for this game

Ellsbury sparks Red Sox in rubber match with Toronto

Jul 7, 2011 - 5:06 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Jacoby Ellsbury led off the bottom of the first inning with a homer and his two-run double capped a big fourth, as the Red Sox topped Toronto, 6-4, in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Tim Wakefield (5-3) had a season-high seven strikeouts over seven frames to get the win. The 44-year-old knuckleball specialist scattered nine hits and allowed three runs and a walk for his 198th career victory.

"It was very satisfying. I knew I had to go deep in the game today. The bullpen has been taxed pretty heavily the past couple of days," Wakefield said. "That's something as a starting pitcher you take a lot of pride in to get deep in the game and try to preserve those guys for the next series."

Jonathan Papelbon allowed an RBI single to Yunel Escobar with two outs in the ninth, but then struck out Eric Thames to secure his 19th save of the season.

Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-4 with a solo homer for Boston, which won for the sixth time in seven games despite playing without American League batting- leader Adrian Gonzalez. He was given the day off Wednesday after playing in all 85 previous contests this season.

Ricky Romero (7-8) again failed to solve the Boston batters, as the lefty was charged with nine hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings. Romero fell to 2-6 with an 8.08 ERA in 11 career starts against the Red Sox. Among them is a 9-1 loss on April 18 this year, when he allowed eight hits and five earned runs in 4 1/3 frames.

"I don't care who it is, I don't care what team it is. I'm not scared of anyone," Romero said. "This team just seems to be on my stuff every time I go out there. I'm looking forward to facing them next time."

Escobar had a career-high four hits and Jose Bautista continued his offensive surge with two RBI, but the Blue Jays lost for the fifth time in seven contests. Bautista, who leads the majors with 28 homers, has driven in eight runs over his last six games.

Wakefield pitched a 1-2-3 top of the fourth and the Red Sox plated four in the bottom half to grab a 6-3 edge. Romero retired the first two batters, but J.D. Drew doubled and scored on Darnell McDonald's base hit to left. Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and Yamaico Navarro stroked an RBI double off the scoreboard in left. Ellsbury finished the rally with a two-run double high off the wall in center.

Toronto put a runner in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but came up empty each time.

J.P. Arencibia was hit on the left wrist by a Papelbon pitch in the ninth. He was replaced by Mike McCoy, who scored on Escobar's base hit to left.

Escobar led off the game with a double and scored on a Bautista base hit, but Ellsbury struck Romero's second pitch of the game over the wall in right.

Youkilis gave Boston a 2-1 edge with a homer into the first row of seats atop the Green Monster. Youkilis, who missed Tuesday's game after being hit Monday by Brandon Morrow, returned to the lineup, taking Gonzalez's spot at first base.

Toronto moved ahead in the third as Bautista lifted a sacrifice fly and Adam Lind singled in Escobar.

Game Notes

Bautista has reached base safely in 75 of his 80 games this season...Boston moved to 8-4 this season against the Blue Jays...Wakefield moved to 18-14 all- time against the Blue Jays...The Red Sox placed pitcher Jon Lester on the 15- day disabled list Wednesday with a left lat strain. They also called up right- handed reliever Scott Atchison from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill Lester's roster spot...Daniel Bard took over in relief of Wakefield and threw two-thirds of an inning prior to a 40-minute rain delay. His scoreless streak extended to a career-high 17 frames. It is the longest streak for a Sox reliever since Hideki Okajima's 20 2/3-inning run in 2007...Ellsbury has a career-high 10 homers this season...Boston's Dustin Pedroia extended his on-base streak to a season-high 20 games with a single in the opening inning...Toronto had its 13- game streak with at least one homer broken.