Beasts of the East

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

With one month down in the season, the Toronto Blue Jays made sure last night that our first-place Red Sox knew that the AL East is still anyone’s game. The Sox of course lost in a 9-7 slugfest, snapping a 5-game win streak, ending their chances of being the winningest Red Sox team in April.

Division series are always interesting because tension is high and anything can happen. The Jays have been sinking deeper into last place in the division, going 3-7 in the last 10 games before last night’s game. And with the Sox being not only the best team in the division but in the entire league, theoretically last night should have been easy.

The bullpen ultimately lost the game for the Sox. Jon Lester was shaky from the start of the game, and it only went downhill from there. With a three-RBI double in the seventh to put the Sox ahead 7-6, David Ortiz, who had already contributed a solo home run, should have been the hero of the game. Then in came Junichi Tazawa. The Sox weren’t even able to keep the lead for half an inning before Tazawa let up a two-run homer, one of only three he’s allowed in the past two seasons, to Edwin Encarnacion. And the run Joel Hanrahan allowed in the eighth certainly didn’t help matters.

But no team goes gentle into that division series. The Sox came up swinging tonight, scoring their first four runs on home runs alone against Mark Buehrle. They ended with a total of five home runs in the game: A two-run homer from Stephen Drew, two solo shots from Mike Napoli, and one solo shot each for Daniel Nava and Mike Carp.

And in stark contrast to last night, Sox pitching was lights out with Clay Buchholz starting. Alex Wilson followed in the eighth letting up a run, but Clayton Mortensen was able to come in and stop any further damage. The 10-1 win tonight kept Buchholz undefeated.

There’s really no way of telling what will happen tomorrow. Toronto could turn around and give us a taste of what we gave them, or the Sox could show everyone that they have no intention of falling in the AL East like everyone tried to predict they would. But one thing's for sure: the AL East will never be boring this season.

Comment or follow me @_SamMG