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Toronto (66-79) «00000032x570

Blue Jays blank Boston, avoid sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Omar Vizquel never thought he'd be mentioned in the same breath as Babe Ruth. With his next base hit, the veteran infielder will match one of baseball's most prolific sluggers.

Adeiny Hechavarria hit a two-run home run, Vizquel had two hits and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 5-0 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

Vizquel doubled in the third and drove in the first run of the game with a single in the seventh. That was the 2,782nd hit of his 24-year career, matching him with Jesse Burkett for 42nd on the all-time list and leaving him just one behind Ruth, the legendary Hall of Fame slugger and former home run king.

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"Not even in my wildest dreams was I going to think that you can bring the name of Babe Ruth next to mine," said Vizquel, who plans to retire this winter. "When I started the season I wasn't really thinking about numbers, I was just trying to go out there and finish my career strong."

Blue Jays manager John Farrell said he'll likely give Vizquel a chance to match Ruth's record when Toronto begins a three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

"I'd be crazy not to," Farrell said. "For him to tie if possible in New York will be very fitting."

Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow said he's excited by Vizquel's pursuit of history.

"When it's the name Babe Ruth, everything is magnified," Morrow said. It's great that it looks like he's going to pass him. Omar has been great all season, in the clubhouse, in the dugout, and obviously on the field. He's been a lot of fun to be around."

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, when Yan Gomes grounded a two-out single up the middle just the second hit allowed by Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester.

Rajai Davis came on as a pinch runner and stole second, then scored on Vizquel's base hit to center.

"I don't know if [Lester] threw a bad pitch except for maybe the curveball to Vizquel," Red Sox Bobby Valentine said. "The whole game he was in and out, doing a heck of a job."

Lester (9-12) gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings as the Red Sox failed to get their first three-game winning streak since posting four consecutive victories from July 28 to 31.

Lester acknowledged that he was "trying to be quick to the plate" with the speedy Davis running the bases.

"As we've seen many times before, when Rajai gets on the bases he can make a lot of things happen," Farrell said.

Hechavarria hit Lester's very next offering, a cut fastball, hooking it around the foul screen into the second deck in left for his second career home run.

"I thought that cutter was a pretty good pitch," Valentine said. "Not many guys keep that fair in the air."

Brandon Lyon (3-0) pitched 2-3 of an inning for the win. Darren Oliver worked the eighth and Casey Janssen finished as the Blue Jays recorded their ninth shutout.

Toronto pulled away with two more in the eighth off Daniel Bard. Brett Lawrie led off with a double and scored on Colby Rasmus' single to left, with Rasmus taking second on Ryan Kalish's error. Rasmus scored two batters later on Moises Sierra's RBI single off Scott Atchison.

Lester set down the first six batters in order before Vizquel's double, and the Blue Jays didn't get another base runner until Sierra's leadoff walk in the fifth. Sierra was safe at second when Lester threw high to second on Gomes' sacrifice bunt, then had to scamper back to the bag after nearly getting caught in a rundown.

Toronto failed to capitalize when Lester struck out Vizquel and Hechavarria, then got Anthony Gose to ground into a fielder's choice.

Boston put a runner in scoring position three times in the first four innings against Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow but failed to score. The Red Sox stranded men at first and second in the first, left a runner at second in the second and stranded runners at first and second again in the fourth.

"We fired a lot of blanks with men on base today," Valentine said.

Ciriaco had a two-out single off Lyon in the seventh and stole second while Jose Iglesias was batting. When the count got to 2-2 on Iglesias, Valentine brought Daniel Nava on as a pinch hitter. Nava grounded back to the mound on the first pitch.

The Red Sox put runners at first and second with one out in the eighth but Ross grounded into a double play.

Morrow gave up four hits in six scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out three.

Notes

  • Toronto DH Edwin Encarnacion (sore right big toe) was scratched from the lineup, along with SS Yunel Escobar (illness) and C Jeff Mathis (flulike symptoms).
  • Valentine insisted he wasn't trying to be critical when he said Friday that his struggling Red Sox had "the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball." On Sunday, Valentine called his earlier comments "a statement of fact because of the injuries and our Triple-A team in the playoffs."
  • The Red Sox have not been caught stealing since Aug. 29, swiping 16 straight bases in that time.
 
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Adeiny Hechavarria celebrates his three-run homer with Omar Vizquel as the Blue Jays avoid a being swept by Boston.  (Getty Images)
Adeiny Hechavarria celebrates his three-run homer with Omar Vizquel as the Blue Jays avoid a being swept by Boston. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Toronto

O. Vizquel
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Toronto

A. Hechavarria
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Scott Podsednik, LF3000000 .303
   a- Mauro Gomez, PH1000000 .293
    Ryan Kalish, LF0000000 .229
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4020010 .295
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF3010100 .267
Cody Ross, RF4010013 .277
James Loney, 1B4000003 .254
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH4010020 .232
Ryan Lavarnway, C4010002 .162
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B3010003 .300
Jose Iglesias, SS2000011 .071
   b- Daniel Nava, PH1000001 .246
    Mike Aviles, SS0000000 .250
Totals3307015  
a-popped out for Podsednik in the 8th
b-grounded out for Iglesias in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Lavarnway (5, Morrow)
SB - Pedro Ciriaco (14, 2nd base off Lyon/Arencibia)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Ryan Kalish (4, Misplayed grounder), Jon Lester (2, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester (L,9-12) 7433171 4.95
Daniel Bard0222100 5.90
Andrew Miller 0.1000000 3.29
Scott Atchison 0.2100000 1.74
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 101-68, Daniel Bard 6-2, Andrew Miller 3-3, Scott Atchison 8-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 9-6, Andrew Miller 1-0, Scott Atchison 2-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 27, Daniel Bard 3, Andrew Miller 1, Scott Atchison 3
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brett Lawrie, 3B4110011 .278
Colby Rasmus, CF4111000 .231
J.P. Arencibia, C3000110 .228
Adam Lind, 1B4000001 .238
Moises Sierra, RF3011110 .243
Yan Gomes, DH3010010 .171
    Rajai Davis, PR-DH1100001 .241
Omar Vizquel, 2B4121014 .226
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS3112013 .232
Anthony Gose, LF3000013 .221
Totals3257527  
Batting
2B - Brett Lawrie (23, Bard), Omar Vizquel (3, Lester)
HR - Adeiny Hechavarria (2, Lester)
RBI - Colby Rasmus (73), Moises Sierra (10), Omar Vizquel (6), Adeiny Hechavarria 2 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Omar Vizquel (2), Adeiny Hechavarria 2 (5)
SB - Rajai Davis (44, 2nd base off Lester/Lavarnway)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Hechavarria-Lind
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brandon Morrow 6400130 2.98
Brett Cecil 0.1000010 5.34
Brandon Lyon (W,3-2) 0.2100000 3.04
Darren Oliver (H,15) 1200000 1.73
Casey Janssen 1000010 2.65
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 102-65, Brett Cecil 5-4, Brandon Lyon 10-8, Darren Oliver 8-7, Casey Janssen 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 3-12, Brandon Lyon 1-1, Darren Oliver 1-1, Casey Janssen 1-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 23, Brett Cecil 1, Brandon Lyon 3, Darren Oliver 4, Casey Janssen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21698
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Bob Davidson