Make that nine wins in a row for the Blue Jays, who put together a huge comeback in a 13-10 victory over the Red Sox last night at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox jumped all over Drew Hutchison early, so they had an 8-1 lead in the third inning, but the Blue Jays scored three runs off Joe Kelly in the fifth inning before this happened in the seventh. Warning: This image contains graphic material that some may find offensive:
Yikes. The first nine hitters all reached base in the seventh and all of them eventually came around to score. The big blow was a go-ahead bases-clearing triple off the bat of Russell Martin, but Justin Smoak followed with a two-run home run.
The Red Sox threatened in the eighth and ninth, but the Blue Jays hung on and Brett Cecil got his first save since May 4. Not only was it Cecil’s first save since May 4, but it was Toronto’s first, as well. That means the team went 34 games without a save. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, that’s the longest streak since the Orioles went 36 games without a save in 2002.
With nine straight wins, the Blue Jays sit at 32-30 on the year, just two games back of the Yankees in the American League East. As for the Red Sox, the ugliness continues. They have lost four straight to fall to 27-35. Only the Athletics have a worse record in the American League.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Reds 5, Cubs 4 (11 innings)
Yankees 3, Orioles 11
Indians 0, Tigers 4
Braves 3, Mets 5
Blue Jays 13, Red Sox 10
Phillies 0, Pirates 1 (13 innings)
White Sox 5, Rays 7
Rockies 1, Marlins 5
Twins 2, Rangers 6
Nationals 4, Brewers 8
Royals 0, Cardinals 4
Mariners 0, Astros 10
Dodgers 4, Padres 3
Athletics 4, Angels 5
Diamondbacks 1, Giants 0
Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.
It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.
The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.
In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.
Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.