By JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) _ Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis had three
extra-base hits apiece, and Tim Wakefield scattered nine hits in
seven innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 6-4 victory over the
Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
Wakefield (5-3) earned the 198th win of his career, filling in
for a rotation that is without Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and
Daisuke Matsuzaka. The 44-year-old knuckleballer allowed three
runs, struck out seven and walked one as Boston earned its sixth
win in its last seven games.
Ricky Romero (7-8) gave up six runs and nine hits in 4 1-3
innings for Toronto. He surrendered leadoff homers in the first two
innings, to Ellsbury and Youkilis, and allowed five straight hits _
three of them doubles _ as Boston scored four times in the fourth
The game was delayed by rain with two outs in the top of the
eighth inning, Boston leading 6-3 and Aaron Hill coming to bat.
After a 40-minute delay, Dan Wheeler struck Hill out, then Jonathan
Papelbon gave up one run in the ninth but earned his 19th save.
Yunel Escobar had four hits, including an RBI single in the
ninth, for Toronto, which went homerless for the first time in 14
games. Jose Bautista and Travis Snider had two hits apiece.
The solo homers gave Boston a 2-1 lead before the Blue Jays made
it 3-2 in the third on a sacrifice fly by Bautista and Adam Lind’s
RBI single. But with two out in the fourth, J.D. Drew doubled, then
Darnell McDonald and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and Yamaico
Navarro and Ellsbury doubled to give Boston a 6-3 lead.
Youkilis left Monday’s game after being hit by a pitch in the
fourth inning and rested Tuesday night. He returned to the lineup
on Wednesday and started at first base for the first time this
season, filling in for Adrian Gonzalez, who got his first day off
of the season because of a stiff neck.
Romero had allowed just 17 runs in his previous 75 2-3 innings,
but he has struggled against the Red Sox. In 11 career starts vs.
Boston, he is 2-6 with an 8.08 ERA _ his worst numbers against any
NOTES: Saltalamacchia had three passed balls trying to handle
Wakefield’s knuckleball. … The Red Sox put LHP Lester on the
disabled list with a strained muscle in his back. RHP Scott
Atchison was called up to replace him on the roster; he’ll work out
of the bullpen. … Bautista’s 28 home runs before the All-Star
break is one short of the Blue Jays’ record set by George Bell in
1987. … Toronto fell to 29-30 on the road this season. …
Papelbon hit J.P. Arenchibia with a pitch in the ninth. He was
replaced by pinch-runner Mike McCoy.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)