MLB·Recap

Red Sox ride hot start to fend off Jays' late rally

Rookie Michael Chavis hit a grand slam, Xander Bogaerts had three hits and Andrew Benintendi drove in three runs for Boston on Monday night to lead the Red Sox to a 10-8 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Toronto can't overcome Trent Thornton's disastrous 5-run 1st inning

Boston's Michael Chavis, right, celebrates a first-inning grand slam, during the Red Sox's 10-8 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

The grand slam was nice.

What Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis really wanted to talk about was his batting eye against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.

"Personally, weirdly, I was more excited about the two walks," he said after Boston beat the Blue Jays 10-8 in the series opener. "I mean, I know I have power. I know I can hit. But growing and becoming a better hitter is what I'm trying to do. So that's a good sign."

Chavis hit his first career grand slam — and, yes, walked twice — Xander Bogaerts had three hits and Andrew Benintendi drove in three runs as Boston batted around twice in the first three innings, scoring five runs each time.

WATCH | Red Sox take series opener:

The Boston Red Sox came out hot to start the game and never looked back, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 10-8. 1:43

Rick Porcello (7-7) gave four runs back through three before settling in, allowing eight hits in all while striking out two in six innings.

"It didn't look pretty in the beginning," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "But after that, he figured some things out."

The Blue Jays scored four in the eighth against Ryan Brasier and brought the tying run to the plate before Matt Barnes got Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on a fly ball to center to end the inning. Brandon Workman pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Red Sox's Michael Chavis, front centre, celebrates hitting a grand slam with teammates Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, back center, and J.D. Martinez, right. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

Boston batted around for five runs in the first inning against starter Trent Thornton (3-7) and then sent 10 batters to the plate in the third, scoring five more.

Four of the first five batters reached safely against Thornton before Chavis hit a 3-2 pitch 421 feet over the Green Monster in left-center to make it 5-0. It was his 16th homer.

Toronto's Billy McKinney, left, and Eric Sogard celebrate after scoring on a two-run double by Freddy Galvis during the eighth inning. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

Toronto scored two in the second on Billy McKinney's homer and two more in the third to make it a one-run game. But Rafael Devers hit a two-run single, Bogaerts added an RBI base hit and Benintendi drove them both in with a double off the Monster down the line.

Thornton, who threw six shutout innings in his previous start, allowed five runs on five hits and three walks while getting just four outs for Toronto, which has lost six of eight.

Sam Gaviglio, right, talks to Danny Jansen after relieving Jays' starting pitcher Trent Thornton, unseen, in the second inning. Thornton allowed five run after one-and-one-third innings. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

After Brasier got Randal Grichuk to ground out to start the eighth, Justin Smoak hit a ground-rule double over the Toronto bullpen, Danny Jansen singled in one run and McKinney singled him to third. Brandon Drury hit a sacrifice fly, and then Eric Sogard had his third hit of the game, a bunt single.

Devers tried to catch McKinney rounding second, but hit the runner in the spikes, and the ball rolled into centre field. Matt Barnes relieved Brasier and gave up an RBI single to Freddy Galvis that made it 10-8 before Gurriel flied out to end the inning.

Toronto catcher Danny Jansen, right, tags out Michael Chavis of the Red Sox at home plate during the sixth inning. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

Devers had another error at third base, on Drury's grounder in the second, throwing the ball over the first baseman's head and into the dugout. But he made up for it in the fifth, when he slid to stop Gurriel's sharp grounder with his backhand and the ball popped into the air.

He waited for it to come down, barehanded it and threw to first just in time to get the runner.

"It was just a reaction," Devers said through a translator. "Obviously I'm not going to say that's what I planned on doing. I wasn't trying to be flashy or anything."

Thornton was facing the Red Sox for the third time this season. The rookie limited Boston to two runs in 6 1/3 innings on June 21, then gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 on July 2.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.