
September 11. 2018 11:15PM
Boston starter Chris Sale pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Pinch hitter Brock Holt hit a three-run, go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and the Boston Red Sox went on to defeat the visiting Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Tuesday night to clinch a spot in the playoffs for the third straight year.

Toronto led 2-0 when Ryan Borucki walked Xander Bogaerts with one out in the bottom of the seventh and Steve Pearce, obtained in a trade with the Blue Jays this season, tripled.

Tzu-Wei Lin ran for Pearce and Borucki was replaced by Ryan Tepera (5-5), who struck out Ian Kinsler and walked Eduardo Nunez. Holt, batting for Sandy Leon, hit his fourth homer of the season and has hit both of Boston’s pinch-hit homers on the year.

Ryan Brasier (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings with two strikeouts to earn the win.

Chris Sale started the game for Boston, allowing one hit and hitting a batter while striking out two in one inning. The short stint was planned for his first start since Aug. 12. He went on the disabled list six days later with mild inflammation in his left shoulder.

Borucki allowed two runs, three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

After Sale, the Red Sox sent out Brandon Workman for one inning, and he allowed a walk in the second.

Nathan Eovaldi was next for the Red Sox, giving up two runs, three hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Devon Travis led off the sixth with a double off the wall in left. He took third when Justin Smoak flied out.

Kendrys Morales walked and Jonathan Davis ran for him. Travis scored as part of a double steal with Davis continuing to third on second baseman Kinsler’s errant throw home. After Kevin Pillar’s two-out single, Brasier replaced Eovaldi.

Hector Velazquez retired the only batter he faced, that in the eighth inning. Bobby Poyner allowed a single to Yangervis Solarte in one-third of an inning and Joe Kelly struck out Randal Grichuk.

The Red Sox added three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Jake Petricka allowed an RBI double by Andrew Benintendi and an RBI single by Kinsler. Another run scored on a wild pitch by Taylor Guerrieri.

Boston’s Heath Hembree pitched a perfect ninth.

Rotation set

Manager Alex Cora announced the team’s tentative rotation for the next three series against the Blue Jays, Mets and Yankees.

David Price will start tonight with Eduardo Rodriguez pitching the series finale against Toronto.

Hector Velazquez is the likely starter Friday against the Mets, with Rick Porcello and Sale starting over the weekend. Porcello will be pitching on six days’ rest and is likely to get about a week before his next start in Cleveland.

For the Yankees’ series, it’ll be Eovaldi, Price and Rodriguez. Boston will then head to Cleveland for a three-game set, with Sale and Porcello both likely to appear. It’s all part of Cora’s plan to keep his starters rested in advance of the postseason. “We’re trying to obviously win games and at the same time keep these guys sharp and rested so they’re trending in the right direction towards the end of September,” he said.

Red Sox/MLB