MORTON GROVE, Ill. (AP)—After receiving some good news off the field, the Boston Red Sox finally made some good news on it.
The injury-plagued Red Sox ended their six-game losing streak Thursday, and got the news that they may have slugger David Ortiz in the lineup by Saturday as they continue their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Friday night.
Boston (72-62) stopped its slide with a 6-4 victory over Roy Halladay and the Jays (69-65). The Red Sox had limped home following a 2-7 road trip, and began the current series without Ortiz and Manny Ramirez.
Before the game, Ortiz said he is in good health after experiencing heart palpitations and hopes to play Saturday. The team was more cautious about the possible return of the AL’s leading home run hitter, who was not at the ballpark Thursday.
“I talked to David today,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “I think he was very upbeat. I think the medical people are also, but, at the same time, we sent him home to be careful. So to deviate from that plan now would be, in my opinion, stupid, and we’re not going to be stupid.”
Ramirez, who leads the team with a .326 average, missed his fifth straight game Thursday with a knee injury, and his status is uncertain. The Red Sox are also without Jason Varitek (knee), Alex Gonzalez (back) and Trot Nixon (biceps strain), all of whom are on the disabled list. All three could return sometime next week.
A fortuitous bounce helped the Red Sox remain eight games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East, and pull within 6 1/2 of wild-card leading Chicago. In the seventh inning, Blue Jays right fielder Alex Rios juggled Alex Cora’s fly ball about 10 feet from the fence and accidentally knocked it over the wall for a two-run homer that snapped a 4-4 tie.
“Sometimes you need a break,” Francona said. “We played ourselves into position where a break helps us win a game, not gets us back within four.”
Kyle Snyder (3-3, 6.91 ERA) will make his seventh start of the season for Boston on Friday. He’s lasted past the fifth inning just once in his first six outings.
The right-hander pitched four innings Sunday and gave up six runs and eight hits in a 6-3 loss at Seattle.
“The bottom line is I wasn’t able to get the job done,” Snyder said.
Snyder is 0-2 with an 8.71 ERA in two starts against Toronto.
The Blue Jays missed a chance Thursday to pull within one game of the Red Sox for second place in the division. Toronto is 7-5 against Boston this season.
The Blue Jays’ Ted Lilly (11-11, 4.78), Friday’s scheduled starter, is 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last three starts at Fenway Park. In his lone start at Boston this year, he gave up one run in seven innings of an 8-6 victory April 13.
Lilly won for only the second time since the All-Star break Sunday despite surrendering six runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 10-6 victory over Kansas City. The start was his first since scuffling with manager John Gibbons on Aug. 21 after he was pulled from a game against Oakland.
“What happened last start was unlike both of us. I think we learned a lot from it,” Lilly said. “It’s good to come back and contribute a little bit, enough to help us win.”
The left-hander is 2-3 with an 8.28 ERA in his last six outings.