Blue Jays pound Beckett, Red Sox in 15-4 win

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BOSTON (AP)—Josh Beckett missed his spots early and the Blue Jays made sure he didn’t last long enough to find his control.

Alex Rios had five hits, matching a club record with four doubles, and Toronto chased Beckett in the third inning of a 15-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

“He just made some mistakes early in the game and the guys hit him,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “Otherwise, that doesn’t happen to him too often. Some days that happens.”

Adam Lind had a solo homer and four RBIs and John McDonald added three hits and three RBIs for the Blue Jays, who set a club record with 10 doubles. They won their fifth in six games and improved to 6-2 against the Red Sox this season. The teams meet again for three games in Toronto next weekend.

“Whenever you have a chance to get those pitchers out of the game quick, it’s good to get to their bullpen and work their bullpen,” Rios said. “It was a good day for everybody. I guess that gave us a little more confidence.”

The Blue Jays, seemingly out of the AL wild-card race a week ago, completed a 5-1 road trip by sweeping the rain-shortened, two-game series in Boston. Toronto, which is seven games behind the Red Sox for the wild-card spot, opens a key homestand against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.

Boston lost consecutive games for the first time in August and fell to 21-23 within the AL East, its only losing record against any division. The Red Sox open a nine-game road trip—all against division foes—Monday night in Baltimore.

Shaun Marcum (8-5) gave up one run and five hits in five innings. He’s won his last three starts, allowing four runs in 18 innings.

Beckett (11-9), coming off a splendid outing Monday in Chicago when he held the White Sox to one run in eight innings, was tagged for eight runs and eight hits in 2 1-3 innings. It was his shortest start since going 1 1-3 innings against the Yankees on June 5, 2006.

The common phrase in Boston’s clubhouse was Beckett had “a bad day.”

“The fastballs he threw ran back over the middle. They were elevated,” manager Terry Francona said. “We spent the majority of the day doing that. They were pretty consistent in scoring.”

Toronto scored in all but two innings and equaled its season high with 22 hits, the most Boston pitchers have given up this year.

“Just a bad day all the way around,” Beckett said.

Kevin Youkilis hit his 23rd homer and Dustin Pedroia his 12th—both solo shots—for the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays scored six times against Beckett in the first. After Joe Inglett opened the game by striking out, the next six hitters reached. Marco Scutaro singled, Rios doubled and Vernon Wells walked to load the bases before Lind’s RBI single. Rios also scored on the play when left fielder Jason Bay bobbled the ball for an error.

Lyle Overbay singled in a pair after Rob Barajas was hit by a pitch. McDonald added a two-run double to make it 6-0.

“The way we came out swinging the bats against Beckett today is a big lift for us,” McDonald said. “I think we thought today was going to be one of those games where one or two runs was going to be tough to come by. To have our guys set the tone early was a big lift.”

Lind homered deep into the right-field seats leading off the third. One out later, Overbay doubled. Brad Wilkerson greeted reliever David Aardsma with a triple that rolled around the right-field corner, making it 8-0.

Francona pulled catcher Jason Varitek and first baseman Youkilis after four innings. Right fielder J.D. Drew left with tightness in his lower back after three.

Notes

Rios equaled his career high for hits and became the third Blue Jays player with four doubles, the first since Shannon Stewart on July 18, 2000. … Toronto homered in its sixth straight game, matching a season high also accomplished April 18-23. … Former Red Sox manager Dick Williams, inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 27th, was honored during an on-field ceremony before the game. … Boston RHP Clay Buchholz, pushed back in the rotation after recent struggles and again with a rainout Friday, gave up a run in an inning of relief.

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