Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4
Doug Mirabelli hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning, and Timlin pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom half to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Tuesday night.
On Sunday, Timlin got the Red Sox out of a trouble after Manny Ramirez fell down on a fly ball, which put runners at second and third with one out. Against Toronto, 10 of Timlin’s 13 pitches in the sixth inning were for strikes.
“What he did was incredible,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He threw the ball real good the other day, but his command tonight was phenomenal.”
Tim Wakefield (10-7) allowed three runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings for his fifth win in his last six starts. Keith Foulke got four outs for his 23rd save as the Red Sox won for the seventh time in eight games and remained 6 1/2 games behind New York in the AL East.
“Mike deserves the win, not me today,” Wakefield said.
With the Blue Jays leading 3-2 in the sixth, Orlando Cabrera hit a one-out double and Bill Mueller followed with a walk. Mirabelli then hit a 2-1 pitch from Miguel Batista (9-10) to left to give Boston a 5-3 lead.
“I’m just happy I got out of it,” Timlin said. “As a middle reliever there are a few things you want to be able to do, and that’s not let inherited runners score. And there was three of them out there, and that doesn’t happen very often.”
Added Mirabelli: “He has one of the top five sinkerballs in baseball. It moves a lot and he showed it today.”
Zaun cut Boston’s lead to 5-4 with an RBI single off Timlin in the seventh, but Ramiro Mendoza and Foulke followed with hitless relief.
Boston entered the day tied with Anaheim for the lead in the AL wild-card race.
Orlando Hudson homered for the last-place Blue Jays, who won their previous four games.
“When Timlin comes in after you face a knuckleballer, it looks like he’s throwing 120 mph,” Blue Jays interim manager John Gibbons said.
Mirabelli is Wakefield’s personal catcher, but he’s also Boston’s everyday starter this week while Jason Varitek serves a four-game suspension for his part in a bench-clearing brawl with the Yankees last month.
Wakefield’s run-scoring wild pitch gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the second.
Hudson homered in the third, and Eric Hinske’s RBI single in the fourth gave Toronto a 3-0 lead.
Ramirez hit a two-run single in the fifth to cut it to 3-2.
Batista allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Mirabelli homered twice in a 4-2 victory at SkyDome on April 21. … Zaun struck out on a called strike in the second and then argued with plate umpire Tony Randazzo when he came out to catch in the third. 1B Carlos Delgado got between Zaun and Randazzo. Zaun wasn’t ejected. … After catching Ramirez’s fly ball in the third, LF Gross threw out a retreating Dave Roberts at first.