Brock Holt’s Big Bat Leads Red Sox to 8-7 Comeback Win Over Blue Jays

Apr 8, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox left fielder Brock Holt (12) is greeted at home plate by shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) after hitting a grand slam home run against Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays got a grand slam home run from reigning league MVP Josh Donaldson. Joe Kelly didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, and the Boston Red Sox…the Red Sox still managed to comeback and beat the Blue Jays, 8-7 in front of a packed house at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Friday night’s win was one that the Red Sox will remember for while.

The team’s starting pitching issues are far from solved.

The best thing that can be said about Joe Kelly is that he did an excellent job of reminding Red Sox fans that Clay Buchholz really wasn’t that bad Wednesday night in the loss to Cleveland.

Kelly’s reputation for putting too many men on base, and not striking out enough batters was on full display.

The Red Sox were leading 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Four straight singles and a hit batter later and the score was 3-2, the bases were loaded and there were no outs.

Josh Donaldson didn’t wait too long to take advantage of the situation. He pounced all over Kelly’s first offering, smashing a ball off the facade of the second deck in left field. The grand slam home run gave the Jays a 7-2 lead, and ended Kelly’s season debut.

Little did the Jays know that those four runs would be their final runs of the night.

Ramirez got the Red Sox out of the fourth and through the fifth, he allowed only two hits. From then on the bullpen was nearly perfect with Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel hurling four hitless, scoreless innings.

While the bullpen shut down the Jays offense, the Red Sox bats were busy. The busiest of the bats was the one swung by Brock Holt.

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman got in a jam in the sixth. He was pulled after loading the bases with only one out. Toronto manager John Gibbons elected to bring in Jesse Chavez to get out of the jam.

Holt took Chavez’s 0-1 offering and hit a hard line drive down the right field line, the ball was hit just high enough to clear the fence, and all of a sudden the Holt grand slam had cut the Jays lead to 7-6.

One inning later back-to-back rbi singles off the bats of David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez would give the Red Sox the 8-7 lead that would eventually be the final score.

This was definitely a win that the Red Sox needed. It was also the type of game that last year’s squad probably wouldn’t have come back to win.

Notable Sox Stuff: Craig Kimbrel recorded his first save of the season. Holt is the current team leader in just about every offensive category. He’s slashing .500/.538/1.083 with two home runs and eight rbi’s. Xander Bogaerts finally broke out, he was 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored.  Joe Kelly’s line was 3.0 innings pitched, 7 hits, 3 walks, 4 K’s, 7 earned runs, and one hit batter. He threw 80 pitches and only 44 were for strikes.

Next Game: Saturday afternoon, April 9th 1:07 pm ET at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Red Sox start Rick Porcello (season debut) Blue Jays start R.A. Dickey (1-0, 5.40)

About the Author

Ben Shapiro
Red Sox columnist for ESPN New Hampshire. Originally from Western Massachusetts, I currently live in New York City with my wife and dog. I've previously written for Huffington Post, Bleacher Report and MassLive.com

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