Hits first homer, still hasn't struck out

Goins had 11 at-bats this season heading into Thursday's tilt against the Red Sox.

"I didn't try to do too much, I just tried to throw strikes", Liriano said through a translator. "But today, I felt like myself". Steve Pearce drove Martin in with a single. But Devon Travis popped out to shortstop to end the game.

Where does that stand in Red Sox history? Porcello allowed just the three unearned runs over seven innings, but the Jays bullpen picked up where Liriano left off for a 3-0 win. Troy Tulowitzki reached on an infield single and moved to third on a Smoak double that scored Morales.

"We're trying to get runs, period", Gibbons said prior to the game. "Whether it's first inning or the seventh inning, at any given point we can take off and I think that's the beauty of our offense".

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (0-1, 3.50) pitched seven shutout innings against Baltimore in his last start. Morales has had the normal struggles against the ace, hitting just.200/.231/.480 over 26 plate appearances, but he does have two home runs, which is of some comfort.

"Some balls found holes early and then they capitalized on some bad pitches later on", Stroman said. I had the defence play really well behind me and, like usual, just trusted Russell (Martin).

First off, he bounced back from a miserable start.

He made one start in the majors last season but spent two months of the season sidelined while dealing with anxiety.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale is congratulated in dugout during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday April 20, 2017.

Bringing that 1-2 punch in to finish the job was the plan regardless, manager John Gibbons said earlier it the day. "This is not how we envisioned it going, but at the end of day it's early. Teams go through this". After that, though, Leon struck out (his second of the night, to go with that big double play) and Dustin Pedroia hit a ground ball that bounced off the mound and over to the first baseman for the out. OF Jackie Bradley Jr. Johnson went 4.1 innings, giving up three hits and four runs, walking four and striking out three. Star third baseman Josh Donaldson is on the disabled list with a calf injury and starters Aaron Sanchez (finger) and J.A. Happ (elbow) are also on the DL.

But while those players and a few others were close to Betts in swing-rate stats, none could approach his production of 135 wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created Plus, which takes Runs Created and adjusts for ballpark and era; 100 is average, so 135 is 35% above league average). RHP Danny Barnes was recalled from Triple-A.

On the bright side, no one was injured in the game. On Monday, he had an MRI that revealed no structural damage. They're also 1-7 in their last eight divisional games, have dropped 12 of their last 14 games versus a right-handed starter, and are 0-6 in their last six games when their opponent allows five runs or more in its previous contest. The 28-year-old Graterol had been designated for assignment on Friday to make room for utilityman Chris Coughlin on the 40-man roster. Rick Porcello, 1-2, took the loss for Boston. The reigning AL Cy Young victor pitched seven innings and gave up six hits for three runs with five strikeouts.

That's high praise from a guy whose own starts were must-see attractions at Fenway Park, but Sale's first four outings for Boston have been nothing short of Pedro-esque.

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