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One Step Back for Red Sox

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Edwin Encarnacion

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TORONTO (AP) _ Kyle Drabek won for the first time since June,
Edwin Encarnacion homered and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston
Red Sox 7-3 Tuesday night.

Drabek (1-0) struggled in two starts against Boston last season,
allowing 12 runs and 15 hits and taking the loss in a 14-1 home
defeat on June 12, his last start before being demoted to Triple-A.

The right-hander was much sharper this time, giving up one run
and three hits in 5 1-3 innings and setting down nine straight in
one stretch. He walked three and struck out four to help drop the
Red Sox to 1-4, another slow start for a team that opened last
season with six straight losses.

Jason Frasor and Luis Perez each worked 1 1-3 innings and Casey
Janssen gave up a two-run double to Adrian Gonzalez in the ninth
before David Ortiz was caught looking at strike three, stranding
runners at second and third.

Encarnacion went 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs and matched a
career high with two stolen bases. He lined a solo blast to left
off Michael Bowden in the seventh for his first homer of the
season.

Making his first career start after 192 relief appearances, Red
Sox right-hander Daniel Bard saw his first pitch of the game laced
through the left side for a single by Toronto shortstop Yunel
Escobar. Two outs later, Escobar advanced to third when Adam Lind
grounded a double down the third base line, then scored on Edwin
Encarnacion’s infield single.

Toronto tacked on two more in the third. Escobar and Kelly
Johnson led off with back-to-back singles, Jose Bautista struck out
and Lind lined an RBI single to center. One out later, Brett Lawrie
chopped a single through the right side, scoring Johnson.

Drabek kept the Red Sox scoreless until the sixth, when Ellsbury
led off with a walk and moved to third on Dustin Pedroia’s double.
Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly, with Pedroia advancing to third, and
Drabek was replaced after walking Ortiz. Toronto escaped when
Frasor came on and got Kevin Youkilis to ground into a double play.

Toronto promptly put the game out of reach by scoring three runs
and chasing Bard in the bottom half. Encarnacion walked and stole
second and Lawrie reached on an infield single, bringing Justin
Thomas out of the Red Sox bullpen. Eric Thames walked to load the
bases before J.P. Arencibia lined a two-run single to right. Colby
Rasmus capped it with a sacrifice fly to left.

Bard (0-1) allowed five runs and eight hits in five-plus
innings, walked one and struck out a career-high six.

NOTES: Bard’s previous high in strikeouts was five, set in a 2
1-3 inning stint at Toronto on May 29, 2009. … Bautista went 0
for 4 and struck out three times. … Youkilis came in hitless in
12 at-bats this season before reaching on a one-out double to right
in the second. … Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (right elbow)
threw 49 pitches over three innings in an extended spring training
game Monday. … Boston INF Mike Aviles was held out of the lineup
with a slightly sprained left ankle. Aviles suffered the injury
breaking out of the box in his second at-bat Monday. … A male fan
jumped out of the seats down the right field line, stripped off his
shirt and pants, and ran across the field during Toronto’s rally in
the bottom of the third. The game had to be paused again in the
fourth when a fan stood in the batter’s eye in center field. …
Toronto Raptors guard Jose Calderon threw out the first pitch. …
Left-handers Jon Lester and Ricky Romero each get their first start
in Wednesday’s series finale, a 12:37 EDT start.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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