Red Sox 11, Blue Jays 5

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TORONTO (AP)—Curt Schilling hasn’t felt this good in months, and that’s great news for the Boston Red Sox.

Schilling earned his 16th win, and David Ortiz homered twice and drove in four runs in the Red Sox’s 11-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

“I feel strong. Tonight was the best fastball I’ve had in probably three or four months,” Schilling said. “It was a minimal effort.”

Schilling (16-6) joined Oakland’s Mark Mulder (17-4) as the only AL pitchers with at least 16 wins. Schilling allowed one run and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out nine and walked none. His last strikeout—Gregg Zaun in the seventh—was the 2,700th of his career, making him the 18th player to reach that mark.

The win was also Schilling’s first in four starts against Toronto this season, helping Boston finish 5-1 on its road trip. The Red Sox moved 5 1/2 games behind New York in the AL East after the Yankees lost 4-3 at Cleveland.

“We had a great road trip. We’re clicking,” Schilling said.

Ortiz entered in a 2-for-21 slump but went 3-for-4 for the Red Sox, who have won eight of nine and improved to 32-32 on the road. Manny Ramirez hit his AL-leading 34th homer and Orlando Cabrera also went deep for Boston.

Ramirez and Ortiz hit back-to-back homers in the third inning off Josh Towers (9-5), and Cabrera also homered in the inning to give Boston a 5-1 lead. It was the third time Boston hit three homers in an inning.

“Manny and David have been unbelievable,” Schilling said. “Having one of them is a huge plus. You put both of them in the lineup and there’s going to be a lot of issues for the other team.”

Cabrera added a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Boston scored four times in the seventh on Ortiz’s two-run homer—his career-high 32nd—and RBI singles by Doug Mirabelli and Mark Bellhorn.

The Blue Jays added four runs in the eighth off Terry Adams on Alex Rios’ run-scoring single, Frank Menechino’s RBI grounder, Zaun’s run-scoring single and pinch-hitter Dave Berg’s RBI single.

Zaun hit an RBI single in the second to give the Blue Jays an early 1-0 lead.

Rios went 3-for-5 for the Blue Jays, who finished 4-14 against Boston this season.

“When you give a guy like Schilling a comfortable cushion, he’s going to shut you down,” Blue Jays interim manager John Gibbons said. “He settled in with a lead and was able to do what he wanted to.”

Towers gave up five runs on nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Notes

Boston 1B Doug Mientkiewicz left in the fourth inning because of a strained left shoulder. Mientkiewicz injured the shoulder while sliding into second base in the third. He struck out swinging in the fourth, and Kevin Millar replaced him to start the bottom of the inning. Manager Terry Francona said he’s day to day. … Ramirez hit his 381st career homer, tying former teammate Albert Belle for 49th on the all-time list. His next one will tie former Red Sox great Jim Rice.

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