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Toronto at Boston

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Toronto (27-15)000010000151
Boston (23-16) «02000000x261

Blue Jays knuckle under to Wakefield, fall to Red Sox; Papi hitless

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Popup after popup, Tim Wakefield could tell that his knuckleball had returned.

The Red Sox right-hander held Toronto to five hits over eight innings, and Boston got some help from the bottom of the batting order to beat the AL East-leading Blue Jays 2-1 on Tuesday night.

"Swings and misses and popups are usually good signs the ball is moving pretty well," said Wakefield, who got 16 of his 24 outs on fly balls -- eight of them that never left the infield. "Tonight was just one of those nights when I had very good stuff. I was trying to keep them off-balance and get a win."

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Wakefield (5-2) also got four groundouts and a caught stealing. He gave up a solo homer to former teammate Kevin Millar, but no other Blue Jays made it as far as third base.

Another popup fell for a hit when second baseman Dustin Pedroia and first baseman Jeff Bailey let it land between them with one out and one on in the eighth inning. But Red Sox manager Terry Francona gave Wakefield the chance to work out of trouble, and he got Alex Rios and Vernon Wells on fly balls to left.

"It seemed like every time you looked up there was a popup to the infield," Francona said. "We let the popup fall, and we still felt like he was good enough to get them out. And he was."

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 11 chances.

David Ortiz, who got a weekend off to try to snap out of a slump, returned to the lineup but went 0-for-3 with a walk and saw his batting average drop to .203. The slugger who hit 54 homers in 2006 has not homered in 147 at-bats dating to last September -- the longest slump of his career.

"I talked to him today," said Millar, a leader of the "idiot" clubhouse of 2004 that ended Boston's 86-year World Series drought. "The important thing is to have fun. You start off with a rough spot and everything gets magnified. He'll be OK. He'll find his swing. It's not how you start off in April and May. It's what your average is at the end of the year."

The crowd gave Ortiz a warm cheer for each of his first three plate appearances, but rose with a "Papi!" chant when he came to bat with a runner on first in the eighth.

He struck out.

"I thought he had a tough night," Francona said. "It's a lot better to talk about when we win."

Instead, the Red Sox got their RBI on a single by No. 8 hitter Bailey and a sacrifice fly from No. 9 hitter George Kottaras.

Brian Tallet (2-2) allowed two runs and four hits over six innings, walking two and striking out five. The game lasted just 2 hours, 13 minutes.

"Nobody hit that ball," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "It was two well-pitched games."

Wakefield had won four straight starts before allowing a season-high seven runs and 11 hits against the Los Angeles Angels last Wednesday.

Notes

  • The Red Sox are 14-4 at home, second-best in the majors behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
  • It was the one-year anniversary of Jon Lester's no-hitter.
  • Toronto's Aaron Hill, who entered the night tied for the major league lead with 61 hits, singled in the eighth and went 1-for-4.
  • Wakefield, with 201 strikeouts against Toronto, is the fourth pitcher to have at least 200 strikeouts against the Blue Jays, joining Roger Clemens (292), Mike Mussina (243) and Randy Johnson (200).
 
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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Tim Wakefield, with his knuckleball working well, records 16 of his 24 outs on fly balls.  (AP)
Tim Wakefield, with his knuckleball working well, records 16 of his 24 outs on fly balls. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

T. Wakefield
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 2
K 3
Toronto

K. Millar
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, SS4010011 .283
Aaron Hill, 2B4010002 .343
Alex Rios, RF4010004 .264
Vernon Wells, CF4000002 .253
Adam Lind, LF4000021 .314
Scott Rolen, 3B3000101 .311
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000012 .237
Kevin Millar, DH3111000 .300
Rod Barajas, C2010100 .313
    John McDonald, PR0000000 .235
    Raul Chavez, C0000000 .241
Totals3215124  
Batting
HR - Kevin Millar (3, Wakefield)
RBI - Kevin Millar (14)
CS - Alex Rios (1, 2nd base by Wakefield/Kottaras)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Adam Lind (1, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Brian Tallet (L,2-2) 6422250 4.47
Jason Frasor 1000010 0.60
B.J. Ryan 1200010 8.22
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Tallet 102-64, Jason Frasor 11-7, B.J. Ryan 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Tallet 5-8, Jason Frasor 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Tallet 24, Jason Frasor 3, B.J. Ryan 4
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4020001 .305
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4010001 .315
David Ortiz, DH3000122 .203
Jason Bay, LF4010002 .294
Mike Lowell, 3B3110011 .289
J.D. Drew, RF2100110 .256
Julio Lugo, SS3000002 .314
Jeff Bailey, 1B3011020 .190
George Kottaras, C2001010 .133
Totals2826227  
Batting
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (7, Ryan), Jason Bay (10, Tallet)
SF - George Kottaras (2)
RBI - Jeff Bailey (8), George Kottaras (4)
CS - Jacoby Ellsbury (5, 3rd base by Ryan/Chavez)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
PB - George Kottaras (6)
E - Julio Lugo (4, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield (W,5-2) 8511231 3.59
Jonathan Papelbon (S,11) 1000010 1.00
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 96-61, Jonathan Papelbon 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 5-16, Jonathan Papelbon 2-0
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 31, Jonathan Papelbon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37830
Game Time - 2:13
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - John Hirschbeck