Closing Time: Mookie Betts' walkoff single leads Red Sox to come-from-behind win over Blue Jays

Ryan Hannable
April 27, 2015 - 5:33 pm
Monday night's Red Sox game might be a glimpse into what most games will be like for the rest of the season. The Red Sox got an average start from Joe Kelly but were bailed out by their offense, as they rallied to beat the Blue Jays, 6-5. After tying the game at 5 in the eighth inning following deficits of 3-0 and 5-2, the Red Sox capped the rally in the ninth with a walkoff base hit by Mookie Betts. With one out, Xander Bogaerts and Ryan Hanigan singled back-to-back, and moved up a base on a wild pitch. Bogaerts then scored the game-winning run on Betts' hit. "Once again, aided by a couple of wild pitches to advance 90 feet, Mookie with a key base hit late," manager John Farrell said. "There were so many things inside of this game. Bogey [Bogaerts] makes a great play with two outs in the hole on [Devon] Travis when [Alexi] Ogando was on the mound. Two big innings from Ogando. Much more spark from Koji [Uehara] tonight. A number of key contributors here." Toronto scored quickly against Kelly with three first inning runs, and forced the Red Sox right-hander to work hard early on. Despite allowing three first inning runs on 33 pitches, Kelly settled down and made it through six innings. He allowed five runs on five hits while walking three and striking out 10. The 10 strikeouts were a career-high. "The positive is you're not going to find better arm strength, better velocity," Farrell said. "At times he may over throw occasionally and mis-locate such as the 0-2 pitch to [Devon] Travis. It's electric stuff and as he begins to harness it and understand when he's most effective and that is when he's using his secondary pitches as well. He's got big time stuff." Pablo Sandoval paced the Red Sox offense, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs, but was forced from the game in the top of the sixth inning with neck soreness, which likely occurred after making a diving catch on a pop up bunt in the fourth. It was the Red Sox' seventh straight series opening win to begin the year and it's the third time in franchise history it's been done (1917, 2013). SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Betts. He gave the Red Sox their second walkoff win of the year. It was his first career walkoff hit. He finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. It was his fourth multi-hit game of the year. Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox' win: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Sandoval was the catalyst for the Red Sox offense. He lined a two-RBI single in the first and lined a solo homer over the wall in right in the fourth inning. Sandoval finished 2-for-2 and is now batting .388 against right-handers this season. He came into the game fourth in the AL in that category. The third baseman also made a terrific diving catch on a Dalton Pompey pop up bunt in the fourth inning. Unfortunately, he left the game in the top of the sixth inning with neck soreness. "He's just an outstanding fastball hitter," said Farrell. "He can hit pitches in so many different areas. ... Yesterday in Baltimore a couple of really good swings. He's in a comfortable place." -- Dustin Pedroia reached base three times (a walk and two singles) and scored a run. He came into the game hitting .335 in his last 40 games against the Blue Jays. -- Alexi Ugando gave the Red Sox two scoreless innings of relief of Kelly. WHAT WENT WRONG -- Kelly struggled in the first inning as the Blue Jays scored a run with the second batter of the game at the plate. Jose Reyes singled to open the game, stole second and then scored on an RBI single from Devon Travis. The Jays added two more runs and Kelly needed 33 pitches in the frame. -- Daniel Nava went 0-for-4 in the game. He is hitless in his last 12 at-bats. It wasn't a good night for Brock Holt either, as he finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. -- Hanley Ramirez went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but did tie the game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. -- Allen Craig struck out looking in the eighth inning with the go-ahead run at second base.