Youkilis powers Red Sox to win over Jays
Kevin Youkilis homered twice, Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run shot and Jon Lester struck out a career-high 12 as the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 on Sunday.
Jason Bay also homered for the Red Sox, who used a new-look 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 from and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury dropped to eighth as manager Terry Francona tried to boost the offense after watching his team score just 13 runs in its previous five games.
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.
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.
Justin Masterson pitched two innings and Ramon Ramirez finished it off in the ninth.
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. 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.
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. ... 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.