After coming up empty with a chance to tie it in the ninth inning last night, Victor Martinez was ready to come up big tonight. The only problem was that there was no one on base.
Ryan Kalish singled to bring Martinez to the plate, but before he could blink Kevin Gregg caught him napping with a pickoff move. With the bases clear, Martinez, launched one deep to the Granite City sign on the Monster. In a scene from a Stooges movie, Fred lewis and Vernon Wells crashed into each other and Martinez raced to third.
He'd be stranded there.
Adrian Beltre grounded to short to end the game, and the Red Sox fell 4-3, falling to the Jays for the second straight night. Josh Beckett threw seven inning, giving up four runs on 11 hits. He ran his pitch count up to 111 (69 strikes).
The Sox threatened (11 hits) but the offense couldn't cash in. Meanwhile, Jose Bautista inched closed to becoming the 26th player in baseball history to post a 50-homer season, banging a 1-1 pitch over the Wall in the first inning to put him at 49 for the year.
As far as post-game reaction, Josh Beckett was a goldmine.
On the Jose Molina's sixth inning bunt that scored John McDonald from first: The ballís going foul and it kind of gets in the lines, a little bit of a divot, so yeah itís a tough play. Salty didnít know what to do. I didnít know what to do. I certainly thought the ball was going to go foul. I think Salty thought the same thing. Then, it stays fair.
Itís not a situation that comes up very often, but nobody but me has to have the plate. Thatís got to be my play. Saltyís running after the ball, Iíve got to figure out what Iím supposed to do there, not sit there with my thumb in my [butt] and follow Salty. We donít need two people fielding the ball. I need to figure out what Iím supposed to do there.
On his own physical condition after as a difficult season closes: Itís tough to tell. Itís up, down, whatever. Everybody in this clubhouse is grinding it out, and weíre trying to win games. Nobodyís really running and hiding right now. As far as the people who are ahead of us, weíve just got to try to figure out a way to win some games. Like I said, the limited damage I gave up was just too much.
On Jose Bautista's 49th home run, a bomb over the Wall in the first inning: Heís hitting .260 -- .270 probably after tonight. Yeah, thereís ways to pitch to him. Have I figured it out? No. And thereís some other guys that havenít figured it out either. But thereís ways to pitch to him. Itís not like heís hitting .400. Ted Williams is still the last guy to do that.
That's all I've got tonight good people. Next time.
End of the 8th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3
The Jays went down in order and the Sox left Jed Lowrie stranded on first.
Bottom of the 7th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3
The chance was there. The Sox had runners on first and second with two outs and David Ortiz at the plate. He ripped hard at a 2-0 pitch but came up empty. He laid off a pitch outside for strike two, a call he didn't particularly agree with. He took another pitch outside to run the count full. Then, with the Fenway fans charged, Ortiz swung and missed a fastball. Inning over.
Top of the 7th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 1
Jose Bautista got doubled up on a fly ball and didn't seem to notice until he was at third base. He took off on a Vernon Wells fly ball to right and never looked back. Drew had all the time in the world to throw to first for the inning-ending double play.
Bottom of the 6th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3
The Sox get both runs back on some equally ugly play by the Jays. Adrian Beltre doubled to lead it off, and David Ortiz walked, then a Romero wild pitch moved them both up a bag. Jed Lowrie drove Beltre in on a groundball to third. Then a well-rested JD Drew shot a grounder up the middle. John McDonald slid to get to it, but rushed the throw, bouncing it by Lyle Overbay at first. Ortiz scooted home to close it back to a one-run game.
Top of the 6th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 1
The Jays took advantage of a couple of ugly plays. Adam Lind, who led the inning off with a double, scored when Adrian Beltre misfired on the throw to first on a John McDonald grounder. McDonald scored from first on an bunt that hugged the line, puzzling Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Bottom of the 5th: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox
Three up, three down as the Sox offense struggles. No hits since the second. JD Drew's walk gave them their only base runner.
Top of the 5th: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 1
Beckett throws a clean fifth inning, getting some help when Vernon Wells grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Bottom of the 4th: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 1
All quiet. Romero, who's had his struggles against the Sox, is pitching well. Just
three four hits* allowed, all in the second inning.
(*Darnell McDonald was just awarded a hit on the first inning play that was originally an E5)
Top of the 4th: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 1
Tough luck for Adam Lind. He smoked a 2-2 pitch to the triangle. It would have been a homer in most ballparks and at the very least it would have scored Lyle Overbay from first, but instead it bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.
It looked like Boston's luck was tougher when Adrian Beltre seemed to tweak the wrist on his glove hand diving for a John McDonald ground ball. Sox manager Terry Francona jogged out of the dugout and trainers took a look, but Beltre stayed on the field. Overbay scored on the play to put the Jays ahead.
Bottom of the 3d: Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 1
A clean inning for Romero, fanning Darnell McDonald then getting Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre to bounce out for a 1-2-3 inning.
Top of the 3d: Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 1
Beckett sits Escobar, Bautista and Wells down in order. Bautista put up a fight, but grounded out to third.
Bottom of the second: Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 1
The Sox hang one up. Adrian Beltre led the inning off with a double and David Ortiz brought him around, shooting a single through an unshifted Jays defense.
Top of the 2d: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0
Fred Lewis turned hard on a Josh Beckett pitch and sent it screaming into the seats by the Red Sox dugout. It hit a female fan, but she didn't appear to be seriously harmed. She left to with field officials, likely to be checked out. Lewis struck out again on a 93 mph fastball to end the inning.
Bottom of the 1st: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0
Despite a throwing error by Bautista, Ricky Romero only needed six pitches to sit the Sox down, getting Victor Martinez to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
Top of the 1st: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0
Josh Beckett started things off by fanning Fred Lewis with a 2-2 fastball, then he caught Yunel Escobar looking a curveball, but when he tried feeding another curve to Jose Bautista on a 1-1 count, Bautista sent it sailing by the Sports Authority sign to give the Jays an early lead.