The Red Sox had scored 45 runs during their winning streak and climbed within 5 1/2 games of the AL East-leading New York Yankees entering Monday’s series opener. However, they were stymied by Ted Lilly, who struck out 13 and pitched a three-hitter en route to a 3-0 victory.
“He got us tonight,” Boston’s Johnny Damon said of Lilly. “It was just a great outing, but nothing is going to shake this team.”
Coupled with the Yankees’ win over Cleveland on Monday, the Red Sox fell 6 1/2 games back and slipped back into a tie for the lead in the AL wild-race with Anaheim.
The Red Sox were without starting catcher Jason Varitek, who dropped his appeal of a four-game suspension for his part in a bench-clearing brawl with the Yankees last month. He’ll miss the remainder of this series. His replacement, Doug Mirabelli, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Varitek has been Boston’s leading hitter in August, going 26-for-58 (.448) with five homers and 19 RBIs.
“Nobody wants to lose Varitek, but we were going to lose him at some point,” Boston manager Terry Francona said.
Martinez allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings. He made his sixth start against Toronto this year, the first Boston starter to face an opponent six times in one season since Martinez made six against the Yankees in 2001.