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Overbay knocks in two runs as Blue Jays top Red Sox

Sep 23, 2006 - 11:19 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Lyle Overbay continues to be one of the most consistent hitters in the Toronto Blue Jays' lineup.

Overbay knocked in two runs and A.J. Burnett pitched seven effective innings as the Blue Jays posted a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Overbay is hitting .332 in 63 games after the All-Star break, including 11-for-30 on Toronto's current nine-game homestand.

The lefthanded-hitting Overbay extended his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games with his career-best 20th homer, a solo shot in the fourth off rookie Devern Hansack (0-1). The first baseman snapped a 2-2 tie with a fielder's choice RBI in the sixth.

"Did you see all those monkeys jump off my back after I hit it?" said Overbay, who last homered on August 17. "I'm not really a home run hitter, but when you've got family and friends telling you to hurry up and hit 20, it's always in the back of your mind. It felt good to finally do something and make somebody pay for a bad pitch."

Burnett (9-8) allowed two runs - one earned - and six hits. He struck out eight and walked three. Justin Speier pitched the eighth and B.J. Ryan allowed a run in the ninth before working out of a jam to record his 35th save. The lefthander struck out Mike Lowell with the runners on first and second to end the game.

"I had a good curveball again today and I had great defense behind me," Burnett said. "I had guys running around diving left and right, and the offense came through when they needed to. I'm so proud of (my teammates), they never quit."

Troy Glaus hit his 36th blast in the fourth and added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to cap the scoring for the Blue Jays.

"We took advantage of a couple of opportunities and were able to sneak out a win today," Glaus said. "At this point, we're trying to win as many ballgames as we can, just for mere pride. We'd like to finish in second place.

Toronto is 1 1/2 games behind Boston for second place in the American League East.

Hansack yielded three runs and six hits in five innings in his major league debut.

"I was very excited and I feel pretty good about (my performance)," said Hansack, who became the ninth native of Nicaragua to appear in the big leagues. "If you miss your pitch you're going to get hit hard.

"I left two pitches up in the zone and they got hit pretty hard."

Rookie Dustin Pedroia had two hits, including his second homer of the season, for the Red Sox.

Boston manager Terry Francona was ejected after arguing a force play at second base in the sixth inning.

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