Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4
BOSTON (AP)—Boston’s new shortstop finally did what the old one had done many times—deliver the game-winning hit.
Orlando Cabrera doubled in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night. He had struggled since a July 31 trade sent him to the Red Sox and moved two-time AL batting champion Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs.
“Unbelievable,” Cabrera said. “I have done it in Montreal, but it’s not 35,000 people. They deserve it.”
He came from the Expos in the four-team, eight-player trade but was just 13 for 62 for Boston before Tuesday.
“This guy is playing in a very tough arena in this town, replacing a hero for all the fans,” Johnny Damon said. “I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Damon used his speed to beat out a potential double-play grounder and then score the winning run when Cabrera hit Justin Speier’s second pitch of the game off the Green Monster.
Pinch-hitter Dave Roberts, obtained from Los Angeles in another trade deadline deal, drew a leadoff walk and was forced out at second base on Damon’s grounder off Kevin Frederick (0-2). Then Cabrera hit a drive off the left-field scoreboard. The ball bounded high in the air as Damon came around and slid in ahead of Kevin Cash’s tag.
“I know Cabrera’s hit is dramatic, but (Roberts) getting on set up the inning,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Because of Johnny’s speed and the way Davey broke up the double play, we got a chance to do that.”
Keith Foulke (3-3) pitched a perfect ninth as Boston retired Toronto’s last 10 batters.
The Red Sox (66-52), who got home runs from Damon and Jason Varitek, improved to a season-high 14 games over .500 and are 8-3 in their last 11 games. Boston closed within nine games of the AL East-leading Yankees and remained tied with Texas for the wild-card lead.
“I’m frustrated,” said Lilly, who is 1-4 with a 3.63 ERA in his last nine starts. “I need to eliminate some of the deep counts and walks.”
He allowed six hits and four walks, and struck out five.
Pedro Martinez, 9-1 in his previous 15 starts, allowed eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts, ending a streak of three double-digit strikeout games.
“I didn’t have my best stuff so I had to battle,” he said. “One flat day. That’s all you can say.”
The benches cleared briefly in the seventh after Lilly hit David Ortiz with a pitch, putting runners at first and second. Ortiz stared at Lilly, who came in from the mound.
“I was frustrated because he hit me in the hand. It’s not like I swung at him,” Ortiz said.
Lilly was restrained and pushed back toward the mound by Toronto pitching coach Gil Patterson.
“I’d be surprised if he thinks I was really trying to hit him,” Lilly said.
On Monday, Derek Lowe hit Carlos Delgado in the back with a pitch in the seventh. In the second inning Monday, Delgado had knocked down Doug Mientkiewicz, making his first career start at second base, as Mientkiewicz fielded a grounder and tagged Delgado. Mientkiewicz was upset and said he wouldn’t have knocked down a fielder playing out of his regular position.
Wells’ RBI single put Toronto ahead in the first.
“It’s a battle” against Martinez, Wells said. “You take whatever you can get.”
Damon led off the bottom of the first with his 14th homer, a drive down the right-field line.
Gabe Kapler’s RBI groundout put Boston ahead 2-1 in the second, but Wells hit a two-run homer in the bottom half and Hinske’s solo shot in the fourth put Toronto ahead 4-2.
Varitek homered with two outs in the fifth, and Ricky Gutierrez’s RBI single later in the inning tied it.
Martinez allowed two homers in the first four innings after giving up none in his previous three starts. … Orlando Hudson went 2-for-4 and is 9-for-17 in his last four games. … Frank Catalanatto went 0-for-3 and is hitless in his last 12 at-bats. … Gutierrez drove in his first run in nine games since being obtained July 21 from the Chicago Cubs. … Kevin Millar stretched his hitting streak to nine games and is 13-for-29 in that span.