Toronto at Boston

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Johnson, Blue Jays continue to puzzle Red Sox

CBS wire reports

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox admit they can't figure out Reed Johnson. They have not solved Ted Lilly, either.

Johnson had a pinch-hit grand slam and six RBI, and Lilly pitched seven solid innings, helping Toronto improve to 7-2 against Boston this season with a 15-2 victory Friday night.

Lilly (6-8) is 2-0 against the Red Sox this year with a 1.53 ERA, well below his season mark of 5.89. Johnson is 9-for-21 with three homers, 12 RBI and seven runs in nine games. He has just six homers and 33 RBI in all his games.

"It doesn't matter at this point what we throw Reed Johnson. He's one step ahead of us," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "He hits everything we throw."

Lilly struggled much of the season but has improved recently with three wins in his last four starts. Two of his last four victories have been against the Red Sox.

"I just happened to throw some pretty decent games when my start came up against the Red Sox," he said. "I don't think that it has anything in particular to do with that particular lineup because, obviously, they have a pretty potent lineup."

So do the Blue Jays -- for the last two games anyway. The victory came one game after the Blue Jays had matched their season high for runs in a 12-3 win at Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The 15 runs were the most against the Red Sox this year.

Matt Clement (9-2) allowed eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. He was charged with the last three after he left the game with the bases loaded, and Mike Myers gave up Johnson's first career grand slam, making it 9-1 in the sixth.

"We had Lilly on the ropes a little bit," Clement said. "The difference is he made big pitches when he had to. I wasn't able to finish the inning off when I needed to."

Lilly retired Manny Ramirez on an inning-ending flyout with the bases loaded in the third. In the fifth, after Johnny Damon's fourth homer of the season cut the lead to 4-1, Lilly gave up two singles before getting Ramirez on a double-play grounder and Jason Varitek on a flyout.

"I haven't been getting away with too many mistakes and I think I did a little bit tonight," Lilly said. "I made a couple of good pitches when I did get into some jams."

The win moved the Blue Jays into third place in the AL East, one game ahead of the New York Yankees, who lost to Detroit 10-2.

"We're in a good position now, but everyone knows there's a long way to go," Johnson said.

Boston still leads the AL East by 2½ games over Baltimore.

Clement had two bad innings, allowing four runs in the third and another four in Toronto's five-run sixth.

After Myers allowed Johnson's homer, Boston's season-long bullpen woes worsened in the seventh when Matt Mantei walked the bases loaded, gave up a two-run double to Eric Hinske and walked Alex Rios to reload the bases.

John Halama came in and allowed a two-run double to Russ Adams and a two-run single to Johnson, who played left field after hitting for Frank Catalanatto.

Clement struck out four in the first two innings, then gave up hits to the first four batters in the third -- singles by Rios and Orlando Hudson, an RBI single by Adams and a two-run double by Catalanatto. Aaron Hill added a run-scoring single.

"They're a better team than they were before," Francona said, "and they've played good against us."


  • Johnson's pinch grand slam was the third in Blue Jays history. Jesse Barfield hit one against Tom Burgmeier of Boston on April 24, 1982, and Tony Fernandez did it against Lilly, then with the Yankees, on Sept. 4, 2001.
  • Vernon Wells' eight-game hitting streak ended.
  • Damon extended his hitting streak to 17 games, one less than his season and career highs.
  • Francona said no decision has been made on whether Curt Schilling 's rehabilitation start Monday at Triple-A Pawtucket will be his last. He went on the disabled list April 29 with an ankle injury and made his first rehab start Wednesday.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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After his slam, Reed Johnson meets Russ Adams, Eric Hinske and Orlando Hudson at home.  (AP)
After his slam, Reed Johnson meets Russ Adams, Eric Hinske and Orlando Hudson at home. (AP)

Players of the Game

T. Lilly
IP 6.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 3

R. Johnson
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Toronto Blue Jays
Russ Adams, SS6334010 .250
Frank Catalanotto, LF3112010 .289
   a- Reed Johnson, PH-LF^CF3126000 .263
Vernon Wells, CF5000002 .263
    Gabe Gross, LF1000010 .192
Shea Hillenbrand, 3B3110201 .303
    Frank Menechino, 3B0000000 .213
Aaron Hill, DH4111113 .356
Gregg Zaun, C2110211 .271
   b- Ken Huckaby, PH-C1010000 .140
Eric Hinske, 1B4212113 .241
Alex Rios, RF4210113 .285
Orlando Hudson, 2B4310114 .245
a-homered for Catalanotto in the 6th
b-singled for Zaun in the 8th
2B - Russ Adams (13, Halama), Frank Catalanotto (10, Clement), Shea Hillenbrand (18, Clement), Eric Hinske (14, Mantei)
HR - Reed Johnson (6, Myers)
RBI - Russ Adams 4 (37), Frank Catalanotto 2 (16), Reed Johnson 6 (33), Aaron Hill (23), Eric Hinske 2 (35)
2-OUT RBI - Russ Adams (9), Reed Johnson 4 (14), Aaron Hill (11)
Team LOB - 6
DP - R. Adams-Hudson-Hinske, Hillenbrand-Hudson-Hinske
E - Russ Adams (14, Wild throw)
Toronto Blue Jays
Ted Lilly (W,6-8) 6711231 5.89
Vinnie Chulk 1000000 3.89
Scott Schoeneweis 1000000 5.18
Jason Frasor 1211020 2.88
WP - Jason Frasor (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 100-69, Vinnie Chulk 11-7, Scott Schoeneweis 16-9, Jason Frasor 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 7-7, Vinnie Chulk 1-2, Scott Schoeneweis 2-1, Jason Frasor 1-0
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 26, Vinnie Chulk 3, Scott Schoeneweis 3, Jason Frasor 5
Boston Red Sox
Johnny Damon, CF3121000 .342
   a- Trot Nixon, PH-RF2000011 .295
Edgar Renteria, SS3010002 .272
   b- Ramon Vazquez, PH-SS1000000 .197
Doug Mirabelli, DH-C3010100 .255
Manny Ramirez, LF3000004 .273
    John Olerud, 1B1000000 .395
Jason Varitek, C2000101 .308
   c- Kevin Youkilis, PH1000000 .283
Kevin Millar, 1B-LF4110011 .273
Jay Payton, RF-CF4020012 .269
Bill Mueller, 3B4010014 .286
Mark Bellhorn, 2B4011013 .234
a-lined out for Damon in the 7th
b-grounded out for Renteria in the 7th
c-grounded out for Halama in the 8th
HR - Johnny Damon (4, Lilly)
RBI - Johnny Damon (42), Mark Bellhorn (27)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Bellhorn (8)
Team LOB - 8
Boston Red Sox
Matt Clement (L,9-2) 5.2888360 3.82
Mike Myers0111001 2.76
Matt Mantei 0.1155400 6.49
John Halama 2311100 5.75
Alan Embree 1000020 7.83
WP - Matt Clement (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Clement 118-72, Mike Myers 7-4, Matt Mantei 32-13, John Halama 29-19, Alan Embree 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Clement 6-5, John Halama 5-1
Batters Faced - Matt Clement 28, Mike Myers 1, Matt Mantei 6, John Halama 10, Alan Embree 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35302
Game Time - 3:27
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Angel A. Hernandez, First Base - Larry Poncino, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Chris Guccione