Osuna’s blown save sees Blue Jays fall in 19 innings

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BOSTON – The Blue Jays suffered a 19th nervous breakdown on Wednesday morning.

Boston DH Hanley Ramirez hit a bloop single to centre field in the 19th inning (in a game that started Tuesday night) to bring in Mookie Betts from second and defeat the Jays 3-2. It marked the 14th walk off loss for the Jay this season and third in the last five. Betts lead off the inning with a double that went off the Green Monster in left field. Both hits were off Toronto reliever Chris Rowley.

The Red Sox went through 12 pitchers in the game, tying an AL record, and the Jays seven. For Boston, it was their 10th walk off win, the most since 2013. Toronto is now 5-13 in extra inning contests this year.

Toronto closer Roberto Osuna picked up his Major League-leading 10th blown save on Tuesday night, ruining a masterful start by Marco Estrada, who threw seven solid innings, giving up only three hits and no runs. But Boston, trailing 2-0 in the ninth, rebounded with two runs to tie it and force extra innings.

“This is a strong-charactered young man. He’s got 35 saves, he’s going through a little bit of a tough stretch here but this is what this game will do. This game will definitely test your character, your resolve and he’s in that moment and I’m sure he’s going to bounce back,” Jays acting manager DeMarlo Hale said of Osuna. “I definitely have confidence in him. You don’t get 35 saves not being good and he was an all-star.”

“He’s going to be just fine,” added Estrada, when asked about Osuna’s struggles. “The guy’s one of the best closers in the game. He’s just hit a rough patch. We all do. I went through one, I’ve been going through one, so it’s all part of the game. He’ll understand that. He’s young, he’s going to be in this game for a very long time. I think he understands, he’s got a good head on his shoulders. These things happen. It’s hard to take. No matter what, no matter how long you’ve been in this game, it’s hard to take regardless. Maybe I’ll talk to him tomorrow and just make sure he’s okay. I’m sure he’s fine. It’s just hard to take right now. It would have been a little easier to take if we would have pulled it off but these things happen.”

Estrada has allowed just two earned runs in 17.1 innings pitched (1.04 ERA) over three starts against the Red Sox this season. He credited his catcher, Luke Maile, with calling a great game against the Sox.

“I felt really comfortable out there with him,” said Estrada. “I haven’t seen him in a long time and picked off right where he left off so just being comfortable with him, I felt really good out there. I liked the way I was throwing fastballs, locating most of them. Elevated when I needed to. I didn’t really like my change up too much, even though I got some outs on it. If I locate the fastball, everything else will come with it. Just got to keep doing it.”

Hale had praise for his young relief staff who only gave up six hits from the 10th inning on.

“You think about, it’s a two-run game for 19 innings and in this park. There was some pretty good pitching going on from both sides,” Hale said. “The young kids came in and made some very good pitches and kept the game going. I tip my hat to them. But you know collectively when you talk about the team, they did leave some (scoring) opportunities out there, they made some very good plays, we made some good plays as well so it was one of those games you look back and, for me, it’s about the effort these guys put forward for 19 innings. Losing is tough, but the effort I think builds character.”

The Jays took a 1-0 lead in the first when left-fielder Teoscar Hernandez flew out to deep centre to score Kevin Pillar from third. Pillar had doubled. Estrada got out on a bases-loaded jam in the second when he managed to get Jackie Bradley Jr. to ground out to second. DH Kendrys Morales hit his 27th homer of the season to lead off the sixth, over the Green Monster in left, to put Toronto ahead by two.

Darwin Barney had three hits, including a double. Osuna gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth as the Red Sox fought back to tie the game 2-2, taking the win away from Estrada. For some reason, the Jays did not pinch hit for the light-hitting catcher Luke Maile in the ninth with one out and two on. Maile struck out, and struck out in all four at-bats. The Jays had a great chance to take the lead in the 11th when Justin Smoak hit a pop to centre with one out and Jackie Bradley Jr. gunned down Jose Bautista at home plate for the inning-ending double play.

The Jays had runners at second and third in the 17th inning but Boston lefty Fernando Abad struck out Raffy Lopez to end the threat.

The Blue Jays’ 23 strike outs set a franchise record.

Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was ejected in the 18th inning after home plate umpire Marvin Hudson called a strike that Donaldson didn’t like. As he went back into the box, Donaldson obviously said something and was thrown out of the game, but not before he gave it to Hudson. Miguel Montero came in to finish the at-bat and grounded out to second. 

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