for this game

Loewen lifts Blue Jays over Red Sox

Sep 15, 2011 - 5:34 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Adam Loewen's two-run, go-ahead single came in a three-run eighth inning, as Toronto nipped Boston, 5-4, in the final portion of a two-game set from Fenway Park.

J.P. Arencibia, Kelly Johnson and Edwin Encarnacion knocked in a run apiece for the Blue Jays, who recovered from an 18-6 loss in Tuesday's series opener and picked up their fifth win in seven games.

Ricky Romero (15-10) allowed six hits and four runs -- three earned -- over eight innings for the win. Frank Francisco tossed a scoreless ninth for his 15th save.

Adrian Gonzalez homered and Jason Varitek added an RBI for the Red Sox, who have dropped 10 of their last 13, but remained four games behind the Yankees in the AL East. New York lost at Seattle in 12 innings Wednesday night.

Boston, which still sits atop the wild card standings, hosts playoff-hopeful Tampa Bay for four games starting Thursday. The Red Sox lead the Rays by four games for the wild card. Tampa Bay lost at Baltimore Wednesday night.

"They're all crushing at this point," Varitek said of the latest defeat. "We've played better the last few days. There are some things to take from today."

Daniel Bard (2-8) was saddled with the loss and a blown save, charged for two earned runs and two walks in the deciding frame.

Bard took over for Alfredo Aceves, but a two-run lead turned into a one-run deficit.

Encarnacion worked a leadoff walk, and Johnson also drew a base on balls before Mark Teahen's sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. Teahen reached base as Bard's throw to first was off and Arencibia followed with a groundout to third that scored a run. Loewen then fell behind 0-2 in the court before lacing a 2-2 hit to center which brought in two runs to push the Blue Jays ahead, 5-4.

"He's got some survivor skills at the plate," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Loewen. "When you get down two strikes it becomes more of attitude as it does about executing a swing. He fought back in and then he got a pitch up on the plate for the line drive base hit up the middle."

Romero closed out his performance by retiring the Sox in order in the home half, and Francisco fanned two of the three batters he faced to lock up the win.

Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the first on back-to-back RBI singles by Encarnacion and Johnson, and Boston went scoreless in its turn after Marco Scutaro doubled with one out but was doubled off the bag on a Gonzalez liner to end the inning.

The Sox tied the game in the home second on an infield hit by Ryan Lavarnway with runners on the corners and a Varitek run-scoring groundout.

Ellsbury tripled to begin the Boston third and scored on Scutaro's sacrifice fly, then Gonzalez reached the bullpen in right to start the sixth for a 4-2 Sox edge.

Boston starter John Lackey departed with one out in the top of the sixth after Brett Lawrie was plunked, stole second and moved to third on Varitek's botched pickoff. Franklin Morales came on, and Loewen hit a ball to Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, whose throw home was held onto by Varitek despite Lawrie colliding with him.

Game Notes

Toronto improved to 7-6 in September, while Boston fell to 3-10...Gonzalez left the game with left calf tightness, while Lawrie departed with an injured knee...Lackey allowed seven hits and two runs over 5 1/3 frames, but his ERA remains a bloated 6.19...Ellsbury has an 18-game hitting streak.