TORONTO – David Ortiz and Jason Bay went deep off Toronto ace Roy Halladay and Victor Martinez added a ninth-inning homer as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 6-1 Wednesday.
Halladay (13-6) allowed eight hits and five runs – four earned – and was chased after five innings before a crowd of 25,925 at Rogers Centre. His only shorter start this season was a three-inning outing on June 12 against the Florida Marlins, when he left with a strained groin.
When he returned from the disabled list from that injury on June 29 he was limited to six innings in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Other than that he has pitched at least seven innings in his other 21 starts this season, including five complete games.
The last time he went five innings in a start was June 14, 2008, in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Halladay made 103 pitches with 66 strikes on Wednesday before Josh Roenicke took over to pitch three hitless innings.
Clay Buchholz (2-3) allowed six hits and one run in six innings to earn the victory. The Red Sox have won the first two games of the three-game series.
The Red Sox scored twice in the second inning. Ortiz led it off with his 19th home run of the season on a 2-2 curveball. It was Ortiz’s third home run of the season against the Blue Jays.
Boston struck again when Casey Kotchman hit a high chopper fielded by Halladay for an infield single and stole second as Nick Green struck out. Alex Gonzalez followed a run-scoring single just beyond the reach of shortstop Marco Scutaro.
The Red Sox moved ahead 3-0 in the fourth when Gonzalez’s two-out single was followed by Jacoby Ellsbury’s triple to the gap in right centre. Halladay walked J.D. Drew and was saved from further damage when second baseman Aaron Hill snared Victor Martinez’s low liner for the third out.
The Blue Jays first base runner came when Rod Barajas singled with one out in the third and their second came on Hill’s leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth. Lyle Overbay moved Hill to second with a one-out walk to set up a run-scoring single by Vernon Wells.
Bay, of Trail, B.C., hit his 27th homer of the season and fifth against Toronto with one out in the fifth to put Boston ahead 5-1. It scored Kevin Youkilis, who reached on a grounder after Hill was charged with an error for his high throw to first. It appeared as Overbay had made the tag and manager Cito Gaston came out to argue the call.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the sixth with two out, but Edwin Encarnacion flied out to centre.
Martinez, recently acquired from the Cleveland Indians, hit his 19th homer of the season with two out in the ninth against Brandon League who hit the next batter, Youkilis. There was a warning to both teams.
Notes: The three-game Red Sox-Blue Jays series ends Thursday with a match-up of left-handers Jon Lester (9-7, 3.71 earned-run average) and Toronto’s Brett Cecil (5-1, 4.35). It will be Cecil’s first start since Aug. 8 when he came out of the game after 4 1/3 innings with irritation in his left kneeAs their total of innings pitched for the majors and minors combined, first-year major-leaguers Cecil and Marc Rzepczynski who both started the season in the minors likely won’t be pitching much in September.The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim follow the Red Sox to the Rogers Centre for a three-game seriesThe plan is to give first baseman-designated hitter Randy Ruiz, recently called up from triple-A Las Vegas, a chance to learn the outfield.