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Blue Jays keep Red Sox from clinching playoff spot

Sep 20, 2008 - 10:55 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- A playoff berth may be out of reach for the Toronto Blue Jays, but the least they can do is extend the wait for the division rival Boston Red Sox.

They did exactly that on Saturday afternoon, as ace Roy Halladay finally got the better of Jon Lester to lead the Blue Jays to a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox.

With the win, the Blue Jays prevented the Red Sox from clinching a playoff berth.

They could have sealed it with a win and losses by both the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. But it wasn't in the cards on Saturday - the Jays made sure of it, briskly taking control with a four-run second inning off Lester.

"I don't see any reason why we can't get in," Lester said. "We've been playing good baseball. We've been beaten in some tough games and we've also won some tough games. Hopefully we can keep pressing and showing up every day at the yard and hopefully keep wining. It doesn't matter how you get in, if it's wild card or division, you just get in and the lights turn on and hopefully we keep going."

Halladay (19-11) had dropped both of his previous head-to-head meetings with Lester this season but finally got the better of him, inching closer to his second career 20-win season in the process.

"It's obviously a great milestone," Halladay said of his 20-win chances. "It would mean a lot. But I think that it's always reflected moreso on the team than anything. Today's a great example. You go six innings, give up three runs and get a win out of it."

He didn't have his best stuff, but six decent innings from Halladay were more than enough for Toronto.

"He had to battle hard," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "That's a tough team over there to beat. He did a good job. He got us through to the sixth inning."

The ace righthander, who leads the American League with eight complete games this season threw 106 pitches in just six innings, giving up three runs and six hits while walking three and striking out three.

His counterpart didn't fare as well - at least not early on. Already trailing, 1-0, Lester got hammered in the second inning.

He allowed three of the first four hitters to reach base before Marco Scutaro ripped a two-run double to left. Jose Bautista followed with a run-scoring single and Alex Rios picked up his second RBI of the day on a fielder's choice as Toronto surged to a 5-0 cushion.

"There's a lot more good than bad out of it," Lester said of the loss. "To come back after an inning like that and settle down and still go seven innings and somewhat keep the team in the ballgame - it's one of those things. You can't spot Halladay five runs and hope to have a chance to win that game."

The Red Sox only got to Halladay in the third, getting on the board on David Ortiz's run-scoring single and Jason Bay's two-run homer. They loaded the bases two innings later, but the All-Star hurler struck out Jed Lowrie to end the threat.

"I don't think I was probably around the (strike) zone as much as I normally am," Halladay said. "So, I kind of compounded the problem for myself. But it's a good team. They're going to make you work either way and if you're not on top of it, you can be in for some long innings."

Halladay snapped a two-start losing streak with the victory and got plenty of help from his bullpen, which held Boston to just one hit over the final three innings.

"They battle him pretty good every time he's out there, make him get deep in his pitch count, which they managed to do," Gaston said. "But it so happened the bullpen came through for us today and did a great job."

B.J. Ryan worked a perfect ninth to pick up his 32nd save.






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    Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 6  FinalSep 20 4:32 PM


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

    BATTERIES: BOS - JON LESTER, JUSTIN MASTERSON (8TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY, JESSE CARLSON (7TH), BRANDON LEAGUE
    (8TH), B.J. RYAN (9TH) AND CURTIS THIGPEN

    HOME

    Sep 20 3:48 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SCOTT ROLEN (10) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF JUSTIN MASTERSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3, TORONTO 6
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: K MENCH (.232, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 20 3:40 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JASON BAY (9) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF ROY HALLADAY SCORED DAVID ORTIZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3, TORONTO 5
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LOWRIE (.274, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 5  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 20 2:08 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ORTIZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    TORONTO 5 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.311, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 5  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 20 2:05 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, A RIOS ON SECOND, J BAUTISTA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    TORONTO 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.294, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 5  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 20 1:55 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARCO SCUTARO SCORED SCOTT ROLEN AND KEVIN MENCH.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M SCUTARO ON SECOND, J MCDONALD ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    TORONTO 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J BAUTISTA (.205, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 3  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 20 1:51 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RIOS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.295, 17 HR, 69 RBI)

    Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 20 1:25 PM
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