Right-hander allows four runs in third during loss to Red Sox
By Maureen Mullen
Special to MLB.com |
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays' offense gave right-hander Marco Estrada a slim one-run lead to work with against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon. It wasn't much of a cushion -- especially against left-hander David Price -- but Estrada was protecting it as well as he could.
He went six innings against the Red Sox, holding them scoreless in five frames. But the one inning in which they got to him -- the only inning in which they scored -- was all the Red Sox needed for a 4-2 win.
The Red Sox sent eight batters to the plate in the third inning, with four scoring. Leading 1-0, Estrada faced No. 9 hitter Jackie Bradley Jr. to open the third. Bradley laced the first pitch of the inning right back at Estrada, drilling him in the calf. The ball ricocheted to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for an infield single. Estrada was obviously affected.
After a one-out single by Dustin Pedroia, Estrada gave up a three-run home run to Xander Bogaerts, who was just 1-for-12 in his career against Estrada before the home run.
Estrada got David Ortiz to ground out, then allowed a double to Hanley Ramirez and a run-scoring single to Travis Shaw before getting Brock Holt to ground out to end the inning.
He had faced the Red Sox in his only other outing this season, going seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts last Sunday. After Estrada was hit by the Bradley single, five of the next eight batters recorded hits against him.
"I was feeling good today," said Estrada, who fell to 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA. "I thought I was going to finish pretty strong. Just one inning got away from me. I got hit and my calf kind of tightened up on me, couldn't really finish pitches. Felt like I was kind of running forward, trying to land or whatever, but other than that thought I threw the ball well. Calf is still pretty tight, but felt better I guess as the game went on, was able to deal with it a little more. But it was too little, too late.
"I try not to think about it, but it's in the back of your mind. You try to land and it bothers you, but I got to do a better job with it. If I get hit again, I got to just forget about it, I guess. But it's too bad. I was feeling pretty good today. Just mad at myself for not taking more time out there and throwing maybe more pitches. But it's my fault."
He also tweaked his calf later in the game while he was running to cover first base.
"Yeah, I tore my right quad a few years ago and it still gives me a little grief once in a while," he said. "I kind of hyperextended it. But that wasn't a big deal. It went away. I just gave it a couple seconds and it was fine."
"He wasn't bad. The difference was Bogaerts' three-run homer," said manager John Gibbons. "He got hit in the calf, he hung tough. And then, you know, quad when he was covering first base. He hung in there. He kept the game in check after they took the lead. We kept it close. We just really couldn't mount anything."
Estrada allowed eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts. He had not allowed as many as seven hits in his previous 14 starts.
"I thought he threw the ball pretty good, just a really good swing by Bogaerts on a fastball down," said catcher Russell Martin. "It probably had more plate than he wanted to, but other than that, I thought he was good. Mixed his pitches really well. Probably not his best day for command but still kept us in the ballgame, and even after getting smoked in the leg was able to eat up some innings for us."
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.