for this game

Wells homers to lift Blue Jays past Red Sox

Sep 6, 2007 - 4:00 AM By Mike Salk PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) - Vernon Wells has struggled for much of the season, but the Boston Red Sox always seem to bring out the best in the Toronto Blue Jays' slugger.

Wells homered in the top of the ninth inning to snap a tie and lead the Blue Jays to a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday.

Troy Glaus homered and Frank Thomas and Alex Rios each drove in a run and clubbed a pair of hits for Toronto, which avoided a sweep with the victory.

Wells signed a seven-year, $126 million contract extension with the Blue Jays in December, but entered Wednesday's contest with just a .250 batting average and 15 home runs, down from .303 and 32 last season.

With his two-run blast off reliever Hideki Okajima (3-2), Wells now has 23 career homers against Boston, tying with Baltimore for his most against any team.

"I think it's just the atmosphere," Wells said of his success at Fenway Park. "It's fun to play here. The fans are great. Along with New York, they're the two best places to play and you want to perform - and it's just a matter of doing it each and every night. It's easy to play here because the fans are into the game and it's a lot of fun."

Okajima was one of the most effective relievers in the majors through July, carrying an ERA of just 0.92. He had allowed just five earned runs through the first four months of the 2007 campaign. Since August 1, the Japanese lefthander has allowed eight earned runs in 14 games.

"I don't think you go through a whole year and never give up runs," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Okajima. "He's throwing the ball very well."

In terms of calling a game for Okajima, catcher Jason Varitek has a unique perspective.

"We use all of his pitches and we use both side of the plate," Varitek said. "But you make mistakes and (tonight) he made a mistake."

Closer Jeremy Accardo (4-3) was the fifth man out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays after starter Shaun Marcum was pulled after just five frames. Accardo picked up the win with 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief.

After failing to drive the ball out of the infield with a man on third in the fourth, Glaus reminded the Red Sox that he still has some power left as he hammered the first pitch he saw from Manny Delcarmen over the "Green Monster" in left field to tie the game, 4-4, in seventh.

Boston starter Curt Schilling was effective through four innings, but things unraveled quickly with two outs in the fifth.

With Gregg Zaun aboard after a walk, Wells singled to left-center and Matt Stairs pounded a single to left, scoring Zaun on a close play at the plate. Red Sox catcher Varitek blocked the plate as the relay came in from shortstop Julio Lugo, but was high on the tag.

A pair of singles from Rios and Thomas then netted a pair of runs, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead.

Boston got one back in the ensuing inning. Coco Crisp bunted for a hit with Varitek already on first. After a failed bunt attempt by Alex Cora and a single from Lugo, rookie Jacoby Ellsbury took a changeup away to center for an RBI sacrifice fly.

"I didn't do the job, but you've got to turn the page," Cora said. "I don't think one play caused (the outcome) of the game."

While Cora may be right, the inability of both he and Crisp to move runners along with bunts was in sharp contrast to Toronto's John McDonald, who executed a perfect sacrifice in the ninth.

"That was big," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Crisp is such a good bunter too and we caught a break there. But games come down to fundamentals and they were big in this game. You don't always see that in ballparks like this."

Marcum was very effective in his five innings, but was pulled after just 89 pitches. His first replacement, Brian Wolfe, was not quite as successful. He hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch with two outs and then gave up a two-run homer to Varitek, giving the Red Sox a 4-3 advantage.

After Brandon League and Scott Downs combined to load the bases in the seventh, Casey Janssen came on to strike out both J.D. Drew and Youkilis. The Fenway Park crowd voiced its displeasure with the $70 million right fielder with a chorus of boos and jeers.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 2 6 11 0
    BOSTON 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 4 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - SHAUN MARCUM, BRIAN WOLFE (6TH), BRANDON LEAGUE (7TH), SCOTT
    DOWNS (7TH), CASEY JANSSEN (7TH), JEREMY ACCARDO (8TH) AND
    GREGG ZAUN, CURTIS THIGPEN (9TH)
    BOS

    Sep 5 10:34 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY VERNON WELLS (16) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF HIDEKI OKAJIMA SCORED RUSS ADAMS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6, BOSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: M STAIRS (.310, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 10:22 PM
  • 5
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    RUWTbot Took away 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 10:22 PM
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    roots
    RUWTbot Added 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 10:14 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TROY GLAUS (20) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF MANNY DELCARMEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4, BOSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.246, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 9:54 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JASON VARITEK (13) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF BRIAN WOLFE SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3, BOSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.265, 1-FOR-1, SAC)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 9:15 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JACOBY ELLSBURY SCORED JASON VARITEK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LUGO ON FIRST, C CRISP ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.317, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 8:54 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FRANK THOMAS SCORED MATT STAIRS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, F THOMAS ON FIRST, A RIOS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: T GLAUS (.262, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 8:39 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED VERNON WELLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A RIOS ON FIRST, M STAIRS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.270, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 8:36 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT STAIRS SCORED GREGG ZAUN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M STAIRS ON FIRST, V WELLS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.310, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 8:35 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY J.D. DREW SCORED JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J DREW ON FIRST, D ORTIZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.290, 16 HR, 76 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 5 7:25 PM
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    cramyamel Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 1 8:26 PM