Papelbon blows another one: Sox lose to the Jays, 6-5

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Jonathan Papelbon doesn’t lead the league in blown saves. But for some reason, it always feels like a bigger deal when he blows one than when someone else does. And he blew another one today, giving Toronto a victory over Boston.

John Lackey was cruising throughout most of the game. He had thrown only around 90 pitches in eight innings, giving up two runs.  Having him come back out for the ninth was a defensible move by Tito. Big series against the Rangers coming up, best to have the pen rested if possible.  Unfortunately, Lackey gave up a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista. That made it 5-3, Sox, so Francona made the call to the pen.

Papelbon: Vernon Wells double and an Adam Lind RBI single, 5-4.  DeWayne Wise pinch runs for Lind and steals second and an Aaron Hill infield single gets him to third. After a strikeout, came the big hit. Check out the video here, because I can’t do it justice.

Ahem. That tied it up, Daniel Bard came in to relieve Paps and a Fred Lewis sacrifice fly later the ballgame was over.

Just an absolutely demoralizing loss for the Sox. One that, should they fall just short of the playoffs this year, will come back to haunt them, I’m sure.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.