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Thomas' grand slam propels Blue Jays past Red Sox

Apr 7, 2008 - 12:03 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Frank Thomas blasted a grand slam in the fifth inning Sunday as the Toronto Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 7-4 victory.

Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer in the fourth and ace Roy Halladay (1-1) tossed eight effective frames for the Blue Jays, who have now beaten the defending World Series champions seven straight times.

"We've got a good team this year," Thomas said. "We got off to such a bad start last year - everybody - and dug ourselves a hole. I know they swept us early last year, and it feels good to be able to do the same thing (to them) this year."

Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Varitek and J.D. Drew all smacked solo shots for the road-weary Red Sox, who were outscored, 23-9, during the series.

Josh Beckett (0-1), the majors' only 20-game winner last season, made his 2008 debut and got into a bit of trouble in the fifth with the score knotted at 2-2.

After getting the first two outs of the frame with little problems, Beckett gave up a single to Aaron Hill before walking Alex Rios and Wells to load the bases.

"I thought his legs started to go a little bit, which is understandable," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "I wanted to give him the opportunity to get through five, because I thought he deserved it. That's kind of the fine line you walk, you don't want to go too far with him."

"I felt good health-wise," said Beckett, who threw 92 pitches. "Not the result that you want, but I felt good."

Beckett was then relieved by Manny Delcarmen, who surrendered a grand slam to Thomas on the first pitch he threw. Thomas' second home run in as many days gave the Blue Jays a 6-2 lead. The 39-year-old designated hitter drove in eight runs during the series.

"I hit it good. I'm just happy it jumped off my bat," Thomas said. "It was a big hit in a situation that we needed it, especially in a series with these guys - the defending World Series champions. They were the best team of the league last year, and we wanted to just come out today and show people that we are for real."

"(Delcarmen) didn't locate his fastball where he wanted to," Francona added. "Frank's always been such an intelligent hitter, besides being so strong. The ball just ran over the middle of the plate."

It was all the offense that Halladay would need. The ace yielded four runs and eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

"I think we all know that they're going to be a better team when we're facing them in the middle of the year, having to travel as much as they have and getting their guys rolling," Halladay said. "But we'll take them any time."

Hill added an RBI double in the sixth inning, but Drew responded with his second blast of the season to make it 7-3.

Kevin Youkilis tripled in the eight when shortstop John McDonald collided with Wells in the outfield and then scored on David Ortiz's base hit. But the Red Sox could not get any closer as Jeremy Accardo slammed the door in the ninth to register his third save of the season.

"I thought I had one of the only plays on the ball," McDonald said of the collision. "I was listening as I was running and I had to look back at the ball, and all I was trying to do was try to catch it and make sure Vernon didn't call it. I think we both called it at the exact same time."

"There's no more excuses here," Youkilis said. "Tired or not, we've got to find a way to win. If we start making excuses, it's going to become even more of a negative. We've got to stay positive. We're 3-4, we've got a long, long way to go."

Beckett allowed five runs on three hits and four walks with six strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings.






  • 15
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 7  FinalApr 6 8:15 PM


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

    BATTERIES: BOS - JOSH BECKETT, MANNY DELCARMEN (5TH), DAVID AARDSMA (6TH),
    HIDEKI OKAJIMA (7TH), JONATHAN PAPELBON (8TH) AND JASON
    VARITEK
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY, JEREMY ACCARDO

    Apr 6 4:06 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ORTIZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4
    TORONTO 7 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.259, 1-FOR-3)

    Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 7  Top 8, 0 OutsApr 6 3:39 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY J.D. DREW (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF ROY HALLADAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3, TORONTO 7
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.238, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 7  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 6 3:22 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY AARON HILL SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HILL ON SECOND, S STEWART ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    TORONTO 7 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.389, 1-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 7  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 6 3:17 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY FRANK THOMAS (2) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF MANNY DELCARMEN SCORED AARON HILL, ALEX RIOS AND VERNON
    WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, TORONTO 6
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.286, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 6  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 6 2:49 PM
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    Againigan Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 6 2:46 PM
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    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 6 2:38 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON VARITEK (2) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF ROY HALLADAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, TORONTO 2
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.250, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 2  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 6 2:29 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY VERNON WELLS (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF JOSH BECKETT SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 2
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.222, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 6 2:15 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JACOBY ELLSBURY (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF ROY HALLADAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 0
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.294, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 6 1:46 PM