A rebuilding season hit a new low in the sixth inning, as Yoan Moncada kneed Willy Garcia’s head on a shallow fly ball. Both exited the game -- Moncada on a cart — and adding insult to injury, the hit happened to be a bases-clearing double that gave the Blue Jays a 6-0 lead.
Fortunately, the new low was a trampoline, because this one ended with a second consecutive walk-off victory courtesy of Matt Davidson. This time, Davidson dropped a full-count cutter into center field to cap off a thrilling comeback against Toronto closer Roberto Osuna.
The Sox offense didn’t get on the board until the seventh inning, and innocuously at that. Back-to-back singles were followed by back-to-back productive flyouts to break up Marco Estrada’s shutout, but the Sox still had five runs to cover.
Enter Joe Biagini, whom the Sox hammered for six runs in an inning back on June 16. A month and a half later, they didn’t let up. Leury Garcia led off with a walk, and two batters later, Jose Abreu smacked a double to the left center gap for a second run. A coaching visit didn’t help matters, because Davidson flipped a 2-0 pitch over the right field fence, cutting the Toronto lead to 6-4.
A pitching change didn’t help matters either, because Yolmer Sanchez (Moncada’s replacement) turned on an 0-2 fastball from Ryan Tepera and sent it farther over the wall in right. The back-to-back homers made it a 6-5 game.
The Blue Jays were still in good hands with Osuna, but he couldn’t close the door. Adam Engel beat the throw on a tapper to the left side for one-out infield single, and Leury Garcia was clipped by an up-and-in pitch that survived a review. Tyler Saladino struck out on three pitches, but Abreu picked him up with a bloop single to right center. Engel scored and Garcia took third to set the stage for more Davidson heroics, whether consecutive innings or consecutive games.
Osuna and Davidson alternated balls and strikes for a full count, but everything had been away, just like it was to the other Sox’ righties in the ninth inning. Engel singled on a pitch off the plate, Abreu singled on a pitch off the plate, and so did Davidson to end the game.
*Another reflection of the Sox’ flipped fortunes: On another shallow fly down the right field line in the ninth inning, the ball popped out of Abreu’s mitt on his over-the-shoulder attempt ... and right into Alen Hanson’s glove for the rare 3-9 putout.
*Engel survived an ugly collision himself, as the fence interrupted his all-out attempt to flag down Josh Donaldson’s deep flyball. Herm Schneider came out to center field with smelling salts, but Engel stayed in the game.
*James Shields gave up three homers on the evening, but would have thrown a quality start had the ball not rolled out of Garcia’s glove after the collision, which is about all Rick Renteria can hope for at this juncture.
*Brad Goldberg threw two scoreless innings to keep the game within reach, and Chris Beck picked up the win with a scoreless ninth.
Record: 41-62 | Box score