for this game

Lester outduels Halladay as Red Sox top Blue Jays

Sep 14, 2008 - 10:13 PM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox virtually ended the diminishing postseason hopes of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lester (15-5) allowed four hits and one run over eight innings and outdueled 18-game winner Roy Halladay as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, 4-1, on Sunday.

"He was strong," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Lester. "Boy, he was good. Good thing because Halladay was pretty good, too. That was a nice matchup."

Halladay (18-11), pitching on three days' rest, was the tough-luck loser. After giving up Coco Crisp's go-ahead single in the second, the righthander set down the next 13 batters, striking out five on the day. He allowed three runs - two earned - and walked none in seven innings.

"Lester did a great job," Halladay said. "When you get in a situation where one or two mistakes cost you the game, it makes it tough. He did a great job. After the (Jose) Bautista home run (in the first inning), it was hard for us. I think that's sometimes a bigger key. When a guy is pitching that well, it makes those little things hurt."

Boston (88-61) lowered its magic number to eight for clinching a playoff spot and pulled within one game of the Tampa Bay Rays (88-59) in the American League East. The Red Sox open a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday.

"We've been playing pretty good baseball for a while," Lester said. "We hit a little skid with Tampa but I think we played pretty good games."

The Blue Jays (80-70) fell 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the wild card race with just 12 games remaining.

"It's tough," Halladay said. "We obviously put ourselves in a hole coming to this point in the season. It was a big series for us. Knowing we were back a ways, we had to come in and win more games than we did. There's obviously still two weeks left to go, but it's tough to come in, knowing you've got to win three or four and getting one. It was a tough series. Obviously, that's a good team."

Toronto grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Bautista worked the count full with one out in the first before drilling Lester's pitch to the second row of "Green Monster" seats in left for his second homer with Toronto and 14th overall this season.

Lester hit Vernon Wells with two outs in the first but recovered by striking out Kevin Mench to get out of further trouble.

"The first inning didn't really go the way I wanted it to, with the home run and hitting Vernon, just too long of an inning. But (I) settled down after that and felt pretty good," Lester said.

"Anytime you go up against Halladay or a pitcher like that, you just try to pitch your game and not worry about what he's doing to our team and, hopefully, have shutdown innings. We were fortunate enough to get a couple of runs early and then have some shutdown innings and score some runs late."

The Red Sox tied the game in the bottom of the first when Jacoby Ellsbury singled, stole his 48th base and scored on a groundout by David Ortiz.

Jason Bay opened the second with a double and scored on Coco Crisp's two-out single to right.

After a one-out single by Lyle Overbay in the fourth, Lester retired the next nine batters before Scott Rolen's one-out single in the seventh and a walk to Gregg Zaun. Lester got out of the first-and-second jam when John McDonald hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

"It was big," Lester said of the twin-killing. "For some reason, I got away from what I was trying to do with Zaun and started nitpicking a little bit, throwing pitches in locations that I didn't need to be throwing. (Pitching coach John Farrell) and Varitek came out there and slowed me down and told me to keep my legs under me and throw the ball downhill. That was definitely a big part of the game because we go out and score one."

Jonathan Papelbon allowed two runs in the ninth but escaped with his 38th save in 43 chances.

The biggest call of the game came as Papelbon was getting hit hard. Lyle Overbay lined a single off the wall in left with none out but Bay made a perfect one-hop throw to Dustin Pedroia to nail Overbay, who was trying to stretch it to a double.

"I know it's a bang-bang play at second but the fact that he did that - (Pedroia) put a great tag on," Francona said. "That changes the whole way the ninth inning unfolds. That was a terrific play."

Replays showed that Overbay's hand reached the bag just before the tag, but second base umpire Doug Eddings ruled him out.

"It is (disappointing) because a couple of calls go our way and we're still playing," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "And that's what's disappointing. I'm not disappointed in how the guys played at all. They never gave up and we had a .500 road trip. It could have been better but as far as disappointment, it's disappointing because we didn't win a couple of games that we probably should have won."








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

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY, B.J. RYAN (8TH) AND GREGG ZAUN
    BOS - JON LESTER, JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND JASON
    VARITEK

    HOME RUNS: TOR - JOSE BAUTISTA (2) OFF JON LESTER I

    Sep 14 4:11 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY SCOTT ROLEN SCORED ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    BOSTON 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.221, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 4  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 14 4:07 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 4  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 14 4:07 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM LIND SCORED VERNON WELLS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LIND ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    BOSTON 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.281, 1-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 4  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 14 4:02 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED DAVID ORTIZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.275, 1-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 14 3:55 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY COCO CRISP SCORED MIKE LOWELL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRISP ON FIRST, A CORA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.266, 1-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 14 3:43 PM
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    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 14 3:43 PM
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    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 14 3:33 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 14 2:21 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY COCO CRISP SCORED JASON BAY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRISP ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.267, 1-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 14 2:19 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.310, 25 HR, 101 RBI)

    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 14 1:52 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 - JON LESTER

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.266, 7 HR, 44 RBI)
    D PEDROIA (.329, 17 HR, 78 RBI)
    D ORTIZ (.263, 18 HR, 76 RBI)

    Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 14 1:46 PM
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 14 11:42 AM
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    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxAug 25 5:14 PM