Blue Jays squeak out walkoff win over Boston , go for sweep on Thursday

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer

@stefanluciani_

Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Final Score: 6-5

TORONTO–With 162 games in an MLB season, it’s often hard to pinpoint in the moment, the exact losses that can affect the long term, especially if we are just barely halfway through the season.

 

But with the New York Yankees running away with the AL East division, it makes fighting for the scraps that much more important, especially amongst division rivals in what is widely regarded as one of the toughest divisions in all of sports.   

 

Following their thumping of a Red Sox team come alive following a poor start, the Jays found themselves even with Boston for that number two spot ahead of Tuesday’s second matchup. Ahead of a five-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays starting on Friday, a sweep of Boston would be a best-case scenario headed into their second straight matchup with an AL East rival.

 

It was Ross Stripling who got the nod on Tuesday as the righty - though with no official statement - appears to have Ryu’s spot in the rotation indefinitely now. Lucky for Blue Jays fans he continues to be a brilliant tool of versatility as he produced five innings of work allowing just two runs on five hits, leaving the game with a 4-2 lead still intact. 

 

But with a bullpen struggling between injuries and performance, bridging that gap to Romano in the ninth has proven to be a tricky situation for skipper Charlie Montoyo. 

 

Cimber was brought in first doing his job to secure three outs before an of late, struggling Trent Thornton was brought in, surrendering the equalizing runs by way of a two-run shot to Rob Refsnyder. Thornton has posted a 4.35 ERA through his last 20 2/3 with a 6.1 ERA through his last 10 1/3.

 

The Sox then took the lead in the eighth off a three-hit, one-run showing from Tim Mayza.

 

Jordan Romano came in for the ninth doing what he does best to give his offence one last chance in the bottom of the ninth. 

 

Who other than Alejandro kirk would start things off with a single to left field, before being subbed out for the speedy Bradley Zimmer. Springer would take a walk atop the order before Bo Bo Bichette stepped up, punching the first pitch he saw into right field to bring around Zimmer to tie it up. Next up? Vladimir Guerrero Jr.. Vladdy was patient, laying off a pair of outside pitches before pulling one high in the zone just past the reach of shortstop Xander Bogaerts to bring around Springer and walk it off for the Blue Jays. 

 

Vladdy has been able to thrive in these pressure situations stating postgame he told Montoyo they were going to win tonight at the beginning of the ninth inning. 

 

“Once I saw Kirky pinch-hitting and he got the base hit, I knew right then that we're going to win this game,” Guerrero said through interpreter Hector Lebron. “I mean, top of the lineup, one, two and three next, I thought we're going to win this game for sure. Charlie sometimes gets kind of nervous,” Guerrero quipped, “but he told me, ‘Well, I trust you guys. If you say so, then OK, that's fine.’”

 

LOOK AHEAD

The Jays and Red Sox will go for game three of their three game set Thursday evening as Toronto will look to Alek Manoah (9-2, 2.05 ERA) who currently holds the league lead in wins amongst starters, as the Red Sox will counter with Canadian Nick Pivetta (8-5, 3.25 ERA). 

First pitch goes at Rogers Centre just after 7PM ET.