Blue Jays squeak out just enough offence for rare win

BOSTON – If the Blue Jays bats were booming the way they have in the past, they might have been in for some Fenway fun here on Saturday night.

Instead, it was another grinding sequence of frustration at the plate with just enough offence to squeak out a 2-1 victory over the Red Sox.

A team that was explosive at the plate in 2019 needed a slow-rolling grounder by Rowdy Tellez to propel Lourdes Gurriel Jr. home from third with the winning run in the eighth. The Jays needed the run and a win in a bad way, however, getting through an at-times messy evening to improve to 5-7 on the season.

Manager Charlie Montoyo’s team has found numerous ways to mute offensively through the first dozen games of the season, but Saturday’s seventh might have typified those struggles.

After a leadoff infield single by Randal Grichuk, Tellez hit a blast deep to right field that was run down by former Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar, who hit the wall hard but hung on to record the out.

A few feet further it would have been a two-run homer. A few inches more and good chance it was.a run-scoring double. After Danny Jansen walked, Cavan Biggio hit one to the warning track in centre some 415 feet away. Almost anywhere else in Fenway and it was out of the park.

After losing five of their previous six and with frustration and sloppiness creeping into their play, the Jays needed a win any way they could get it.. Chase Anderson, making his first appearance as a Jays, got three solid innings in as the starter, allowing a couple walks, a hit and one run.

The Jays bullpen was its effective self from there, led by 3.1 shutout innings from Anthony Kay, who allowed a couple hits but lowered his ERA to 1.13. A powerful 1-2-3 eighth from Canadian reliever Jordan Romano was also impressive, setting up closer Anthony Bass who did the same in the ninth to earn the save.

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