Game over: Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0
That's a three-game sweep and seven wins in the last nine games for the 11-11 Red Sox, who are alone in third place.
Lester, Bard, and Papelbon combined on a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts. The Sox have tomorrow off then open a three-game series in Baltimore on Friday. The Sox are a solid 6-3 on the road.
Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0
Sox left a runner on when Beltre singled. They now have Van Every in left. Papelbon in to try and finish it off.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 2, Jays 0
Bard allowed a double by Gonzalez then fanned the side. He's really good at that whole fanning the side thing. Papelbon warming up.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0
Lester out, Bard in. Sox trying to secure what would be their seventh win in nine games. A rested Papelbon would be ready for the ninth.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0
Jon Lester just keeps getting better. He retired the side in order, fanning Bautista, getting Wells to foul to Youkilis, and striking out Overbay looking.
That's probably it for him. 7 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts. The last two starts have dropped his ERA from 8.44 to 4.71. He has thrown 119 pitches.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0
I encourage all of you to read my new book once it comes out in November. Darnell McDonald, Hero of the 2010 Red Sox will be a complete look at his life and times.
D-Mac's two-out RBI single drive in Adrian Beltre, who doubled and moved up on a Hermida grounder. McDonald has driven in six runs since he arrived. That's more than Martinez and Ortiz.
Lester back out having tossed 106 pitches.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0
Lester walked McCoy with two outs (curiously, he walked McCoy twice) then came back to strike out Hill looking. That's nine whiffs for the big lefty. He has been outstanding tonight. That's 11.2 consecutive scoreless innings for him.
Cecil out and Casey Janssen in. The Red Sox rocked him on Monday.
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0
The Sox got one but it would have been more. Darnell McDonald doubled to the gap in left and took third on a single by Scutaro. Pedroia delivered a sac fly. Martinez, who has one RBI in the last 13 games, flew to left. Youkilis followed with a double that sent Scutaro to third. But Drew lined short. He hit the ball hard, just right at somebody.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Lester has retired 12 straight since Wells doubled in the second inning. The final out of the inning came when Randy Ruiz (and correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Randy Ruiz the guy who always took a beating from Macho Man Randy Savage?) grounded deep into the hole at shortstop and Scutaro made a throw that he purposely bounced off the turf to Youkilis.
Lester at 79 pitches. He's good for 30 more.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Brett Cecil has been just as good as Lester. He has retired nine straight. Meanwhile, I'm pleased to report that Geddy Lee from Rush is here and sitting right behind the plate. Too bad I don't have my copy of 2112 to have him autograph.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Jon Lester The Beast is back. He has thrown 9.2 consecutive scoreless innings in his last two starts.
Marc Topkin of the St. Pete Times has a great blog post today about Bill Belichick sending Joe Maddon a hooded sweatshirt. MLB, for a time, had been hassling Joe about wearing his on the field.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Sox go in order. So the teams scored 25 runs in nine innings on Monday and have scored three runs in the 12.5 innings since.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Lester isn't messing around. He just dispatched of the Blue Jays on 13 pitches in the third inning. He has been terrific so far.
Middle of the 3d: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Bill Hall scorched a double to right but was stranded as McDonald grounded out, Scutaro fouled to the third, and Pedroia lined to center.
Top of the 3d: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Wells doubled to start the inning but Lester got Overbay to ground to first before striking out Gonzalez and Ruiz.
Bottom of the 2d: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
The Sox got a two-out walk from Varitek but Beltre flew to right. Now Lester back out for the second.
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Scutaro had a single but Pedroia grounded into a force at second before Martinez bounced into his league-leading eighth double play.
Top of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
We're about to get underway here at the Rogers Center before a crowd in the hundreds. Don't go out and bet on it, but I have a good hunch Jon Lester will pitch well tonight. The roof is closed again. Enjoy the game, everybody and feel free to comment.