for this game

Red Sox hit 4 homers in 8-2 victory over Blue Jays

May 31, 2009 - 9:35 PM TORONTO(AP) -- A new-look lineup gave the Boston Red Sox offense a much-needed spark. The way Jon Lester pitched, it was more than enough.

Kevin Youkilis homered twice, Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run shot and Lester struck out a career-high 12 as the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 on Sunday.

"It started with Lester," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He was powerful."

Lester (4-5) allowed one run, three hits and three walks in six innings, lowering his ERA to 5.65. His 12 strikeouts were the most by a Red Sox pitcher this season and the most by a Boston left-hander since Bruce Hurst struck out 14 against Oakland on May 5, 1987.

"He could have beat anybody with the stuff he had today," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.

Lester, who threw 115 pitches, said his only regret was not being able to go deeper in the game.

"I had a pretty good feel for my curveball today and threw a lot of change-ups," Lester said. "That's big with this team. You've just got to keep a good mix and you can't let them look for one area or sit on a fastball. When I did get behind, I was able to have enough soft stuff in the mix where they couldn't just gear up for a fastball."

Justin Masterson pitched two innings and Ramon Ramirez finished it off in the ninth.

Jason Bay also homered for the Red Sox, who tweaked their lineup to shake themselves out of a recent offensive slump. Nine of Boston's 11 hits were for extra-bases.

Batting leadoff for the first time this season, Pedroia homered off the left-field foul screen in the fourth inning, his second.

Pedroia was bumped up and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury dropped to eighth as Francona tried to boost the offense after watching his team score just 13 runs in its previous five games.

"We need to have our on base guys (up high) for the guys in the middle of the order," Francona said. "It's important."

The moves paid off as every Boston starter except Jason Varitek had at least one hit, helping the Red Sox score more than three runs for just the second time in seven games and improve to 3-4 on their current 10-game trip.

"We scored early and then we added on," Francona said. "That's always a good way to play. We haven't done that very much lately but it was a very good day today."

Francona wasn't sure whether he'd keep the same lineup when the Red Sox open a three-game series in Detroit on Tuesday night. As for Pedroia, the reigning AL MVP isn't concerned about where he hits.

"It doesn't really change my approach," Pedroia said. "Whatever they tell us to do, we're willing to do it. I don't get paid to make the lineup."

Youkilis hit a solo homer in the first off Toronto left-hander Ricky Romero, then hit another solo drive in the eighth off right-hander Brian Wolfe, the sixth multihomer game of his career. Bay followed Youkilis' second drive with an almost identical shot into the left-field bullpen, his 15th.

Trailing 1-0 on Youkilis' first homer, Toronto tied it in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly from Vernon Wells.

Pedroia put Boston ahead to stay with his two-out homer in the fourth. The homer was Pedroia's first since he went deep on his first at bat of the season, April 7 against Tampa Bay, a span of 190 at bats.

Mike Lowell hit an RBI double in the fifth and J.D. Drew hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Toronto's Alex Rios hit a solo homer to left off Masterson in the eighth.

Making his second start since coming off the disabled list with a strained right oblique, Toronto left-hander Ricky Romero (2-2) allowed five runs and six hits in four-plus innings. He walked five and struck out five.

Boston's David Ortiz snapped an 0 for 12 streak with a double to center in the fourth and finished 1 for 5 with a strike out. Ortiz is batting .185.

Notes: Lester's previous high in strikeouts was 10, set twice previously. ... Toronto's Aaron Hill went 0 for 3 with a walk, ending his hitting streak at 13 games. ... Ellsbury had a sacrifice bunt in the fourth, Boston's first of the season. The Red Sox were the last team in the majors without a sacrifice bunt. ... The win was Francona's 499th as Boston manager. ... Francona said there's a "decent chance" that OF Mark Kotsay (back) could be activated off the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday's game at Detroit.






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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2  FinalJun 1 1:14 AM
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    Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2  FinalMay 31 5:39 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 1 0 0 3 1 0 0 3 0 8 11 0
    TORONTO 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 5 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JON LESTER, JUSTIN MASTERSON (7TH), RAMON RAMIREZ (9TH) AND
    JASON VARITEK
    TOR - RICKY ROMERO, SCOTT RICHMOND (5TH), SHAWN CAMP
    (7TH), B.J. RYAN (7TH), BRIAN

    May 31 4:15 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX RIOS (6) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF JUSTIN MASTERSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 8, TORONTO 2
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.267, 0-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 31 3:55 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON BAY (15) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF BRIAN WOLFE.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 8, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.310, 2-FOR-4, RBI)

    Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 1  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 31 3:47 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KEVIN YOUKILIS (9) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF BRIAN WOLFE.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 7, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J BAY (.284, 1-FOR-2, 2 BB)

    Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 31 3:47 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY J.D. DREW SCORED NICK GREEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 6
    TORONTO 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.362, 1-FOR-3, BB, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 31 3:45 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LOWELL ON SECOND, J BAY ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5
    TORONTO 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.189, 1-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 31 2:44 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY DUSTIN PEDROIA (2) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF RICKY ROMERO SCORED DAVID ORTIZ AND JASON VARITEK.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.252, 1-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 31 2:24 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY VERNON WELLS SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RIOS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A LIND (.289, 8 HR, 38 RBI)

    Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 31 1:28 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: BOS - JON LESTER
    TOR - RICKY ROMERO

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: M SCUTARO (.301, 5 HR, 25 RBI)
    A HILL (.338, 12 HR, 37 RBI)
    A RIOS (.276, 5 HR, 24 RBI)

    Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 31 1:15 PM
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    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysMay 28 12:50 PM