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Boston (48-46)000000001191

Jays back on track thanks to Laffey

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Aaron Laffey talked about how relaxed he's been this season. He certainly made things look easy against the Boston Red Sox.

Laffey pitched seven shutout innings and Colby Rasmus drove in two runs, lifting the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-1 victory Friday night.

"It's a completely different mind-set with how I've attacked the game," he said. "I was kind of attacking it from a lower level of the mind. You hear about silence in martial arts. You achieve it and you move and flow better."

Laffey (2-1) scattered eight singles and worked out of trouble in the third and seventh innings. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter.

"I try and take things as stress-free as possible," he said. "I'm the one with the ball and nothing can happen until I throw it."

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Laffey said he didn't throw a breaking pitch, used only three changeups and relied on mainly fastballs, changing the grip to make cut fastballs that forced different movements.

"He was using a successful recipe," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "There were a lot of strikes, got ahead on the count and got a lot of groundballs."

It was Laffey's second scoreless start against Boston this season. He held the Red Sox to three hits in six innings in Fenway Park on June 26.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Toronto, and was just its sixth in its last 15 games.

Boston, which entered the game leading the majors in runs, had won four of five.

Adam Lind added two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays.

The 27-old Laffey is with the fourth team of his career. He was up with Toronto in April and May, but never appeared in a game before being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on June 11.

Josh Beckett (5-8) was plagued again by a rough opening inning and took the loss.

"I thought he had good stuff tonight," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.

Beckett gave up five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits, striking out seven and walking three. Entering Friday's game, the right-hander had a 10.20 ERA in his opening innings and 3.36 combined in all others.

He struck out the first batter, Anthony Gose on a 93 mph fastball. Then Rasmus tripled off the base of the wall in right field and scored when he beat third baseman Will Middlebrooks' throw on Edwin Encarnacion's grounder by slipping his hand ahead of catcher Kelly Shoppach's tag. J.P. Arencibia added an RBI single, making it 2-0.

In the second, Rasmus made it 4-0 with a two-run double into the gap in left-center.

"I thought Will made an aggressive play," Beckett said. "In the second, I needed to make a 3-2 pitch and didn't."

Darren Oliver and Casey Janssen each pitched one inning for the Blue Jays.

Unlike Thursday, when Boston was held scoreless until pulling out a win in the ninth, there wasn't much drama as the Red Sox scored their only run on Mike Aviles' fielder's choice grounder with one out in the ninth.

Laffey had runners on first and second in the third, but got the next two hitters to fly out. In the seventh, the Red Sox had the first two batters reach with singles.

The Blue Jays made it 5-0 in the fifth on Lind's RBI single and a spattering of boos rained down on Beckett. Encarnacion reached second after Middlebrooks threw his infield hit into Boston's dugout for an error before Lind's hit. Yan Gomes' run-scoring double made it 6-0 in the eighth.

Notes

  • The Blue Jays recalled OF Travis Snider from Triple-A Las Vegas before the game and optioned RHP David Carpenter, acquired in the 10-player trade with Houston earlier Friday, to Triple-A. "For the time being he'll get most of the reps in left," Farrell said of Snider.
  • Valentine had a nice pregame line when asked if there was any concern of injuries in walkoff celebrations after the Red Sox beat Chicago in their final at-bat Thursday night. "The more practice you have at celebrations, the better you get at it," he said.
  • Red Sox RHP Andrew Bailey, who has not pitched this season as he recovers from right thumb surgery, threw off a mound Friday. Valentine said he may pitch a short batting practice in Texas on Wednesday.
  • Farrell said Brandon Lyon and J.A. Happ, acquired from Houston in the trade Friday, should be with the team Saturday.
 
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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Blue Jays lefty Aaron Laffey pitches seven shutout innings, scattering eight singles while walking nobody.  (Getty Images)
Blue Jays lefty Aaron Laffey pitches seven shutout innings, scattering eight singles while walking nobody. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Toronto

C. Rasmus
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Toronto

A. Laffey
IP 7.0
H 8
ER 0
BB 0
K 4
 

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Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Anthony Gose, RF3100220 .125
Colby Rasmus, CF5122012 .247
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B3211100 .296
Adam Lind, DH4021012 .239
J.P. Arencibia, C3011101 .238
Kelly Johnson, 2B4000012 .239
Yunel Escobar, SS4110010 .249
Travis Snider, LF3110111 .333
Yan Gomes, 3B4011022 .214
Totals3369659  
Batting
2B - Colby Rasmus (19, Beckett), Yunel Escobar (11, Beckett), Travis Snider (1, Melancon), Yan Gomes (2, Melancon)
3B - Colby Rasmus (4, Beckett)
RBI - Colby Rasmus 2 (57), Edwin Encarnacion (63), Adam Lind (27), J.P. Arencibia (44), Yan Gomes (9)
2-OUT RBI - Colby Rasmus 2 (25)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Johnson-Encarnacion
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Aaron Laffey (W,2-1) 7800040 2.77
Darren Oliver 1000010 1.26
Casey Janssen 1111120 2.39
WP - Casey Janssen (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Laffey 88-59, Darren Oliver 11-8, Casey Janssen 27-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Laffey 8-8, Darren Oliver 1-1, Casey Janssen 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Laffey 28, Darren Oliver 3, Casey Janssen 5
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4010003 .279
Carl Crawford, LF4010011 .389
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4010003 .265
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4000012 .295
Cody Ross, RF4010011 .273
Will Middlebrooks, 3B4120001 .291
Kelly Shoppach, C3020000 .274
   a- Daniel Nava, PH0000100 .259
Mike Aviles, SS4011023 .261
Pedro Ciriaco, DH3000012 .366
   b- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, PH-DH1000011 .228
Totals3519117  
a-walked (wild pitch) for Shoppach in the 9th
b-struck out for Ciriaco in the 9th
Batting
RBI - Mike Aviles (48)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Cody Ross 1
DP - Beckett-Aviles-Gonzalez, Middlebrooks-Pedroia-Gonzalez, Pedroia-Aviles-Gonzalez, Ross-Aviles
E - Will Middlebrooks (8, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Josh Beckett (L,5-8) 6754370 4.53
Andrew Miller 1000010 2.78
Mark Melancon 1.1211210 5.95
Junichi Tazawa 0.2000000 0.79
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 96-62, Andrew Miller 17-11, Mark Melancon 32-16, Junichi Tazawa 2-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 9-1, Andrew Miller 1-1, Mark Melancon 2-0
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 27, Andrew Miller 3, Mark Melancon 7, Junichi Tazawa 1
Game Information
Attendance - 38093
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Joe West