Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez replaced by Brian Johnson after being placed on paternity leave
A big congratulations to Eduardo Rodriguez as he welcomed his second child into the world on Easter Sunday. The Red Sox placed Rodriguez on paternity leave granting Brian Johnson the opportunity to step in for a spot start in Toronto. Johnson made his second start of his career against the Jays. His first career start came back in 2015 where he allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings while also picking up the loss. Tonight’s performance was huge for the boys in red as Johnson picked up his 1st career MLB victory.
Johnson went 5 innings allowing four runs on 7 hits while also walking three and striking out six. His curve ball was making people look silly all night especially Jose Bautista who was one of the many strike out victims. Fans in left field could feel the wind after those big rips with nothing to show for it. His only two real blemishes were the solo home runs he gave up. Run support certainly helped the cause as Johnson was given three runs in both the third and fifth inning. Gotta feel for Chris Sale since he definitely doesn’t get enough.
The Sox pen came in to shut it down bringing in Heath Hembree for 2 innings allowing two hits while also striking out one and walking one. Fernando Abad came in for 2/3rds in the 8th before handing the ball off to Matt Barnes to close out the game giving the Jays their 11th loss of the season. It wasn’t completely pretty in the 9th as Barnes gave up three runs in closing it out. The Jays fall to 2 – 11 further cementing their spot in the basement of the AL East. The Red Sox improve now to 9 – 5 winning their 4th in a row. The Sox were down early in the first 2 – 0 in the bottom of the first but came roaring back with three runs in the top half of the third inning. Mitch Moreland continued his offensive onslaught with a two-run single in the 3rd and giving him three RBI’s in two of the last three games. Marcus Stroman got chased after only going 4 2/3 innings tonight.
While the Sox bats never seemed to miss tonight, it was Johnson who really took the show away. Mookie Betts finally hit his first home run but after this one, seeing someone step up and get 5 big innings, strike out six and get the win just isn’t something your teammates will soon forget. No, it wasn’t the prettiest performance but BJ stepped up. Just remember, it could have been worse, Clay Buchholz could have been pitching still. Yes, that name still brings shivers, yikes. After a little time with family, E Rod will return to face the Orioles on April 23rd in Baltimore.