AP Photo/Michael DwyerRED SOX- On Sunday afternoon at Fenway, the Red Sox were hoping to help themselves out by closing out the four game series against Toronto with a victory while hitting the 50-win mark before the calendar turned over to July. After roughing up Wang and smacking around Johnson, the Jays bats came alive for Game 3 on Saturday and they won thanks in part to two homers to Jose Bautista.
Sunday's game would feature Mark Buehrle against Ryan Dempster. The Red Sox got on the board early thanks to a Lavarnaway RBI ground rule double and a two RBI double from Paw Sox callup Brandon Snyder in the bottom of the second. In the top of the 4th, Toronto would get two runs back on an RBI single from Colby Rasmus and an RBI groundout from Maicer Izturus to cut Boston's lead to 3-2. In the bottom of the 5th, the Red Sox once again made it a two run game after Johnny Gomes double brought Jacoby Ellsbury home to make it 4-2.
Dempster was starting to struggle in the top of the 6th, and Craig Breslow came in with the bases loaded for the Jays and only one out. Breslow managed to get Izturus to pop out to short and struck out pinch hitter Emilio Bonifacio to end the Toronto threat. However, in the top of the 7th, Breslow would give up a solo homer to Jose Reyes to make it a 4-3 game.
For the fourth time in five games, Koji Uehara came on in the top of the 9th to close the game out. While he seemingly effortlessly cruised through the Jays lineup the first time around, he struggled mightily on Sunday. After RF Shane Victorino made a spectacular diving catch on a Joes Reyes fly ball towards right, Uehara gave up a solo homer to Bautista to tie the game at 4-4 before getting the next two batters out.
The Red Sox would start off the bottom of the 9th with Jose Iglesias grounding out before Snyder singled to right. Jacoby Ellsbury was walked and Snyder was replaced at second with pinch-runner Jonathan Diaz while Toronto made a pitching change, pulling Juan Perez for Casey Janssen with runners at first and second with only one away. It's also worth noting at this point that Jays 1B Adam Lind left the game earlier with an unspecified ailment and was replaced with AAA Buffalo callup Josh Thole.
The first batter Janssen faced was Shane Victorino who chopped an 0-1 offering to Thole only for the Jays infielder to have it glance off his glove and roll into shallow right field as Diaz sped home for the game-winning RBI. This would be Boston's 7th walk off win of the season and knocks Toronto back to .500 and 8 games out of first place in the AL East. The win is Boston's 50th of the season and good for the best record in the American League [the Red Sox and St Louis Cardinals entered Sunday tied for the second best record in MLB; the Pittsburgh Pirates currently have the best record in all of baseball this season- NANESB].
The Red Sox will next host the San Diego Padres who, despite being two games under .500 are only two and a half games out of first place in the NL West. John Lackey [5-5; 2.99 ERA] will get the start against Padres rookie Robbie Erlin [1-0; 3.60 ERA in the MLB while going 6-2 with a 5.25 ERA for the AAA Tucson Padres in the Pacific Coast League] on Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM and the game will be televised on NESN.
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES- The UCLA Bruins won their first ever college World Series with a two game sweep of the Mississippi State Bulldogs last week.
The Bruins clinched the title in an 8-0 shutout of the Bulldogs while starter Nick Vander Tuig went eight shutout innings allowing five hits and striking out six before closer Eric Berg pitched a scoreless ninth to close out Game 2 of the best of three series.
Vander Tuig had help offensively from outfielder Eric Fillia, who went 2-3 with 5 RBI and 2B Cody Regis who went 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
OTHER COLLEGE BASEBALL NEWS- The Baltimore Orioles selected Vanderbilt Commodores outfielder Mike Yastrzemski in the 14th round of this year's MLB draft. If that name sounds familiar, that's because Yastrzemski is the grandson of Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. The Red Sox selected him in the 36th round of the 2009 MLB draft, but Yastrzemski opted to play college ball with the Commodores, who were ranked #1 overall through much of the NCAA regular season before being swept from the Super Regionals by Louisville.