BOSTON (AP)—Jonathan Papelbon got the save after scaring the Red Sox for the second consecutive game.
The rookie closer, who gave up a go-ahead double the previous night, needed a visit from the trainer after catching his spike on the pitching rubber with one strike to go in Boston’s 7-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night. But he stayed in and got Vernon Wells on a comebacker to earn his 11th save in 11 chances.
“He wanted to make sure he was OK,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “That time in the game, you don’t want to leave a pitch over the plate because you’re feeling it somewhere else in your body.”
Clement did not allow a runner past first base until there were two outs in the sixth, when Lyle Overbay doubled to score Troy Glaus and spoil Clement’s shutout bid. The right-hander allowed only one run with four walks while striking out three.
Keith Foulke worked a scoreless seventh, then Rudy Seanez gave up Glaus’ two-run homer in the eighth, the slugger’s ninth of the season. Eric Hinske hit a solo homer off Julian Tavarez in the ninth to make it 7-4, then Aaron Hill singled and Papelbon came in.
He struck out Russ Adams, who doubled off him in the ninth inning of Toronto’s 7-6 victory Wednesday. With two on, Papelbon got ahead of Wells 0-2, then third baseman Mike Lowell called time and Francona led the training staff to the mound.
“My back foot got stuck in the rubber. When I went to release, my leg didn’t come over,” Papelbon said. “It was a little scary. No one ever wants to go on the DL. I just started to walk it off, to make sure the pain didn’t continue.”
Towers (0-6) became the first six-game loser in the majors, allowing five runs in the first inning, settling down, then giving up Youkilis’ homer in the sixth. The Blue Jays are 5-3 against the Red Sox this season, and all the losses have come in Towers’ starts.
“He’s about as low as he can go right now. He’s got to go up,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “You feel for him. You love everything about the way the guy goes about his business. He’s just in a rut. He’s had no breather. I’ll tell you one thing: he won’t quit.”
Youkilis grounded out leading off the first, then six of the next seven batters reached base against Towers. The right-hander allowed just four singles over the next four innings before Lowell, who had a two-run double in the first, doubled and scored on Youkilis’ second homer of the year.
“I’ll take consolation when I stop giving up seven runs a game,” Towers said. “I haven’t been getting it done, and the team’s going to have to make some decisions.”
Wells has reached base safely in all 27 Toronto games, tying Bret Boone (2003) and Victor Martinez (2006) for the longest streak to begin a season. … Adams, who snapped an 0-for-14 slump with his big hit Wednesday, was moved from the No. 8 spot to leadoff in the batting order. … Boston LHP David Wells threw 40 pitches off a mound and is scheduled to throw another 40-45 pitches on Sunday, 50-60 on Wednesday and pitch a simulated game next Saturday. If all goes well, he could appear in a minor league rehab stint May 18, manager Terry Francona said. … The Red Sox optioned 1B Hee-Seop Choi to Triple-A Pawtucket after activating him from the disabled list. … Commissioner Bud Selig was at the game and in town to honor the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, who got their logo on the Green Monster.