BOSTON -- Ted Lilly's recent success against the Boston Red Sox gives him a little extra confidence when he pitches against them.
A six-run second inning can be a bit of a boost, too.
"I have a hard time believing it's (because of) the Red Sox," Lilly said after leading Toronto to an 8-6 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night -- his fifth consecutive victory over Boston. "I can't explain it. It goes to show what happens when you throw strikes."
Vernon Wells hit a grand slam to stake the Blue Jays to a 6-1 lead, and Lilly struck out 10 in seven innings to help Toronto take two out of three from the Red Sox after losing in the Fenway opener. Lilly improved to 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA in his last seven starts against Boston dating back to an Aug. 23, 2004, start when he struck out a career-high 13 in a 3-0 win.
He has seven 10-strikeout games in his career, four of them against Boston.
Eric Hinske had three hits for the Blue Jays, who led 8-1 before David Ortiz homered off of Brian Tallet in the eighth. Kevin Youkilis doubled in two runs in the ninth off Jason Frasor and Mark Loretta added an RBI single to cut it to 8-6 before B.J. Ryan got Ortiz to hit a high fly ball to right to end the game.
Ortiz has homered in three consecutive games since Boston signed him to a four-year, $52 million contract on Monday. Ryan signed a five-year, $47 million deal in the offseason that is the richest ever for a reliever.
"Money against money," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "What else do you want?"
Lilly (1-0) lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his last start, allowing four hits and six walks against Tampa Bay. Against Boston, he gave up Loretta's double and then Ortiz's single in the first for his only earned run, then settled down and retired 20 of his last 23 batters.
"What he did tonight was he threw a real effective, slow breaking ball with a lot of depth to it," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "A real good spin rotation. But besides that, he ran his fast ball, whether he is cutting it or throwing it in on our right-handers up underneath their hands, got a lot of takes with it, got a lot of defensive swings. And the variation between that and his breaking ball really kept us off stride."
Lilly scattered six hits and did not allow a Red Sox runner to third base after the first inning.
"My brother went out for the last start and he has bad control. I went out today," Lilly joked. "So I'm not going to let him pitch anymore."
Matt Clement (1-1) gave up seven runs and eight hits with four walks, striking out one in four-plus innings. Boston has lost two straight after winning five in a row.
He fell apart in the second, when Hinske singled, Greg Zaun doubled and Alex Rios singled to tie it at 1. Zaun got caught off the bag on Aaron Hill's chopper to third, but Russ Adams singled in another run before Wells' homer to deep center field made it 6-1.
"He's an All-Star -- probably the best hitter in their lineup," Clement said of Wells. "He's a good hitter, and you can't leave a ball up over the plate against him. He did what you're supposed to do with that pitch."
Hinske added an RBI single in the fifth to chase Clement, then Julian Tavarez made his Red Sox debut after serving a 10-day suspension for provoking a fight in spring training. He gave up back-to-back doubles by Adams and Frank Catalanotto in the sixth to give Toronto an 8-1 lead.
The attendance of 36,524 was the largest crowd at Fenway Park in more than 60 years, thanks to an expansion of the upper deck in the offseason. ... Wells' slam was the third of his career and Toronto's first of the year. ... Clement had not allowed a grand slam since 2000, when he allowed four. ... Boston OF Trot Nixon could be back early next week after straining his groin in Tuesday's home opener, manager Terry Francona said.