Maple Leafs Clobber Red Sox to Sweep Home-and-Home

by Ryan Eakin

TORONTO -- Opposite of a nail-bitter.

The Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the Brantford Red Sox 14-0 in convincing fashion on Sunday afternoon to improve to 7-5 on the season.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to a woeful 0-9.

Toronto starter Zach Sloan continued his impressive start to the season, picking up the win in five innings of shutout baseball.

The southpaw struck out three Red Sox while walking just one.

Maple Leafs designated hitter Damon Topolie led the way at the plate, going two-for-five with a home run.

Topolie's seventh-inning home run was his first of the season.

Brantford starter Jared Lupton did not fare well in his IBL debut, taking the loss while allowing eight earned runs, eight hits, and four walks in just two innings of work.

BRANTFORD - 0-8-0

TORONTO - 14-19-0

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: Up 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning, birthday boy Grant Tamane hit a double to right field to give the home side a 4-0 lead.

The game never felt as though it was in danger from that point onward, to say the least.

DID YOU SEE THAT? Not to be outdone by his manager, Maple Leafs catcher Justin Marra also hit his first home run of the season with a blast to right field in the eighth inning.

It was a long time coming for the Leafs catcher, who led the league in home runs a season ago with 13.

BY THE NUMBERS...

0. Zero errors for the Leafs after making six on Friday.

2. Two shutout innings for reliever Dylan Jacober in his Christie Pits debut, who looks as though he'll be an important reliever for the Leafs the rest of the way.

2. The Leafs picked up their second shut out of the season on Sunday, both, oddly enough, coming at Christie Pits.

3. Three more walks for Jordan Castaldo, who has now walked seven times in the last two games. The first basemen has walked a league-high 20 times this season.

4. The Leafs are now on a four-game winning streak.

9. The Leafs walked nine times on Sunday after walking 11 times on Friday against these very same Red Sox. The Leafs have walked a league-best 67 times -- 13 higher than the second-place Welland Jackfish in that category. 

9. All nine batters in the Leafs lineup recorded at least one hit on Sunday, led by centre fielder Greg Carrington, who recorded four.

25. The Leafs scored 25 runs in their home-and-home series with the Red Sox. Brantford has now allowed 78 runs in 77 innings this season.

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM...

Leafs manager Damon Topolie on his home run: "It was a good feeling," said Topolie with a smile. It just took a little longer than I thought it would. I'm getting older and things are not getting any easier."

Carrington on Topolie and Marra hitting home runs: "It was great to see 'Tops' hit his home run. He is closing in on 800 hits, so we are all rooting for that. And for Justin, it was great to see him get the monkey off his back. It's going to be an avalanche from here on out for him."

Topolie on his offence exploding for another night: "We just needed to hit our stride. We needed a few games under our belt. I like the approach that we took today."

Carrington on the Leafs offence: "It was a blast today. All the guys were just chomping at the bit to come up to the plate. Even when we failed, we were failing successfully by hitting balls hard and putting balls in play."

Carrington on all the college players who have stepped up for the Leafs this season, highlighted by Aidan Mcaskie, who hit his second home run of the season on Sunday: "Those kids are really good ball players and have been throughout the whole summer. When they go back to school, I expect a lot of success from those guys."

Carrington on Sloan's outing: "Sloan and I came to the team together in the same year and ever since I have known him, he competes. Every time he comes out here he is ready to go. Every start and every time in relief, he's been a workhorse for us. I love watching Sloan pitch from centre field."

LOOKING AHEAD...

The Leafs host the Kitchener Panthers on Wednesday for their second night game of the season. They then head to Kitchener on Thursday to battle the very same Panthers.

Photo: Craig Aikin 

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