RED SOX 2 - BLUE JAYS 1
Manny Ramirez slid in just ahead of the tag on Jason Varitek’s single in the ninth, giving the Boston Red Sox their second straight win in their last at-bat, 2-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays last night.
Ramirez barely beat the throw from centre-fielder Vernon Wells, who had thrown out Jed Lowrie at the plate on the previous play, a single by Brandon Moss. When umpire Sam Holbrook made the safe call, Ramirez slammed his helmet to the ground and was swarmed by teammates.
The Red Sox had beaten the Blue Jays 1-0 on Tuesday night on Kevin Youkilis’ RBI single to centre in the ninth that drove in Ortiz from second base. On that play, the ball took a big hop that Wells couldn’t handle and he didn’t make a throw.
Jonathan Papelbon (2-0) won for the second straight night as Boston took the lead in its last at-bat for the fifth time in its last six victories.
Scott Downs (0-1) had put runners at first and second with no outs in the ninth on a single by Ortiz and a walk to Ramirez. Mike Lowell then struck out before Moss singled.
Ortiz had broken a scoreless tie with his fifth homer of the season in the seventh, breaking Dustin McGowan’s string of retiring 16 straight batters.
Toronto tied it in the eighth on Alex Rios’ sacrifice fly against Hideki Okajima after Adam Lind singled off Manny Delcarmen and took third when Gregg Zaun doubled.
Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up two hits in seven scoreless innings and has allowed just 20 hits in six starts covering 352/3 innings this season. It was his first game in 12 days, coming after he missed a scheduled start April 23 because of the flu.
McGowan allowed one run on four hits in 71/3 innings and struck out five, while only walking one.