Stroman leads Blue Jays to fourth straight win
BOSTON — Marcus Stroman was so good against the Boston Red Sox last week that he went with the same plan Tuesday night.
And the result was his second solid start in five days, leading the Toronto Blue Bays over the Red Sox 4-2.
“To be honest, no, just execute pitches,” he said when asked if he changed. “I didn’t change my approach at all. I didn’t feel like I needed to change. We attacked them exactly like we wanted to attack them and had success.”
Colby Rasmus hit a solo homer and Anthony Gose had a tiebreaking two-run double for the Blue Jays, who won for the ninth time in 11 games and improved to 9-3 against the Red Sox this season.
“He’s on some kind of roll right now,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Stroman. “The kid’s good. He believes in himself. He’s got all the confidence in the world and he’s got the stuff for it, too.”
Xander Bogaerts homered and Dustin Pedroia added an RBI double for Boston, which has dropped all five games in Fenway Park against Toronto.
The Red Sox lost for the seventh time in eight games.
“Obviously we’re not in the position that we want to be in,” Pedroia said. “We haven’t played very well and our record shows that.”
Stroman (7-2) held Boston to one run and six hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking two. He took a no-hitter into the seventh last Thursday before giving up Shane Victorino’s leadoff single for his only hit allowed in seven innings. Casey Janssen got the final three outs for his 17th save despite giving up Bogaerts’ homer.
Rubby De La Rosa (3-4) gave up three runs on nine hits in six innings.
“I thought he gave us a solid effort,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “We had probably three opportunities when we had multiple men on base and the timely hit was elusive.”
Gose’s two-out, two-run double snapped a 1-all tie and pushed the Blue Jays ahead in the fourth. Juan Francisco and Rasmus singled before advancing on Munenori Kawasaki’s sacrifice bunt.
Rasmus’ homer into the centre field bleachers gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the second, but Boston tied it on Pedroia’s RBI double.
Red Sox: Left-hander Jon Lester (10-7, 2.52 ERA) was scheduled to pitch Wednesday, but Farrell said after the game the club decided to go with right-hander Brandon Workman. Lester’s name has been circulating in a number of trade rumours the past few days.
“In light of all the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester, it’s probably in everyone’s best interest that he does not make that start,” Farrell said.
Blue Jays: Mark Buehrle (10-7, 3.19 ERA) goes in the series finale on Wednesday, trying to snap his six-game losing streak since his last win on June 1. He’s 1-1 against the Red Sox this season, beating them in Fenway on May 22 when he went seven innings, allowing two runs. He gave up seven runs — six earned — in the loss at home on April 25.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Pitching coach Pete Walker visited Stroman before he faced David Ortiz with two runners on and two outs in the fifth. He got Ortiz to bounce to second.
“He just said be careful,” Stroman said. “You’ve got to make your pitches. Luckily I made a good pitch on 2-0 and got him to roll over. That was a big point in the game.”
HELP FROM THE BOTTOM
Gose drove in two runs from the nine-hole with the timely hit.
“That’s the difference (from last year),” Gibbons said. “We couldn’t get the run in with one out and he gets a hit there.”
Blue Jays: Infielder Brett Lawrie, on the disabled list since late June with a broken right index finger, began hitting off a tee late last week. On Monday, the team acquired Danny Valencia from Kansas City for a pair of players to give them depth at third while Lawrie works his way back. Gibbons said Valencia will face “a lot of lefties.”
Red Sox: First baseman Mike Napoli had what Farrell called a “down day” due to swelling on the ring finger of his left hand.