The Toronto Blue Jays are bouncing back.
A two-game winning streak after a shocking four-game losing streak has moved them back into the third wild-card spot, but their postseason prospects are still in doubt.
Toronto won 4-3 in extra innings at home against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on Sunday (ET).
With a 3-0 win over Boston the day before, the Jays shook off the shock of a four-game sweep by the Texas Rangers to improve to 82-67 and remain in third place in the AL East, jumping into the third wild-card spot.
On the same day, second-place Texas fell to the Cleveland Indians, 1-2, to cut Toronto’s lead in the wild card to 0.5 games. The Seattle Mariners, who were third in the wild card, dropped to fourth with a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Texas, Toronto, and Seattle are all within a half-game of each other for the second wild card.
On the day, Toronto starter Chris Bassitt pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts, bouncing back from a rough outing against Texas on Dec. 12 in which he gave up five runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. Boston starter Chris Sale was equally effective, allowing one run on two hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts over six innings.굿모닝토토
The game was a tight pitcher’s duel. Both teams were tied at 0-0 going into the fifth inning. It was Boston that broke it open. In the top of the sixth, Rafael Devers hit a two-run home run to left field to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. Devers took a 93-mph fastball on a four-seam outside pitch from Bassett and sent it over the left field fence.
Toronto got a run back in the bottom of the seventh when leadoff man Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a solo home run. Guerrero pulled a 78-mph slider off Sale’s six-pitch fastball over the left-field fence. It was Guerrero’s second straight game with a game-tying hit after his three-run shot in the bottom of the third inning the night before. A three-game home run streak since May 15 against Texas.
Toronto’s Whit Merrifield runs all the way to first base after hitting an infield single in the bottom of the 13th inning of extra innings. Meanwhile, third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. dives for home as the opposing defense looks on. AFP
Ryu Hyun-jin takes the mound against the Boston Red Sox at 2:37 a.m. on Aug. 18. AP
Toronto broke a 2-2 tie with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on Dolton Bashaw’s triple up the middle to extend the game. The teams traded runs in the bottom of the 12th, and after Boston went scoreless in the top of the 13th, Toronto scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 13th on Whit Merrifield’s double down the third base line to score Guerrero from third.
Toronto will now send Ryu Hyun-jin to the mound on April 18 to try to clinch the second wild card. Ryu pitched six innings of five-hit, three-run ball against Texas on Aug. 13, but was unable to get any offensive support and took the loss. If Ryu, who will take the mound in five days, can lead the team to victory, Toronto will have a better chance of making the postseason.
Another quality start would give Ryu a perfect rehabilitation record and give him leverage in free agent negotiations after the season. In six career appearances against Boston, Ryu is 2-2 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a .259 batting average. His most recent start came at home on August 9, 2021, when he gave up seven runs on 10 hits in 3⅔ innings.
Starting for Boston against Ryu is right-hander Nick Pivetta. Pivetta has split time between the bullpen and the mound this season, posting a 9-9 record with a 4.56 ERA.