for this game

Varitek drives in winning run as Red Sox top Blue Jays

May 1, 2008 - 4:31 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer BOSTON (Ticker) -- Jason Varitek singled home Manny Ramirez with the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Boston Red Sox edged the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1, on Wednesday at Fenway Park.

Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells, who threw out pinch runner Jed Lowrie at the plate on Brandon Moss' single to center in the previous at-bat, could not repeat the feat on Varitek's base hit off Scott Downs (0-1).

"You don't see that happen too often," Varitek said. "I was just running and was able to just see the tail end of it."

Toronto lost for the eighth time in nine games.

"It's gradually getting more frustrating," Wells said. "We can obviously swing the bats a lot better than we have been - that's the frustrating thing. Our pitching staff is doing their part and we're not. It's obviously frustrating for all of us. You'd think by now we'd end it, but this is the ugly side of baseball."

Boston, meanwhile, won its second straight despite managing just three runs total in the first two games of the series.

"Obviously, as a whole, we're not swinging the bats great right now," Varitek said. "You don't quit and you can't quit in this place because that's not what this organization is built on."

Jonathan Papelbon (2-0) tossed a scoreless top of the ninth to pick up the win for the second straight night.

"It's somebody different every night and I think that's what makes our ball club tick right now," Papelbon said.

"Late heroics are better than no heroics," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Our pitching has managed to keep us right there and allow one big hit or two to win a game for us."

David Ortiz singled off Downs to start the ninth and moved to second when Ramirez was walked. Ortiz, still nursing a sore right knee, was removed for Lowrie before Mike Lowell struck out, and Moss followed with his single.

It was the eighth win for Boston in its final at-bat and marked their first consecutive walk-off wins since June 24-25, 2006 against Philadelphia at Fenway.

"It means we're playing a lot of close games bit it also means that we continue to play," Francona said. "It's not always easy but it's a heck of a lot better to win than lose."

For the second consecutive evening, each starting pitcher was dominant in cold, blustery conditions.

Dustin McGowan retired 19 of the first 20 batters he faced, allowing only a leadoff single by Ramirez in the second. He yielded just one run and four hits in 7 1/3 innings.

The Red Sox finally broke through with one out in the seventh, when Ortiz drove a 2-0 changeup from McGowan into the first row of the grandstands in right.

Toronto right fielder Alex Rios appeared to have a bead on the ball but pulled up just before the short wall, and a fan caught it before Rios could extend his glove.

The home run was the first for the Red Sox since Ortiz connected in the ninth inning last Thursday - a span of 44 frames - and marked the first extra-base hit by Boston since Ramirez's double in the fifth on Friday night at Tampa Bay.

Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka was pulled after seven stellar innings in which he allowed just two hits.

"I thought the results spoke for themselves," Francona said. "Even in this weather, he's got a little more ease in his delivery, which I think is allowing some life on his fastball. He's getting some swings and misses. He kept us right where we needed to be because we weren't doing a lot offensively."

Matsuzaka, who retired the first eight batters he faced before walking Gregg Zaun in the third, finished with two walks and four strikeouts.

"Today I was able to do my minimum required job as a starter and the team got the win so it's great," Matsuzaka said.

Matsuzaka worked out of his only jam in the fifth, when he allowed his first hit - a two-out single by Matt Stairs - before walking Wells. Lyle Overbay grounded out to third to end the inning.

But Matsuzaka lost his chance at a win when Boston's bullpen could not hold the lead in the eighth. Manny Delcarmen allowed a leadoff single by Adam Lind, and Hideki Okajima came on and surrendered a double by Zaun.

Rios tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right, but Okajima avoided further damage when he struck out David Eckstein and Scott Rolen to end the inning.

"It was just like last night," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Came down to the wire, they had the last at-bat. We said last night the big boys find a way to the plate. It's that simple. We made a run at them. Two great throws by Vernon. Both sides of the game pitched great. That's basically what it came down to, a tight ballgame. They've been winning those, we haven't."

McGowan finally ran out of steam with one out in the eighth, allowing a double by Coco Crisp and walking Julio Lugo.

But Jeremy Accardo got Dustin Pedroia to fly out to center before Youkilis grounded into a forceout.








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

    BATTERIES: TOR - DUSTIN MCGOWAN, JEREMY ACCARDO (8TH), SCOTT DOWNS (9TH) AND
    GREGG ZAUN, ROD BARAJAS (8TH)
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, MANNY DELCARMEN (8TH), HIDEKI
    OKAJIMA (8TH

    Apr 30 10:06 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON VARITEK SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    FINAL SCORE: BOSTON 2, TORONTO 1

    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 2  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 30 10:06 PM
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    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 1  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 30 9:38 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEX RIOS SCORED ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M SCUTARO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: D ECKSTEIN (.250, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 1  Top 8, 0 OutsApr 30 9:17 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DAVID ORTIZ (5) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF DUSTIN MCGOWAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, BOSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.346, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 0, Red Sox 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 30 8:59 PM
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