for this game

Jays big bats pound down Red Sox

Apr 25, 2007 - 3:50 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Toronto Blue Jays rode the suddenly hot middle of their lineup to a sweep of the Boston Red Sox.

The meat of the order accounted for nine RBI and seven hits as the Blue Jays pounded the Boston Red Sox, 10-3, to complete a sweep of their brief two-game series.

No. 3 hitter Vernon Wells, who signed a seven-year extension to stay with the Blue Jays through 2114, sparked the scoring with a two-out solo blast off Red Sox starter Julian Tavarez (0-2) with two out in the opening frame.

The All-Star center fielder, who was just 17-for-70 before Toronto's visit to Boston, followed his two-hit night Monday with hits in each of his first four at-bats, totaling four runs scored and three RBI in the game.

"Well I think it was good we were able to come here and play good baseball especially given what has been going on with us the last week or so," Wells said. "I just want to do whatever I can to help this team win and get this team going. Guys from 1-9 and everyone that is stepping on that mound is trying to give us a chance to win and that is our main goal right now."

Toronto, which has been without leadoff hitter Reed Johnson and power-hitting third baseman Troy Glaus the past 10 days, has had trouble generating runs with the middle of the batting order.

The Blue Jays had not scored more than four runs in any game since a 10-7 loss to Detroit April 14 before their 7-3 win over Boston on Monday.

"I mean we came here limping," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said, "There's no question about it but we were due and regardless of injuries, we're still a good ballclub."

The slumping Wells, Frank Thomas and Lyle Overbay - Nos. 3 through 5 in the lineup - are busting out with the help of the back end of Boston's rotation.

Overbay sat out Monday's game, but Thomas and Wells each had a pair of hits off the Red Sox No. 4 starter, Tim Wakefield. Thomas continued his hot hitting against No. 5 starter Tavarez, driving in three runs with a pair of hits.

"It is something that we are going to have to do, from top to bottom but especially the guys in the middle of the lineup we are going to have to step up and do our part," Wells said. "We have been getting production from seven, eight and nine and we have not been doing our job in the middle of the lineup so if we are able to do that and join those guys then we will have some fun."

Thomas, who had been mired in a 12-for-61 slump, has had multiple hits in his last three games. No. 5 hitter Overbay, who had not driven in a run since April 17, plated a run in the third frame on a ground ball that Boston first baseman Eric Hinske failed to handle cleanly, and added a two-RBI double in the Blue Jays' four-run sixth inning.

"I think we were on the verge of breaking out as far as hitting goes," Overbay said. "In Baltimore we (weren't) getting those two out hits to start the inning so it was kind of hard to get a rally going, here we started to get guys on earlier and it started to pay off."

Toronto starter Roy Halladay (3-0) surrendered single runs in the first, third and fourth innings, but settled down to retire 14 straight Red Sox hitters after Mike Lowell's solo blast in the fourth.

"As he got into the game he was really establishing down and then opening up the plate," Boston manager Terry Francona. "I thought the strike zone even got a little more generous down, which I understand because he was pounding it all night."

Halladay struck out 10, including five of the last six batters he faced. It was the sixth time in his career that he has retired 10 or more by way of the strikeout.

"I felt like my curveball was a little better tonight than it has been all year, to be able to use that more effectively and throw it a lot more," Halladay said. "That was a big key for me and hopefully it is something I can carry on the next few starts.

"I definitely felt like once we got scored some runs, you know you don't get that many chances here and against that team so you really have to do the best you can to make it stand and that was a big focus after the fourth inning."

The former Cy Young winner had struggled against Boston in the past, compiling an 8-7 career record but just a 4.51 ERA - nearly a full run higher than his 3.59 career mark.

"Well it wasn't easy early on, I mean they put pressure on him but it is typical of the great ones is that you give them a little breathing room and they kick into gear," Gibbons said. "They always say if you want to get 'em you better get 'em early."

Tavarez struggled through his third straight rough outing. The veteran sinkerballer allowed six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"Like Halladay did tonight, Julian needs to pound the zone down and throw strikes, all the time but especially now because he isn't quite as stretched out now as he will be," Francona said. "If he's getting ground ball, consistent ground balls, that's when he's in good shape."

Tavarez is in danger of losing his job when Jon Lester returns from a rehab assignment in a few weeks. Lester, a 23-year-old lefthander, has been out since last August while recovering from lymphoma, but has pitched well in three minor league rehab starts. He is scheduled to pitch at least two more games at Class AAA Pawtucket.

"I made some bad pitches out there and I got hurt," Tavarez said. "What can I say, I made some good pitches and they got some base hits, I made some bad pitches and got hurt, that's how it is in this game." Boston made four errors in the game, leading to four unearned runs.

"We didn't catch it," Francona said. "We threw it around a little bit and didn't throw enough strikes and it all add up to a rough night for us."

The Blue Jays have won eight of 11 games over the Red Sox dating back to last season, and four straight at Fenway Park.

"Those guys had lost five or six games in a row and came in here with an attitude looking to win some game and they got away with those two," Tavarez said. "They hit better than us, they played better defense than us and they pitched better than us."

After the game the Blue Jays put catcher Gregg Zaun on the disabled list after he was hit with a foul ball in the hand in the first inning. Zaun will see a hand specialist in Baltimore tomorrow and Sal Fasano has been called up from Class AAA Syracuse to assist Jason Phillips with the catching duties.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 1 0 3 0 2 4 0 0 0 10 15 0
    BOSTON 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 4 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY, SHAUN MARCUM (9TH) AND GREGG ZAUN, JASON
    PHILLIPS (2ND)
    BOS - JULIAN TAVAREZ, KYLE SNYDER (5TH), JOEL PINEIRO
    (7TH), MIKE TIMLIN (9TH) AND JASO

    Apr 24 9:58 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 1 0 3 0 2 4 0 10 13 0
    BOSTON 1 0 1 1 0 0 3 5 4 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - ROY HALLADAY
    BOS - JOEL PINEIRO

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.328, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)
    J VARITEK (.255, 0-FOR-2)
    W PENA (.150, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 24 9:27 PM
  • bones booo... more errors than runs at this point

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 9:08 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FRANK THOMAS SCORED VERNON WELLS.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, F THOMAS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 10
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.243, 1-FOR-3, 3 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 9:06 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED JOHN MCDONALD AND ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 9
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.239, 1-FOR-2, HBP, 2 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY WILY MO PENA ALLOWED ROYCE CLAYTON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LIND ON SECOND, J MCDONALD ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 7
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.286, 3-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: K Snyder relieved J Tavarez.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L OVERBAY ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A Hill (.329, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 24 8:40 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - PITCHING CHANGE
    BOS: KYLE SNYDER (1-0, 4.50) IN THE 5TH
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L OVERBAY ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6, BOSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.329, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 24 8:40 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LYLE OVERBAY SCORED ADAM LIND AND VERNON WELLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L OVERBAY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.329, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 24 8:40 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LYLE OVERBAY SCORED ADAM LIND AND VERNON WELLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L OVERBAY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.329, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 8:40 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - ROY HALLADAY
    BOS - JULIAN TAVAREZ

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.274, 1-FOR-2)
    A LIND (.276, 0-FOR-1, BB)
    V WELLS (.276, 2-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Apr 24 8:25 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE LOWELL (4) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF ROY HALLADAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4, BOSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.260, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 8:22 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ERIC HINSKE SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E HINSKE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.286, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 8:07 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY ERIC HINSKE ALLOWED VERNON WELLS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, L OVERBAY ON FIRST, F THOMAS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.333, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 7:57 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FRANK THOMAS SCORED ALEX RIOS AND ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F THOMAS ON SECOND, V WELLS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.235, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 7:56 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: J Phillips catching.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M Lowell (.323, 3 HR, 14 RBI)

    Apr 24 7:37 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - ROY HALLADAY
    BOS - JULIAN TAVAREZ

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.323, 3 HR, 14 RBI)
    J VARITEK (.265, 2 HR, 9 RBI)
    W PENA (.167, 1 HR, 1 RBI)

    Apr 24 7:35 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ORTIZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.209, 2 HR, 9 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 7:25 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - ROY HALLADAY
    BOS - JULIAN TAVAREZ

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.246, 0 HR, 5 RBI)
    E HINSKE (.500, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
    D ORTIZ (.275, 6 HR, 17 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxApr 24 7:16 PM