BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — For the city of Buffalo, it was fun while it lasted.
After not hosting a Major League Baseball game since its days as a Federal League outpost in 1915, Buffalo made the most of its opportunity, hosting the Toronto Blue Jays over two seasons because of coronavirus concerns.
It all ended Wednesday night, as J.D. Martinez and Hunter Renfroe connected back-to-back to help the Boston Red Sox won a home run derby, beating Toronto 7-4 in the final MLB game to be played in the city for the foreseeable future.
In the middle of the third inning, Toronto players and coaches came out of the dugout to salute the fans at Sahlen Field.
In the end, there was no mistaking the finality of the Blue Jays’ tenure along Lake Erie as Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound” played on the stadium’s sound system just after Boston finished its on-field celebration.
The Blue Jays will return to Toronto on July 30 after the Canadian government granted them an exemption to the U.S.-Canada travel ban. The Blue Jays haven’t played at Rogers Centre since 2019 because of coronavirus protocols.
“It’s been a good ride here,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We’re never going to forget that this was the place where we clinched the playoffs last year. The crowds have been great. It was a great idea by our crew (to thank the fans).”
Kiké Hernández, Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis also connected for Boston, which went deep six times in Monday’s 13-4 win over Toronto. It was the first time the Red Sox hit at least five homers in consecutive games against one opponent since doing it to the Yankees in June 1977.
“We did an amazing job, coming here against a tough team,” said Boston manager Alex Cora, whose club scored just six runs in three games in New York against the Yankees…