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Red Sox drop nightcap, fail to take lead in AL East

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Neither a stranger to drama nor afraid of its glare, Curt Schilling saw the opportunity set out in front of him and he welcomed it.

"We're in first place, with five days left in the season. We have a winnable game sitting there; with the chance to be in first place all alone; with me on the mound," he said. "In my mind, that's a lock. And it hasn't been, and I haven't made it. That is probably the most frustrating thing."

After a victory over Toronto in the first game of the doubleheader put Boston in a tie atop the AL East, Schilling twice blew a three-run lead and Russ Adams hit a sacrifice fly to break an eighth-inning tie and help the Blue Jays to a 7-5 victory in the nightcap.

When the Yankees lost 17-9 to the Baltimore Orioles, New York and Boston were left tied with five games remaining.

The Red Sox and Yankees are 92-65, also tied with Cleveland atop the wild-card standings. Tuesday's results guaranteed that the AL East title will be up for grabs when New York comes to Fenway Park for a three-game series this weekend to close the season.

"We'd be kidding ourselves if this weekend wasn't going to determine the outcome of this season," Boston outfielder Johnny Damon said. "It's going to come down to this weekend. It's the master plan. God's way. Yankees-Red Sox. We just need to win some games before that series starts."

Tim Wakefield pitched seven strong innings to give Boston a 3-1 victory in the day game. But with the Fenway fans paying as much attention to the Yankees' game in Baltimore as the one in front of them, the Red Sox ended their four-game winning streak.

"It's fun to make it interesting for the Red Sox-Yankees pennant race," said Aaron Hill, who had two hits, two runs and sacrificed himself twice in the late innings. "We're a big team this week."

Frank Catalanotto had four hits, and Adams had a pair of hits. Jason Frasor (3-5) struck out two in 1 1/3 innings as five relievers combined for 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Miguel Batista recorded two outs for his 31st save in 39 chances, getting David Ortiz on a broken-bat grounder to first for the final out.

Boston led 3-0 and 5-2 before the Blue Jays tied it in the seventh. Chad Bradford (2-1) came in with the bases loaded and struck out Shea Hillenbrand -- his sixth strikeout in a row -- and induced Eric Hinske to ground out to end the inning.

But Gregg Zaun led off the eighth with a walk and Reed Johnson singled, then Hill moved them up with a sacrifice bunt. Red Sox rookie Craig Hansen relieved Bradford and Adams hit a medium fly ball to right that was deep enough to make it 6-5.

Toronto loaded the bases but Damon was able to get to Corey Koskie's long fly ball to center field to end it. The Blue Jays loaded the bases again in the ninth before Hill lofted a fly to right to make it 7-5.

Edgar Renteria had five hits on the day, and Ortiz had three RBI to bring his major league-leading total to 143.

Schilling allowed five runs on 10 hits and a walk, striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings for his third consecutive no-decision. He is scheduled to start the season finale against the Yankees -- a game that could decide the division title.

"If it comes down to my final start of the season, that's going to probably be whether we go to the postseason or not, so it doesn't matter how I feel about where I am," Schilling said. "I have to be there."

Notes

  • The Red Sox face three consecutive left-handed starters, starting with Gustavo Chacin in Tuesday's nightcap. Lefty starters entered the day 5-10 with a 6.59 ERA at Fenway this year.
  • Because of Monday's rainout, Schilling will start the regular-season finale against Mike Mussina. Wakefield will face Randy Johnson on Saturday. David Wells and Chien-Ming Wang will pitch Friday's series opener.
  • Wakefield's previous two starts were no-decisions. He is 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA in September. His 220 1/3 innings is a career high.
  • Former Red Sox infielder Johnny Pesky celebrated his 86th birthday.
  • Bush has allowed 17 first-inning runs in 23 starts. He has a 6.65 ERA in the first inning and a 3.99 ERA after that.
  • Frank Menechino is 6-for-16 (.375) in his career against Wakefield.
  • The Red Sox went six consecutive home games without scoring more than three runs, the first time they've done that since 1976.
  • Hillenbrand struck out swinging seven times in the two games, including six in a row.
 
Copyright 2014 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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David Ortiz isn't happy after making the final out. Big Papi's RBI gives him 143, which leads the majors.  (AP)
David Ortiz isn't happy after making the final out. Big Papi's RBI gives him 143, which leads the majors. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

E. Renteria
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
Toronto

A. Hill
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Russ Adams, SS5121003 .252
Frank Catalanotto, LF5041001 .290
    Alex Rios, RF0000000 .261
Vernon Wells, CF3012111 .270
Corey Koskie, 3B3110214 .252
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B4100147 .291
Eric Hinske, DH5010014 .256
Gregg Zaun, C4212102 .256
Reed Johnson, RF-LF4010020 .271
Aaron Hill, 2B3221000 .272
Totals3671375922 
Batting
2B - Frank Catalanotto (26, Schilling), Eric Hinske (27, Harville)
HR - Gregg Zaun (11, Schilling)
SF - Russ Adams (8), Vernon Wells (8), Aaron Hill (4)
SH - Aaron Hill (3)
RBI - Russ Adams (63), Frank Catalanotto (45), Vernon Wells 2 (94), Gregg Zaun 2 (61), Aaron Hill (40)
2-OUT RBI - Gregg Zaun 2 (21)
SB - Russ Adams (10, 2nd base off Schilling/Varitek), Vernon Wells (7, 2nd base off Myers/Varitek)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - R. Adams-Hill-Hillenbrand, Hill-R. Adams-Hillenbrand
Toronto Blue Jays
Gustavo Chacin 3.21055000 3.82
Shaun Marcum 2200100 0.00
Jason Frasor (W,3-5) 1.1000020 3.27
Justin Speier (H,11) 1000110 2.57
Scott Schoeneweis (H,21) 0.1000010 3.42
Miguel Batista (S,31) 0.2000000 4.00
Pitches-Strikes - Gustavo Chacin 28-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gustavo Chacin 5-6, Shaun Marcum 3-2, Jason Frasor 1-1, Justin Speier 1-0, Miguel Batista 2-0
Batters Faced - Gustavo Chacin 21, Shaun Marcum 8, Jason Frasor 4, Justin Speier 3, Scott Schoeneweis 1, Miguel Batista 2
Boston Red Sox
Johnny Damon, CF5131010 .316
Edgar Renteria, SS5133001 .278
David Ortiz, DH5011013 .295
Manny Ramirez, LF3010101 .289
Jason Varitek, C4000013 .281
Kevin Millar, 1B4010002 .274
Bill Mueller, 3B4110011 .298
Trot Nixon, RF3110100 .286
Tony Graffanino, 2B4110003 .308
Totals3751252414 
Batting
2B - Johnny Damon (35, Chacin), Edgar Renteria (35, Chacin), Trot Nixon (29, Chacin)
RBI - Johnny Damon (75), Edgar Renteria 3 (68), David Ortiz (143)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
PB - Jason Varitek (7)
Boston Red Sox
Curt Schilling 6.11055181 5.98
Mike Myers0000100 3.44
Chad Bradford (L,2-1) 1111110 3.97
Craig Hansen 0.2100100 7.71
Chad Harville 0.1111100 4.76
Jeremi Gonzalez 0.2000000 6.05
HBP - Johnson (by Chad Harville)
Pitches-Strikes - Curt Schilling 48-31
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Curt Schilling 3-8, Chad Bradford 2-0
Batters Faced - Curt Schilling 30, Mike Myers 1, Chad Bradford 5, Craig Hansen 4, Chad Harville 4, Jeremi Gonzalez 2
Game Information
Attendance - 35476
Game Time - 3:42
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - James Hoye