Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0
TORONTO (AP)—Ted Lilly thoroughly enjoyed ending Boston’s six-game winning streak with a record-setting performance.
Lilly struck out a career-high 13 in a three-hit shutout, pitching the Toronto Blue Jays past Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox 3-0 Monday night. Lilly (9-8) set a club mark for strikeouts by a left-hander—the previous record of 11 was accomplished twice by David Wells and once by Al Leiter.
“I’ll certainly look back and be pretty happy about this,” said Lilly, who entered 0-3 with a 5.26 ERA in 10 career games against the Red Sox, including nine starts.
Reed Johnson hit a leadoff homer against Martinez (13-5), sending the last-place Blue Jays to their fourth consecutive victory. Lilly walked two and threw 126 pitches in his second career shutout and fourth complete game.
“He was fun to watch tonight,” Martinez said.
Manny Ramirez doubled in the first, Mark Bellhorn tripled in the fifth and Orlando Cabrera singled in the eighth for Boston’s only hits. Martinez struck out 10 for the Red Sox, who fell 6 1/2 games behind New York for first place in the AL East. They were 10 1/2 back on Aug. 15.
Lilly’s previous high of 11 strikeouts was set on June 22, 2002, when he pitched his first shutout with Oakland at San Diego.
“I had three or four pitches working the whole time,” he said. “You can’t beat a team like that with one pitch.”
Lilly was bothered by a sore neck in the days leading up to this start, but he said he felt fine Monday.
The All-Star left-hander threw a career-best two-hitter April 26 at Minnesota.
“He got us tonight,” Boston’s Johnny Damon said. “It was just a great outing, but nothing is going to shake this team.”
Jason Varitek, Boston’s best hitter this month, dropped his appeal Monday of a four-game suspension for his part in a bench-clearing brawl with the New York Yankees last month. Replacement Doug Mirabelli went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
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.
Johnson led off the first inning with a homer, the fifth time Toronto has started the first with a home run this season. Orlando Hudson followed with a triple before Vernon Wells hit a sacrifice fly, making it 2-0.
The Red Sox won their previous six games against Toronto. … 3B Hinske robbed Ramirez of a hit with a diving grab of a grounder in the fourth. … Attendance was 27,145, many of them Red Sox fans. … The Blue Jays had lost 13 of 15 before their current winning streak. … Wells left in the ninth with tightness in his right calf, the same injury that caused him to miss 24 games earlier this season.