|Boston (8-5) «||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||0||0||4||7||0|
TORONTO -- A dome does wonders for Tim Wakefield's knuckleball.
"I've always loved pitching here," Wakefield said. "The mound is probably the best mound in the American League, and pitching inside is always a big plus for me. The ball moves a little bit more inside versus outside, where you've got a lot of weather conditions that can hinder something."
Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli, who had one passed ball, said it takes extra effort to handle Wakefield's knuckler indoors.
"It's a lot more work for me," he said. "It's almost to the point where it's a little bit scary back there because I really don't know where the ball's going to go. He's throwing it hard and it's moving a lot more than normal."
Mirabelli and Mike Lowell also homered for the Red Sox, who entered with eight homers in their first 12 games.
Wakefield (2-1) struck out four, walked three and lowered his ERA to 1.35. The 40-year-old right-hander has allowed only three earned runs in 20 innings.
"He was tremendous," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "(The knuckleball) was bouncing all over the place. He was getting some awkward swings.
"Wake has a way of taking a hitter and sort of turning him inside out," he added. "Other guys get you out. Wake can put into a little bit of a funk."
Wakefield might not generate the same buzz as teammates Daisuke Matsuzaka or Curt Schilling, but Francona makes sure to give the veteran his due.
"With his style, he can go under the radar," Francona said. "From my standpoint, he can go under the radar all the way to a bunch of wins."
Ortiz went 2-for-4 with both hits going to the opposite field, something he admitted struggling with in the past.
"I'm not going to lie to you," he said. "I tried to hit that way before and it never worked."
Brendan Donnelly worked a perfect eighth and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his third save, striking out pinch-hitter Adam Lind with two on to end it.
Toronto starter Tomo Ohka didn't allow a hit until Lowell homered to left with two outs in the fifth, his first of the season.
Mirabelli led off the sixth with his second home run, and Ortiz opened the seventh with his fifth.
One out later, J.D. Drew chased Ohka with a single. Victor Zambrano came on and gave up a single to Lowell, a fielder's-choice grounder to Coco Crisp and an RBI single to Mirabelli.
Mirabelli was at a loss to explain his success in Toronto, where he's hit five homers in 22 career games.
"I just always liked coming to this stadium," he said. "There's just something that feels good to me. When you hit the ball good, it goes. It's a fun place for me to play."
Ohka (0-2) allowed four runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings, walked one and struck out three. He bristled at suggestions that he was trying to match Tuesday's start by fellow Japanese hurler Dice-K.
"I don't care about Matsuzaka," he said. "So what?"
Matt Stairs singled off Wakefield in the first, but the knuckleballer responded by retiring 10 straight batters before stumbling in the fourth. With two outs, he loaded the bases with consecutive walks to Frank Thomas, Lyle Overbay and Aaron Hill. After a visit from pitching coach John Farrell, Wakefield escaped by striking out Jason Phillips on four pitches.
"He was jumping a little bit, hurrying to the plate a little too much," Mirabelli said. "It just seemed like after John talked to him he gathered himself and slowed it down a little bit and the ball started coming out cleaner out of his hand."
The Blue Jays finally broke through against Wakefield in the seventh when Royce Clayton doubled and scored on John McDonald's bloop single to left.
Ortiz appeared to have a single in the fourth when he hit a ball between first and second into short right field. But 2B Hill, playing deep with the shift on, fielded the ball and threw out Ortiz by a step. ... The Blue Jays were held to one run for the first time this season.
|Players of the Game|
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|Boston Red Sox|
|Julio Lugo, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.280|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.239|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.286|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.191|
|J.D. Drew, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.280|
|Coco Crisp, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.136|
|Doug Mirabelli, C||3||1||2||2||0||0||0||.333|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.188|
|HR - David Ortiz (5, Ohka), Mike Lowell (1, Ohka), Doug Mirabelli (2, Ohka)|
|RBI - David Ortiz (13), Mike Lowell (9), Doug Mirabelli 2 (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Lowell (3), Doug Mirabelli (2)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|PB - Doug Mirabelli (1)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Tim Wakefield (W,2-1)||7||4||1||1||3||4||0||1.35|
|Brendan Donnelly (H,2)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Jonathan Papelbon (S,3)||1||1||0||0||1||3||0||0.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 99-61, Brendan Donnelly 9-7, Jonathan Papelbon 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 8-9|
|Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 28, Brendan Donnelly 3, Jonathan Papelbon 5|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.267|
|Matt Stairs, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.278|
|Vernon Wells, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.228|
|Frank Thomas, DH||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.200|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.241|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.353|
|Jason Phillips, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.364|
|a- Gregg Zaun, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.220|
|Royce Clayton, SS||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.270|
|b- Jason Smith, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.333|
|John McDonald, 3B||3||0||1||1||0||1||0||.471|
|c- Adam Lind, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.308|
|a-walked for Phillips in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Clayton in the 9th|
|c-struck out for McDonald in the 9th|
|2B - Frank Thomas (2, Wakefield), Royce Clayton (6, Wakefield)|
|RBI - John McDonald (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - John McDonald (1)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - McDonald-Hill-Overbay|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Tomo Ohka (L,0-2)||6.1||4||4||4||1||3||3||7.02|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tomo Ohka 87-55, Victor Zambrano 24-17, Scott Downs 14-9, Jeremy Accardo 7-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tomo Ohka 8-7, Victor Zambrano 3-0, Scott Downs 1-0, Jeremy Accardo 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Tomo Ohka 23, Victor Zambrano 6, Scott Downs 3, Jeremy Accardo 2|
|Attendance - 20188|
|Game Time - 2:24|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Ed Montague|