for this game

Red Sox hold off Blue Jays on play at the plate

Jul 6, 2011 - 7:06 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - A game the Red Sox looked to be on their way to a shutout victory ended with Edwin Encarnacion being thrown out at the plate, securing Boston's 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays.

Jose Bautista belted a two-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning, and after putting runners at first and second, Toronto threatened to tie it. John McDonald singled to left field. Darnell McDonald fired a strike to Jason Varitek at home. The catcher blocked the plate and Encarnacion's left leg deflected to the side, but his right one appeared to touch the plate before the tag was applied. Nevertheless, home plate umpire Brian Knight signaled out.

"We should still be playing right now," claimed Blue Jays manager John Farrell "It was clear that Edwin did a good job sliding around the plant leg of [Varitek]. His swipe tag missed him by no less than a foot."

Dustin Pedroia belted what turned out to be the game-deciding homer and the Red Sox overcame an injury to Jon Lester. Three Boston relievers didn't miss a beat after Lester was forced to leave after four innings because of a left lat strain, but Papelbon nearly blew it before holding on for his 18th save of the year.

Lester, who didn't allow a hit, hurt a muscle in his upper back on the left side before being replaced by Matt Albers (3-3) to begin the fifth.

"I've never taken myself out of a game unless it was something significant," Lester said. "I'll have it looked at tomorrow and see how I feel. Hopefully we have the All-Star break built in. Hopefully we won't have to do anything drastic around here."

Albers threw a pair of scoreless innings. Franklin Morales and Daniel Bard each threw a scoreless frame. Papelbon gave up a bounce single up the middle off the bat of Corey Patterson. Bautista then crushed his major league-leading 28th homer of the year, a shot over the Green Monster.

Encarnacion singled with one out and J.P. Arencibia walked with two outs to set up the dramatic finish.

The Red Sox surged to a 2-0 lead in the second inning against Brett Cecil thanks to an RBI double by Varitek and a run-scoring single from J.D. Drew. The Red Sox, who have won five of their last six contests, snapped a three- game skid at Fenway Park.

Cecil (1-4) was charged with seven hits and struck out six in his first career complete game for the Blue Jays, who took the opener of this three-game series, 9-7, on Monday.

Toronto didn't get its first hit until two outs in the sixth inning when Bautista grounded a single to left field. That put runners on first and second, but Albers picked off Patterson going to third base.

David Ortiz doubled to right leading off the second inning and advanced a base on McDonald's groundout. Varitek then doubled high off the Green Monster. Drew singled through the right side of the infield on a ball that deflected off second baseman Mike McCoy.

With two outs in the third, Pedroia clubbed a 1-2 pitch over the high wall in left.

Game Notes

The Red Sox traded outfielder Mike Cameron and cash to the Florida Marlins in exchange for a player to be named later or cash...Lester threw 35 of his 50 pitches for strikes and had five strikeouts against a walk...Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis sat out after getting hit by a pitch in the upper back during Monday's game...Toronto has homered in 13 straight games...Prior to Pedroia's homer, Toronto starters had gone 26 straight innings without allowing a long ball...Bard has pitched 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings.