Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 4
Kevin Millar and Orlando Cabrera each drove in two runs, and former Gold Glove first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz made his first career start at second base in Boston’s 8-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
“There was definitely a double-take when we looked at the lineup,” Millar said.
In an unusual move by manager Terry Francona to load Boston’s lineup with left-handed hitters, Mientkiewicz played second for the second time since coming to the majors in 1998. The 2001 Gold Glove winner at first base for Minnesota, had played second for a total of one inning—last season.
Mientkiewicz found himself right in the middle of things in the second inning when he was plowed over and knocked to the ground by Carlos Delgado’s elbow after fielding Frank Catalanotto’s grounder. Delgado broke up a potential double play. Otherwise, Mientkiewicz handled one other chance flawlessly— starting a double play—before moving to his usual position during defensive changes in the eighth.
“On one hand, he played the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” Mientkiewicz said. “It was kind of hard. I just didn’t appreciate the way he did it to me. He knows I’m not a second baseman. I wouldn’t have done it that way to a guy playing his first game at second.”
Derek Lowe (11-10) allowed four runs—three earned—in seven innings for the win. The Red Sox have scored at least seven runs in 10 of Lowe’s victories, getting nine or more on eight occasions.
Keith Foulke got six outs for his 20th save in 25 chances.
“You could have put him in left field and the first three guys would have hit the ball to left,” Lowe said of Mientkiewicz playing second. “First play, he bailed me out of the first inning.”
In the first, Mientkiewicz made a nice backhanded pick up of Vernon Wells’ grounder, stepped on second and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.
“I think Manny’s catching, (Curt) Schilling’s playing left and I’m pitching tomorrow,” Millar said jokingly.
The Blue Jays fell a season-high 21 games under .500.
“It was a hard hit,” interim manager John Gibbons said of Delgado’s play. “If you’re in the baseline and you don’t give the ball up, you’re fair game. I’d expect him to do the same thing.”
Delgado said he was just trying to break up the play.
“He was in the baseline,” Delgado said. “I’m going to go in so he doesn’t get the double play.”
The Red Sox broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Jason Varitek and an RBI single by Cabrera.
Millar’s two-run double made it 5-1 and knocked out starter Justin Miller (1-2) in the fifth. Dave Roberts walked, Manny Ramirez doubled and David Ortiz was intentionally walked, loading the bases before Millar hit a liner high off the Green Monster.
The Blue Jays capitalized on Cabrera’s second error of the game for an unearned run in a three-run seventh that cut it to 5-4. Cabrera was booed when he stumbled on Gabe Gross’ grounder for an infield hit in the inning.
Johnny Damon hit a two-run triple and Roberts an RBI double to make it 8-4 in the eighth.
Boston took a 1-0 in the second when Ortiz doubled, advanced on a fielder’s choice and scored on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly.
Toronto tied it in the fourth on Vernon Wells’ RBI single after Orlando Hudson singled and stole second.
Miller gave up five runs—four earned—and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.
The Blue Jays are 4-12 in August, the most losses this month in the AL. … It was Miller’s second start since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 4 after being sidelined with a right hamstring injury. … Lowe drilled Delgado with a pitch on his backside, leading off the seventh, but the slugger dropped his bat and headed to first without incident. … Most of the game was played in a light rain.