The Jays had nine of their 17 hits in the frame en route to a 12-4 victory at Rogers Center.
Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi was replaced by Hansel Robles after the former was hit for the first seven points. Robles then awarded a single to Toronto wide receiver Alejandro Kirk and planted next hitter, Randal Grichuk, in the arm just above the left elbow.
The four referees gathered in the infield to decide whether or not to pitch the Red Sox pitcher. They concluded to warn both teams, so Robles stayed in the game.
The Blue Jays disagreed with the decision. They started tweeting Robles. Then the matter heated up.
Robles gave the Blue Jays a few facial gestures. The Toronto players came out of the dugout.
Those who ventured off the bench included starter Alek Manoah and pitcher Jose Berrios, who last week was a Robles teammate on the Minnesota Twins before they were traded to Toronto and Boston, respectively.
“We got seven runs and a guy is hit pretty hard,” said Manoah, who has played five innings and allowed two runs on four hits. “You must have your guy’s back. There’s only one guy (Robles) who really knows if it was intentional.
Grichuk said he discussed the matter with a pair of Red Sox over the next few innings and was told Robles has been struggling recently. He allowed three runs on three hits in a working inning in Detroit against the Tigers on Thursday.
“You can read it two ways,” Grichuk said. “It didn’t seem like that to me.
“He wasn’t in control and this one ran away. “
What initially looked like a pitching duel between Eovaldi (9-7) and Manoah also escaped.
The Red Sox had a 2-0 lead after scoring two straight runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Manoah (4-1) came off a goal-laden jam in the fifth, coaxing JD Martinez to end the set with a pop-up to Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The Blue Jays then exploded in the lower half of the inning. The bottom of the order set the table with three consecutive doubles from Kirk, Grichuk and third baseman Breyvic Valera.
In total, Toronto sent 14 hitters to the plate. The big hits were a two-run homer to the left-field line from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and a two-run brace through left center from Teoscar Hernandez.
Hernandez led the Blue Jays offense with three hits and three RBIs.
The Blue Jays (58-49) continue to thrive upon their return to Rogers Center. They now have seven wins in eight starts on their field after a 22-month absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team insist that even though crowds are capped at 15,000 (attendance was 14,719 on Friday), the homecoming was a big boost in their search for a playoff berth .
“I can only imagine what 50,000 will look like,” Manoah said.
Playing Buffalo against popular teams like the Red Sox or the New York Yankees has never been like home games, said Grichuk. In Toronto, it’s a different story.
“We came back here and feel the energy and it’s nice to be back in a big league baseball stadium,” he said.
The Blue Jays restored the American League’s best record at 25-14 since June 19. Boston (64-47) started the day with the AL’s third-best record, but the Red Sox lost for the seventh time in eight outings. and have gone 9-11 since the star break.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 6, 2021.