|Boston (55-35) «||1||0||2||1||0||5||0||0||x||9||12||0|
BOSTON -- It's been a while since David Ortiz has gotten the best of Fenway Park.
The Red Sox slugger hadn't homered at home since April 21 -- a span of 129 at-bats over 34 games. He ended that slump on Saturday night, and Eric Hinske and Jason Varitek also homered for Boston to help Daisuke Matsuzaka overcome a rough outing and beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4.
"It's not going to be another 129 at-bats," Ortiz said. "It could be worse. Everybody's worried about me hitting homers. But people who may see that may be like, 'He may not be hitting homers but the guy is hitting .320 year-round. One thing covered the other."
Ortiz hit 22 of his franchise-record 54 homers at Fenway last year, and his game-winning hits have been thrilling the hometown crowds since Boston's 2004 World Series run. But the Red Sox designated hitter, who revealed Thursday that he has had a torn meniscus in his right knee for more than a year, is well off both paces, hitting just four of this year's 15 homers at home.
"He is one of the most feared hitters in baseball, and he rises to the occasion," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "That's why he is a superstar. I'm sure he is hurt, but he is out there every day and one swing can burn you in a hurry."
Matsuzaka (11-6) was charged with four runs on nine hits and two walks, striking out two in six innings for his fourth win in five decisions. The Japanese right-hander has given up 10 runs in his last two starts after allowing a total of six runs in his six starts before that.
"I was hoping to see some improvement after that time, but I didn't," said Matsuzaka, who went to the stretch with nobody on in the fourth to help regain his form. "Whenever I'm pitching poorly, I try to make adjustments during the game. But no matter what I tried today, I couldn't adjust very well.
"I was disappointed from beginning to end."
Troy Glaus and Aaron Hill each had a single, a double and a homer off Matsuzaka, driving in three runs in the sixth to help the Blue Jays erase a 4-1 deficit. But Varitek hit a two-run homer with nobody out in the bottom half to chase Dustin McGowan (5-5) and start a five-run rally that broke the game open.
"They come back to tie it, Daisuke's coming out of the game, and 'Tek takes a gorgeous swing," Boston manager Terry Francona said.
McGowan, who pitched seven scoreless innings in his last start and took a no-hitter into the ninth on June 24, allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four.
Julio Lugo had three hits to give him 1,001 in his career and raise his batting average to .209 from a low of .189 a week ago. He singled with one out after Varitek's homer, took second when Coco Crisp walked and scored on Dustin Pedroia's single.
Crisp, who singled, tripled and walked twice, and Pedroia engineered a double-steal without drawing a throw. Ortiz was intentionally walked, Manny Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly to score Crisp, and Kevin Youkilis singled to bring in Pedroia and make it 9-4.
|Eric Hinske gets kudos from skipper Terry Francona after his solo home run in the fourth inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
New Era Boston Red Sox Fitted Hat
$34.95 Shop Now!
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Vernon Wells, CF||5||0||2||0||0||0||0||.254|
|Reed Johnson, LF||5||0||1||0||0||2||2||.255|
|Alex Rios, RF||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.302|
|Frank Thomas, DH||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.255|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||4||2||3||2||0||0||0||.289|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.257|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||4||1||3||2||0||1||1||.274|
|Gregg Zaun, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.234|
|John McDonald, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.271|
|2B - Vernon Wells (23, Matsuzaka), Frank Thomas (13, Matsuzaka), Troy Glaus (14, Matsuzaka), Aaron Hill (25, Matsuzaka)|
|HR - Troy Glaus (12, Matsuzaka), Aaron Hill (10, Matsuzaka)|
|RBI - Troy Glaus 2 (39), Aaron Hill 2 (51)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Dustin McGowan (L,5-5)||5||8||6||6||2||4||3||5.05|
|IBB - Ramirez by Dustin McGowan, Ortiz by Brian Tallet|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dustin McGowan 104-63, Brian Tallet 20-9, Brian Wolfe 15-13, Jason Frasor 14-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin McGowan 7-4, Jason Frasor 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Dustin McGowan 25, Brian Tallet 5, Brian Wolfe 6, Jason Frasor 4|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Coco Crisp, CF||3||2||2||1||2||0||0||.265|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||5||1||1||1||0||0||4||.310|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||1||2||2||1||0||1||.320|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||3||0||0||1||1||2||1||.286|
|Wily Mo Pena, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.213|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.323|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.302|
|Jason Varitek, C||4||1||1||2||0||2||0||.278|
|Eric Hinske, RF-LF||4||1||1||1||0||2||0||.194|
|Julio Lugo, SS||4||2||3||0||0||0||0||.209|
|2B - David Ortiz (31, McGowan)|
|3B - Coco Crisp (4, McGowan)|
|HR - David Ortiz (15, McGowan), Jason Varitek (9, McGowan), Eric Hinske (4, McGowan)|
|SF - Manny Ramirez (5)|
|RBI - Coco Crisp (29), Dustin Pedroia (26), David Ortiz 2 (56), Manny Ramirez (52), Kevin Youkilis (46), Jason Varitek 2 (38), Eric Hinske (12)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz 2 (27), Kevin Youkilis (18), Eric Hinske (9)|
|SB - Coco Crisp (17, 3rd base off Tallet/Zaun), Dustin Pedroia (2, 2nd base off Tallet/Zaun), Julio Lugo (24, 2nd base off McGowan/Zaun)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Coco Crisp 1|
|DP - Lowell-Pedroia-Youkilis|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Daisuke Matsuzaka (W,11-6)||6||9||4||4||2||2||2||3.94|
|WP - Daisuke Matsuzaka (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 110-69, Manny Delcarmen 26-18, Hideki Okajima 11-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 5-9, Manny Delcarmen 1-1, Hideki Okajima 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 27, Manny Delcarmen 7, Hideki Okajima 4|
|Attendance - 36830|
|Game Time - 3:13|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - John Hirschbeck|