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Thomas' three homers lead Jays past Sox

Sep 18, 2007 - 4:15 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Frank Thomas usually can't touch Tim Wakefield's knuckleball. But when he does, he often leaves the yard.

Thomas, who entered a lifetime .222 hitter against Wakefield with 14 strikeouts in 45 at-bats, belted two home runs off the veteran hurler and added a third blast, and Dustin McGowan pitched a complete game as the Toronto Blue Jays toppled the Red Sox, 6-1, on Monday.

It was the third loss in four games for the Red Sox (90-61), who lost two of the three to the surging New York Yankees over the weekend. Their lead in the American League East dropped to 3 1/2 games over New York (86-64), which defeated Baltimore, 8-5.

Thomas got things started in the first inning, drilling an 0-1 knuckler over the left-center field wall to give the Jays an early 2-0 lead.

"It felt like one of those days," Thomas said. "I was just on time, got some good pitches to hit and didn't miss."

Wakefield (16-11) - who entered the game struggling, having allowed 13 runs in 6 2/3 innings over his last two starts - settled down for the most part thereafter, retiring eight straight batters at one point.

"I'd like to have just two pitches back - both of them to Frank," Wakefield said. "You make mistakes to him, they leave the yard pretty quick."

Thomas still had a couple more home runs in him. With Toronto holding to a two-run lead in the sixth, the "Big Hurt" added an insurance run, lifting one just over the fence and off the left field foul pole.

Two innings later on a nearly identical pitch from Sox reliever Kyle Snyder, he added homer No. 3. More importantly, it was No. 512 for Thomas' career, surpassing Mel Ott to tie for 18th all-time.

It was the second time in his career Thomas has hit three homers against Boston. The last time he did it, Wakefield was once again the victim. On September 15, 1996, he belted three homers - all off Wakefield - in a 9-8 Boston victory.

"I remember it like it was yesterday," Wakefield said.

While Thomas was connecting often, McGowan (11-9) was hardly touched by the Boston bats. He surrendered just five hits and struck out nine, including David Ortiz three times. He got into trouble just once, as Sox rookie Jacoby Ellsbury led off the top of the fourth with a single and came home on Mike Lowell's double.

"I was just pounding the zone," McGowan said. "I didn't walk anybody, so that's a plus. I made them put it in play and the defense played great."

"That was good stuff," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona of McGowan's performance. "I thought his slider really made it difficult. We had a lot of trouble with it."

The Red Sox managed just three more hits - two in the ninth - as McGowan completed his second career complete game and improved to 3-1 in September. The righthander has given up just eight runs in 30 innings over four starts. It was just what the Jays needed, one day after a 12-inning affair in which the team used eight pitchers in an 8-6 loss to Baltimore.

"Without that it may have been a long night," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.








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

    BATTERIES: BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD, BRYAN COREY (7TH), KYLE SNYDER (8TH) AND KEVIN
    CASH, DOUG MIRABELLI (8TH)
    TOR - DUSTIN MCGOWAN AND GREGG ZAUN

    HOME RUNS: BOS - NONE
    TOR - FRA

    Sep 17 9:22 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (25) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF KYLE SNYDER SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 6
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.278, 2-FOR-3)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysSep 17 9:06 PM
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    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysSep 17 8:31 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (24) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF TIM WAKEFIELD.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.279, 2-FOR-2)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysSep 17 8:29 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED RUSS ADAMS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V WELLS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    TORONTO 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: M STAIRS (.300, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysSep 17 8:17 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LOWELL ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    TORONTO 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.262, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysSep 17 7:57 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (23) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF TIM WAKEFIELD SCORED VERNON WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0, TORONTO 2
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.276, 16 HR, 73 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysSep 17 7:20 PM
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    bouseman Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysSep 11 2:04 PM
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    cramyamel Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysSep 10 8:47 PM