Blue Jays vs Red Sox – 4/11/19 MLB Pick, Odds, and Predictions
Toronto Blue Jays vs Boston Red Sox MLB Baseball Thursday, April 11, 2019 (7:10pm et) Current Odds: Boston -180, Total Runs 9
The Boston Red Sox will look to rebound from a disappointing home opener when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the second contest of a two-game set Thursday.
The season as a whole is off to a disappointing start for the Red Sox, who received their World Series championship rings before falling 7-5 in Game 1 of the series Tuesday. Boston is now 3-9, with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 8.10 ERA) set to take the mound looking to avoid a sweep opposite Jays righty Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 1.64 ERA).
Red Sox ace Chris Sale got the nod, to the delight of the Fenway Park fans, Tuesday and retired the first seven batters he faced while the offense provided him a 2-0 lead. But the Blue Jays struck quickly to spoil the good vibes, scoring twice in the third and three times in the fourth to send Sale to 0-3 for the first time in his career.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever pitched like this in my life,” said the left-handed Sale, who has a 9.00 ERA and just eight strikeouts through his first three starts. “I’ve got to keep fighting. No giving up. 1/8I’m 3/8 trying to find something. This wasn’t us not playing good, this was me sucking today.”
Boston had its chances to come back late in the game, including after Xander Bogaerts doubled in a run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 6-5. But Jays right-hander Joe Biagini got the final out before handing things over to righty Ken Giles, who worked around a leadoff single and a walk by striking out reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts with two outs to record his third save.
“We have to play better, I’ve been saying it all along,” Red Sox skipper Alex Cora said. “Better defense, better offense, pitch better. Everybody knows we go with the starters. The starters are our strongest point, and so far it hasn’t been good.”
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Toronto improved to 4-8 with the win, leaving the Red Sox alone in the AL East cellar through the first two weeks of the season. Further, the victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Jays, whose seven runs represented their most in a game thus far.
The Toronto offense received a spark Tuesday when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. stole home off Sale in the fourth inning. He had advanced to third when Danny Jansen scored on a passed ball.
“I just saw the challenge, the opportunity, and I just went for it,” said Gurriel through a translator. “That doesn’t happen every day. It was my first time, so I was very emotional at the moment.”
“We needed to take chances, and we did,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It was pretty cool.”
Sanchez, who allowed two runs on five hits over six innings in a loss to the Cleveland Indians in his last start, is 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA in 19 career games (11 starts) against Boston.
Eovaldi has allowed nine runs on 12 hits in 10 innings over his first two starts for the Red Sox. He has faced Toronto four times, though no Blue Jays regular has more than five at-bats against him.
The Jays played without catcher Luke Maile and first baseman Justin Smoak on Tuesday. Both are battling neck injuries.
Boston celebrated the return of Dustin Pedroia in the loss. The second baseman, limited to just three games last season as a the result of a knee injury, went 1-for-4, stranding four runners on base.
“I felt good. It was great to be out there,” said Pedroia. “Obviously I wish we’d won. But it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that, and it was fun.”
411Winners Pick and Prediction: Boston 1st 5 Innings -0.5 -120