for this game

Ramirez sparks Red Sox comeback with first home run of year

Apr 19, 2007 - 9:37 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Manny Ramirez picked the right time to hit his first home run of the season. Manager John Gibbons picked the wrong time to replace Roy Halladay.

Ramirez hit a game-tying two-run homer off Shaun Marcum in the eighth inning and Alex Cora tripled home the go-ahead run in the ninth as the Boston Red Sox posted a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the rubber game of their three-game series.

The loss was especially painful for the Blue Jays, who had a 3-1 lead with their ace on the mound.

But after Coco Crisp reached on a bunt single and Kevin Youkilis was retired on a popout to short to start the eighth inning, Gibbons decided to lift Halladay, who had pitched a 10-inning complete game last Friday against Detroit.

Lefthander Scott Downs was brought in to face David Ortiz and struck out the lefthanded slugger. Gibbons then went for the percentages again, bringing in Marcum (1-1) to pitch to righthanded power hitter Ramirez, who had yet to homer this season after hitting 35 in 2006.

The strategy backfired when Ramirez hit a 2-0 fastball over the center field fence to tie the game at 3-3.

"To be honest, I thought he (Halladay) was done," Gibbons said. "I thought he was at the point, we had a two-run lead, Ortiz at the plate. We got Ortiz, just didn't get Ramirez."

Halladay agreed with Gibbons' decision.

"I really felt like it was the right move," Halladay said. "(Scott) Downs I felt was always pretty good against Ortiz and obviously you want to be out there but you want to do what's best for the team and I really felt like having Downs face him (Ortiz) was a smart move."

Marcum (0-1) remained in the game to start the ninth and walked former Blue Jay Eric Hinske. After Dustin Pedroia bunted into a forceout, Gibbons went to his bullpen again and brought in Jason Frasor.

"My job is to come in and throw strikes there and I didn't get the job done," Marcum said. "It cost this team a big win, we needed that game. I just didn't get the job done."

Frasor is being counted on to serve as the team's closer with B.J. Ryan on the disabled list. But Cora greeted Frasor with an RBI triple to left-center, giving Boston a 4-3 lead. Crisp followed with a sacrifice fly to center.

"You gotta focus," said Cora who had his first multi-hit game of the season. "I just got a good pitch to hit and put the right part of the bat on it."

Jonathan Papelbon struck out two in a hitless ninth inning for his fourth save in as many chances.

Mike Timlin (1-0) pitched out of trouble in the eighth inning to earn the win. Vernon Wells led off the inning with a double over the head of center fielder Crisp and moved to third on a groundout by Frank Thomas.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona called for an intentional walk of lefthanded slugger Lyle Overbay. The strategy worked as Aaron Hill hit a comebacker for an inning-ending double play.

Thomas and Alex Rios hit solo homers for the Blue Jays.

Halladay allowed one run and five hits in the first seven innings. He was charged with another run in the eighth when Marcum yielded the two-run homer to Ramirez.

It figured that Ramirez's first home run of the season would come against the Blue Jays. He has 52 in his career vs. Toronto - the most against any opponent.

"Yeah, great timing by Manny," Francona said. "That home run was huge."

Ramirez walked and J.D. Drew singled to start the second inning. After a fielder's choice grounder by Jason Varitek, Ramirez scored on Hinske's sacrifice fly to left.

Boston's Julian Tavarez made his first start since April 7 and yielded three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"The story was Manny," Tavarez said. "I've been pulling for Manny. He hit the ball the right time, the right place. That was the big difference in the game."

Thomas cleared the center field wall in the second inning for his second home run of the season and 489th of his career.

Rios, who doubled in the third inning to snap an 0-for-15 slump, homered in the sixth to give Toronto the lead. Rios has seven hits in nine career at-bats against Tavarez.

Adam Lind then singled, advanced on a wild pitch by Tavarez and scored on a double to left by Wells. Crisp followed with a sacrifice fly to center.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 5 8 0
    TORONTO 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JULIAN TAVAREZ, JOEL PINEIRO (6TH), J.C. ROMERO (7TH), MIKE
    TIMLIN (8TH), JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY, SCOTT DOWNS (8TH), SHA

    Apr 19 3:31 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY COCO CRISP SCORED ALEX CORA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5
    TORONTO 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.240, 1-FOR-4)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysApr 19 3:14 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY ALEX CORA SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CORA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4
    TORONTO 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.167, 2-FOR-4)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysApr 19 3:11 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MANNY RAMIREZ (1) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF SHAUN MARCUM SCORED COCO CRISP.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3, TORONTO 3
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.341, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysApr 19 2:47 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: J Romero relieved J Pineiro.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    TORONTO 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G Zaun (.209, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 19 2:24 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - PITCHING CHANGE
    BOS: J.C. ROMERO (0-0, 6.23) STARTING THE 7TH
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 3
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.209, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 19 2:24 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
    TORONTO 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 6 0 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: BOS - JOEL PINEIRO
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.209, 0-FOR-2)
    J SMITH (.348, 1-FOR-2)
    J MCDONALD (.421, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 19 2:23 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    TORONTO 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.212, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysApr 19 2:11 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX RIOS (3) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JULIAN TAVAREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 2
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A LIND (.267, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysApr 19 2:05 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 1 0 0 1 4 0
    TORONTO 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: BOS - JULIAN TAVAREZ
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.182, 0-FOR-1)
    A CORA (.250, 1-FOR-1)
    C CRISP (.152, 1-FOR-2)

    Apr 19 1:36 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (2) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JULIAN TAVAREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.241, 1 HR, 7 RBI)

    Apr 19 1:01 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (2) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JULIAN TAVAREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.241, 1 HR, 7 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysApr 19 1:01 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 1 1 2 0
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 (BOT 2)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: BOS - JULIAN TAVAREZ
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.200, 1 HR, 4 RBI)
    L OVERBAY (.241, 1 HR, 7 RBI)
    A HILL (.353, 2 HR, 11 RBI)

    Apr 19 12:58 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ERIC HINSKE SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VARITEK ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    TORONTO 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.188, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysApr 19 12:57 PM