The Toronto Blue Jays will seek to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night and continue domination of their American League East rival.
The Jays rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth to clinch the series with a 6-5 victory on Tuesday. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in the winning run with a single.
It was the second career walk-off hit for Guerrero. His first came June 15 against the Baltimore Orioles.
Guerrero said he assured manager Charlie Montoyo that things were going to work out in the ninth inning on Tuesday.
“I told Charlie before my at-bat — the game is over,” Guerrero said. “Charlie sometimes gets kind of nervous, but he told me, ‘Well, I trust you guys. If you say so, OK, that’s fine.’ Boston, they were ahead of us in the division and you’re trying to win those games, win the series, trying to go ahead in the division. I was just fired up.”
Toronto is 7-2 against Boston this season and 14-14 overall against American League East rivals. Boston is 7-16 against the AL East.
The Red Sox are 19-6 in June and entered the series in Toronto on a seven-game winning streak. They have lost two games in a row for the first time since May 30-31.
The Blue Jays will send out right-hander Alek Manoah (9-2, 2.05 ERA) for the series finale. The Red Sox will start Nick Pivetta (8-5, 3.25).
Manoah pitched seven scoreless innings to earn the win against the Red So on April 28. He allowed three hits and one walk while striking out seven. He is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three career starts against Boston.
Pivetta is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA in two starts against Toronto this season. He is 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA in nine career starts against the Blue Jays.
The Red Sox entered the series short two players — outfielder Jarren Duran and right-hander Tanner Houck — because they are not vaccinated for COVID-19 and cannot enter Canada.
The absence of Houck, who has evolved into the closer, was particularly damaging on Tuesday. Tyler Danish, who had pitched a perfect eighth, came out for the ninth and allowed a single and a walk. Hansel Robles, pitching for the third straight game, replaced Danish and allowed the tying and winning hits.
“We go with the 26 players that are here,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We tried to get 27 outs and didn’t do it.”
Cora did not use left-hander Matt Strahm in the game and gave no explanation.
“That’s the way I managed the game,” he said. “I’m the manager here, and I decided to go with (Danish) for two outs.”
Trevor Story hit his 12th home run of the season for Boston, a solo shot. Rob Refsnyder hit his second homer of the season, a two-run blast in the seventh that tied the game at 4-4. The Red Sox, who fought back from a 4-1 deficit, took a 5-4 lead in the eighth on a single by Christian Vazquez.
The Red Sox promoted right-hander Silvino Bracho from Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday. Right-hander Connor Seabold was optioned to Worcester. Seabold allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings Monday in the 7-2 loss to Toronto to open the series.
–Field Level Media