Previously slumping Jays take another vs. BoSox
When there's no Green Monster to aim at, the Boston Red Sox don't seem to have the same offensive punch.
Alex Rios had four hits and drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, leading Brian Tallet and the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-3 victory over the slumping Red Sox on Saturday.
Boston has dropped four of five, all away from home, and scored just 13 runs during that span.
The Red Sox are 17-6 at Fenway Park, where they average 6.3 runs per game. On the road, however, Boston is 11-16 and averages 4.2 runs.
"The players we have, not everybody but a lot of them, are suited for Fenway," manager Terry Francona said. "There's guys on our club who know they can reach out and hook something and hit it off that wall. Some of these road games, you can go out and hook it and fly out. There's a difference. It's been something we've been trying to figure out for a while. Our home and road, there's a lot of disparity. I would like, hopefully, to figure it out by tomorrow."
Boston's Kevin Youkilis came in leading the AL with a .374 average but went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, dropping his average to .362.
Also struggling was Boston designated hitter David Ortiz. Batting sixth for the fifth straight game, Ortiz went 0 for 4 and struck out twice, dropping his average to .185.
Rocco Baldelli homered for Boston but came out in the fifth with an injured left knee after slamming into the fence while trying to make a sliding catch of a foul ball.
J.D. Drew took over in right field for Baldelli. X-rays were negative.
"He bruised his kneecap pretty good," Francona said. "I think everybody involved thought it was worse when he first did it, including himself. We'll certainly stay away from him tomorrow. I think we dodged a bullet there because he hit that wall pretty hard."
Toronto won its second straight after a nine-game losing streak and has now won six consecutive games at home, where it is 18-6 overall.
"We haven't lost our confidence," Rios said. "We've been working hard and we're going to keep working hard. We're going to get out of this and we're going to start winning and everything will be good."
With the score tied 3-all, the Blue Jays went ahead with a two-run seventh against Ramon Ramirez (4-2). Marco Scutaro led off with an infield single, went to second on a wild pitch and scored when Rios singled to center. Vernon Wells followed with an RBI double.
Ramirez allowed only two runs in 22 previous games this season.
"It's one of the first tough innings we've seen," Francona said. "He just looked like he was having a hard time. Just looking at his body language, he looked like he was out of sync."
Rios hit an RBI single in the first, doubled and scored in the third and doubled in the fifth before sparking the seventh-inning rally. He finished 4 for 4.
Tallet (3-3) won for the first time in four starts, allowing three runs and three hits in seven innings. He walked four and struck out six.
Shaky early, Tallet gave up all his runs and walks in the first two innings. After correcting a flaw in his delivery, Tallet retired 13 of the next 14 batters and didn't allow another hit until Nick Green's two-out double in the seventh.
"He started off like he wasn't going to make it to the fifth inning," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "All of a sudden he got his control back and started to mix and match pitches."
Brandon League pitched the eighth and Scott Downs worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to earn his seventh save in eight chances.
Mike Lowell gave Boston a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first but Toronto answered with Rios' RBI single.
Baldelli hit a two-run homer in the second, but Red Sox starter Brad Penny couldn't hold the lead.
The Blue Jays got one back in the third when Rios doubled and scored on a two-out single by Adam Lind, then tied it on Lind's leadoff homer in the sixth, his eighth.
Penny allowed three runs, two earned, and 10 hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out five.
"It seemed like every mistake I made they hit," Penny said.
Toronto's Aaron Hill extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Scutaro, who went 3 for 5, has had two or more hits in six consecutive games and seven of his past nine. ... The roof at Rogers Centre was open to begin the game but closed during the fifth inning.