SOX LOSE (9:53, END 9, 6-3 JAYS)
The Red Sox suffered their third loss in four games. Tim Wakefield suffered perhaps his worst inning of the season, the offense scored fewer than four runs for the fourth straight game. In defeat, Daniel Bard struck out five of the eight batters he faced, the final five. The Sox allowed the Blue Jays to snap a nine-game losing streak and move to within one game of first place.
ORTIZ 0-FER (9:33, MID 8, 9:33)
League did the job with a 1-2-3 inning. Ortiz popped up to left on the first pitch he saw, sending him toward an 0-for-4 night. Lowell struck out. Kottaras grounded out to first.
Takashi Saito is on, replacing Bard.
5K (9:27, END 7, 6-3 JAYS)
Bard struck out the side, stretching his streak of consecutive strike outs to five. Millar and Overbay were caught looking, and Barajas went down on a helpless half-swing at a 95-mph fastball. Guess bringing Bard in after Wakefield worked out OK.
After 108 pitches, Janssen’s night is over. Brandon League will face Ortiz to lead off the eighth.
K AND K (9:18, MID 7, 6-3 JAYS)
Janssen responded impressively to Drew’s home run. Youkilis struck out chasing a slider in the dirt, and Janssen froze Bay looking at a slider at the knees for strike three. He’s thrown more than 100 pitches. Bard remains in for Boston with Millar coming up.
DREW FLIES SOLO (9:12, TOP 7, 6-3 JAYS)
With one out after Pedroia grounded to second, Drew crushed a line drive home run to center field on a 3-1 pitch from Janssen, his 95th pitch of the night. The blast immediately sprung the Blue Jays’ bullpen to life.
BARD IMPRESSIVE (9:04, END 6, 6-2 JAYS)
Bard got through the inning without allowing a hit. Rios popped to Pedroia in shallow right. Wells walked. Bard blew a pair of fastballs, the second of which was 96 mph, by Lind to strike him out. Rolen struck out on an 80-mph slider outside and low.
NO ANSWER (8:56, MID 6, 6-2 JAYS)
The Red Sox couldn’t muster a response to the Jays’ five-run inning. Lowell grounded to third. Kottaras lined a missile to right, which Rios caught. Lugo pushed a bunt toward short on a 2-1 one pitch, which gave him his second hit of the night to go with a walk. Ellsbury ended the inning with a chopper to second.
ONE UP, ONE DOWN (8:49, END 5, 6-2 JAYS)
Hill popped to right against Bard, ending the inning.
JAYS ADD ON, WAKE DEPARTS (8:47, BOT 5, 6-2)
After five consecutive runners reached base, the Jays lead by four and Wakefield is being replaced by Daniel Bard. Scutaro provided the knockout blow, a double to center. He went to third on Lugo’s relay throw, which couldn’t get Barajas in time at the plate. With two outs and a man on third, Bard will face Hill. Should be interesting to watch Jays batters face Bard’s heat after dealing with Wakefield’s knuckleballs.
JAYS SURGE AHEAD (8:43, BOT 5, 5-2 JAYS)
Overbay drove a double into the right field corner, plating Rolen with the go-ahead run. With two out and two men in scoring position, Barajas flared a single into left field, where Bay stopped the ball with a dive on a bounce. There’s some action in the Sox’ pen with Scutaro batting.
ROLEN THUNDER (8:40, BOT 5, 2-2)
The Blue Jays tied the game with another RBI double from Rolen. Rios led off by being hit by a pitch, and he was replaced on the bases when Wells hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. Lind moved Wells to third with a grounder to second. Rolen sent him home with a double off the base of the left field fence. Millar walked, and Overbay is batting with two out.
NOTHING DOING (8:31, MID 5, 2-1 SOX)
Drew dribbled a ball toward short, and Janssen made the play. Youkilis flied to right. Bay doubled to left. Ortiz sent a high fly ball to Wells in center.
WAKE IT EASY (8:24, END 4, 2-1 SOX)
Wakefield didn’t allow a runner into scoring position in an inning for the first time. Overbay grounded to Youkilis, who flipped to Wakefield. Barajas struck out for the second time, on three pitches. Scutaro flared a single to right, which dropped right in front of Drew. But Hill struck out to end the inning, Wakefield’s easiest yet.
SOX GRAB LEAD (8:16, MID 4, 2-1 SOX)
Ellsbury’s scalding bat gave the Sox the lead back. To start the inning, Scutaro robbed Lowell of a single when he made a spinning throw after fielding Lowell’s grounder up the middle. Kottaras doubled into the rightfield corner. Lugo walked, putting two men on for Ellsbury. He stayed hot by ripping a single to center, scoring Kottaras. Pedroia came up with two men on and one out. He hit a chopper to Scutaro’s left, and he turned the ball into another double to end the inning.
NO ESCAPE FOR WAKE (8:03, END 3, 1-1)
Wakefield put more men on base, and this time he finally paid for it. Wells started a two-out rally after Hill and Rios flied out with a sharp single to right. Lind followed with a single that sent Wells to third, and Rolen brought home Toronto’s first run with a line-drive double to left. After a chat with John Farrell, Wakefield faced Millar, who took him deep 10 days ago in Boston. This time, he struck out swinging at a devastating knuckler. Wakefield managed to leave at least two men on base for the third straight inning, but not without damage this time.
MORE BAD LUCK FOR ORTIZ (7:54, MID 3, 1-0 SOX)
Youkilis started the inning with a smashed single to left, the Sox’ sixth hit of the night. But he was erased when Bay followed with a ground ball to short, which Scutaro turned into a 6-4-3 double play. Ortiz just crushed a line drive down the first base line, but Overbay made a lunging, backhanded catch. Ortiz has been awfully bad at times this season. For the moment, he is also luckless.
ANOTHER ESCAPE (7:49, END 2, 1-0 SOX)
The Blue Jays returned the favor by leaving a pair of runners on base. After Rolen led off with a liner to center, Kevin Millar and Lyle Overbay started a potential rally with back-to-back walks. Wakefield struck out Rod Barajas swinging a 64-mph knuckler. With Scutaro batting, the runners moved second and third on a passed ball by George Kottaras, who had made some great blocks in the first with a man on third. Scutaro lined an 0-2 pitch to right, where Drew made the catch and stranded the Blue Jays.
WAKEFIELD ESCAPES (7:29, END 1, 0-0)
The Red Sox didn’t waste their second chance for a double play. Lind sharply grounded to Pedroia, a tailor-made ball for a twin killing. Pedroia flipped to Lugo, who double-clutched but still had time to fire to first to get Lind. Lugo went out of his way running off the field to high five Wakefield and slap Pedroia, whose error led to the jam, on the back.
LOADED FIRST (7:26, BOT 1, 0-0)
Aaron Hill, after several balls off, rolled a slow grounder toward short. Julio Lugo charged, but couldn’t make the play in time. Hill’s infield single gave him a 12-game hitting streak. Rios seemed to give Wakefield a repreive one batter later when he bounced a ball back to Wakefield. He sidearmed the ball to Pedroia covering second, but Pedroia let the ball bounce off his glove and trickle into left center. Vernon Wells, batting with an extreme shift with Pedroia on the left side of the diamond, walked. Bases loaded, one out for Adam Lind.
ORTIZ ALMOST GRAND (7:20, BOT 1, 0-0)
The Red Sox loaded the bases for David Ortiz in the first, giving him a chance to unload some the burden of his slump. Ortiz walloped the first pitch he saw to deep right field. It seemed the ball would leave the yard, but it fell into Alex Rios’s glove on the warning, inches from the fence. Ortiz, even when he gets into one, either can’t buy a break or simply doesn’t have quite enough power, depending on your perspective.
Jacoby Ellsbury blistered the second pitch of the game to the opposite field, but right at shortstop Marco Scutaro, who made the catch. Dustin Pedroia followed with a groundball single up the box. J.D. Drew flied the first ball he saw to right. Kevin Youkilis walked on a 3-2 pitch. Jason Bay reached on an infield hit, a slow roller to third.
Youkilis’s lengthy at-bat notwithstanding, the Sox’ approach seemed to be attacking Casey Janssen early in the count — Ellsbury swung at the second pitch, and Pedroia, Drew, Bay, and Ortiz all swung at the first pitch. (Bay fouled off the first pitch and reached on a 2-2 pitch.)
Also, the roof is closed tonight for Tim Wakefield. He struck out Scutaro to start the bottom half.