Final: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1
The Red Sox got seven quality innings from a well-rested Clay Buchholz to extend their winning streak to seven games after tonight's 5-1 victory over the Blue Jays before a Rogers Centre crowd of 28,588.
Jonathan Papelbon, who recorded his 200th career save in Tuesday's 6-4 victory over the Yankees in New York, clinched it by retiring the Blue Jays in 1-2-3 fashion.
Top of ninth: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1
With one out and two men aboard, Adrian Gonzalez sent Shawn Camp from the game when he hit an RBI ground-rule double to left, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury to tack on an insurance run. Frankie Francisco entered the game in relief of Camp, who rolled his right ankle fielding a hard chopper by Pedroia. After striking out Youkilis (who thought he had been hit by a pitch) , Francisco intentionally walked David Ortiz to face Jed Lowrie, who left the bases loaded when he struck out swinging.
Bottom of eighth: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1
After the Sox went down in 1-2-3 fashion in the top of the eighth, Daniel Bard has entered the game in relief of Buchholz, who submitted a quality start. Bard allowed Corey Patterson to reach on a leadoff single to right, but stranded him when he froze Jose Bautista with a nasty slider for a third called strike, fanned Adam Lind on a 97-m.p.h. fastball, and induced Juan Rivera to ground to first.
Bottom of seventh: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1
After the Blue Jays put men on the corners with one out, Aaron Hill reaching on a walk and Rajai Davis on (another) fielding error by shortstop Jed Lowrie, Buchholz struck out pinch-hitter Edwin Encarnacion and got Mike McCoy to hit a broken-bat pop foul to Adrian Gonzalez to get out of the inning. Buchholz through seven innings: 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts. He's thrown 100 pitches, 62 for strikes.
Top of seventh: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1
Dustin Pedroia continues to spark the Sox. His single to center in the seventh inning chased Toronto lefthanded starter Jo-Jo Reyes from the game. Reyes' line: 6.1 innings, 4 runs (all earned), 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts. He threw 101 pitches, 61 for strikes. Luis Perez has relieved Reyes.
Bottom of fifth: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1
An observation about Buchholz: the rest seemed to do him some good after getting his regularly scheduled start pushed back two days to give his aching back as rest. He retired the first eight batters he faced before Jayson Nix reached on an fielding error by shortstop Jed Lowrie in the third. He gave up one run in the fourth (on Juan Rivera's sacrifice fly to center) and, with the tying run on third, fanned J.P. Arencibia to record his fourth strikeout of the game. Through six innings, Buchholz has allowed 1 run on 3 hits while striking out four and allowing one walk. He's thrown 82 pitches, 51 for strikes.
Top of fifth: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1
The Red Sox erupted for two more runs on three hits, with Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis hitting RBI singles that scored Jacoby Ellsbury (single to right) and Dustin Pedroia (walk), respectively. It gave Gonzalez 56 RBI and 87 hits for the season, giving him the Major League lead in both categories. It also marked Gonzalez's seventh consecutive game with an RBI (nine total), giving him a career-long RBI streak. As much as the people here in Toronto are mounting an All-Star voting campaign for Jose Bautista, if Gonzalez isn't voted an All-Star, there ought to be an investigation.
Bottom of fourth: Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1
The Blue Jays put two men in scoring position with no out when Corey Patterson singled to left and Jose Bautista doubled to left off Buchholz. After Buchholz struck out dangerous DH Adam Lind, Juan Rivera hit a sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring Patterson and advancing Bautista to third, where he remained stranded when Buchholz struck out J.P. Arencibia to end the inning.
Top of third inning: Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0
After Jarrod Saltalamacchia singles to right and Jacoby Ellsbury hits a ground-rule double to left, Dustin Pedroia singles on an RBI basehit that scores Saltalamacchia from third and advances Ellsbury to third. Ellsbury scores to make it 2-0 when Adrian Gonzalez hits into a 4-6-3 double play. Youkilis breaks his bat on a line out to third to end the inning.
Top of second inning: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Red Sox put two men on when Kevin Youkilis draws a leadoff walk and, two outs later, Carl Crawford reaches on a fielding error by Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill. The Red Sox, however, stranded both runners when Reyes struck out Mike Cameron (looking).
Bottom of first inning: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
After throwing his first pitch behind the head of leadoff hitter Mike McCoy, Buchholz settles down and retires the first three batters he faces: three up, three down.
Top of first inning: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Reyes retires the Red Sox in order: three up, three down.
Welcome to the Rogers Centre, where the retractable roof has been rolled back and its overcast and a tad chilly. RHP Clay Buchholz (4-3, 3.82 ERA) will go to the mound to help the Red Sox (36-26) extend its six-game winning streak and its 2-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East standings. He'll oppose LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (2-4, 4.16 ERA).
It's almost game time, so we invite you, as always to feel free to post your comments here. Have a great one!