Bye-bye, Buffalo: Blue Jays lose, shut NY tenure

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — For town of Buffalo, it was enjoyable whereas it lasted.

After not internet hosting a Main League Baseball sport since its days as a Federal League outpost in 1915, Buffalo made essentially the most of its alternative, internet hosting the Toronto Blue Jays over two seasons due to coronavirus considerations.

All of it ended Wednesday night time, as J.D. Martinez and Hunter Renfroe related back-to-back to assist the Boston Red Sox win a house run derby, beating Toronto 7-4 within the closing MLB sport to be performed within the metropolis for the foreseeable future.

In the midst of the third inning, Toronto gamers and coaches got here out of the dugout to salute the followers at Sahlen Discipline.

In the long run, there was no mistaking the finality of the Blue Jays’ tenure alongside Lake Erie as Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Certain” performed on the stadium’s sound system simply after Boston completed its on-field celebration.

The Blue Jays will return to Toronto on July 30 after the Canadian authorities granted them an exemption to the U.S.-Canada journey ban. The Blue Jays have not performed at Rogers Centre since 2019 due to coronavirus protocols. They started the season enjoying dwelling video games of their spring coaching ballpark in Dunedin, Florida, earlier than shifting as much as Buffalo when the extra dependable summer time climate rolled in.

“It has been a superb journey right here,” Blue Jays supervisor Charlie Montoyo stated. “We’re by no means going to neglect that this was the place the place we clinched the playoffs final 12 months. The crowds have been nice. It was an awesome concept by our crew [to thank the fans].”

Although there have been many nights, particularly in opposition to the Purple Sox and New York Yankees this 12 months, the place the Blue Jays may need appeared just like the street group in Buffalo, contemplating the quantity of followers each of these golf equipment delivered to the stands.

Wednesday was no completely different. Purple Sox Nation was loud and proud within the stands, as Enrique Hernandez, Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis additionally related for Boston. And this was after the Purple Sox went deep six instances in Monday’s 13-4 win over Toronto.

It was the primary time the Purple Sox hit at the very least 5 homers in consecutive video games in opposition to one opponent since doing it to the Yankees in June 1977.

“We did a tremendous job, coming right here in opposition to a tricky group,” stated Boston supervisor Alex Cora, whose membership scored simply six runs in three video games in New York in opposition to the Yankees earlier than sweeping Toronto. “We ended up 3-2 on this street journey, so it was a optimistic one for the way unhealthy it supposedly seemed over the weekend.”

Hernandez, who has 9 homers in his previous 25 video games after being held with out one in 23 earlier video games, cannot clarify the turnaround.

“I haven’t got a secret,” Hernandez stated. “I am simply making an attempt to get good at-bats, make good selections on the pitches that I wish to swing at. And it is going effectively for me proper now. I am simply going to try to do my job.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his thirty second homer for Toronto. George Springer added a two-run shot within the sixth, and Teoscar Hernandez adopted with a homer for Toronto, which completed its residency in Buffalo with a 12-11 report this season.

Together with video games performed on the dwelling of their Triple-A group in Florida, the Blue Jays ended with a 29-20 mark as a house group enjoying in the USA. Their sport in opposition to Boston on Tuesday night time was rained out.

Earlier than the sport, Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro offered a test for $25,000 to the Buffalo Bisons Charitable Basis in thanks for the help offered by Toronto’s prime minor league affiliate.

Buffalo followers returned the favor, as crowds in extra of 10,000 turned out for six of Toronto’s final eight dwelling video games, with Wednesday’s attendance of 14,607 topping the ledger.

Hernandez hit a two-run shot within the third inning, and Devers and Chavis hit leadoff drives within the fourth and fifth innings. Martinez and Renfroe related within the eighth as Boston raised its American League-leading street report to 30-19.

Garrett Richards (6-5) allowed 4 hits in 5 2/3 innings and received a second straight begin for the primary time since mid-Could. He struck out 4.

Garrett Whitlock pitched 1 1/3 innings, and Adam Ottavino labored the eighth. Matt Barnes pitched an ideal ninth for his twentieth save.

“We pitched effectively the entire street journey,” Cora stated. “The bullpen was wonderful. [Richards] was pounding the strike zone, altering speeds, utilizing each side of the plate. We liked what we noticed.”

Robbie Ray (8-5) allowed the primary three Boston homers and struck out 4 over 5 innings within the loss, his shortest outing since a 4 2/3-inning stint on June 18 at Baltimore.

Toronto’s Danny Jansen left the sport after his seventh-inning double, pulling up after rounding first with hamstring tightness. On the hit, Boston’s Danny Santana stumbled in left area after making an attempt to succeed in for the ball and left the sport with proper groin tightness.

The Related Press contributed to this report.