Blue Jays Blast Clay Buchholz, Hold Off Rallying Red Sox 8-7

Blue Jays Blast Clay Buchholz, Hold Off Rallying Red Sox 8-7 Clay Buchholz’s eight-game unbeaten streak came to a screeching halt on Tuesday night as the righty was smacked around by the Blue Jays in Toronto’s 8-7 win.

Buchholz took his first loss since Aug. 13, snapping his streak of six straight victorious decisions and eight team wins in his last eight starts.

The Blue Jays have now won two straight over the Sox at the Fens after entering the series without a win at Fenway all summer long.

The Sox bats put up a late fight with a five-run eighth, highlighted by a J.D. Drew three-run blast, but Boston's offense couldn't match Toronto's six-homer attack.

Still, thanks to the Angels' 5-2 victory over the Rangers later on Tuesday night, the Red Sox have officially clinched the AL wild-card spot. They'll face the Angels in the American League Division Series starting next Wednesday or Thursday in Anaheim.

But more about Tuesday …

Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 7
Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.
September 29, 2009

Live Blog | Box Score | Recap

Headliners: Designated hitter Adam Lind went deep three times and drove in four runs for the Jays. It was the young slugger’s second multihomer game in the last week and first career three-homer performance. Lind, who had just 22 homers in 195 games between 2006-2008, has enhanced his homer total to 35 through 151 games this season.

Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew had three hits including a three-run homer with two down in the bottom of the eighth to bring Boston within one run. It was Drew's fourth multihit game in his last six contests and his second three-hit game of the month.

Dirt dog: Kevin Millar tallied three hits against his old teammates and made an impressive double play at second base when he, playing third base, was shifted over to the shortstop position with David Ortiz at the plate. Millar came across the bag and managed to leap over the sliding Kevin Youkilis and fire a strike to Lyle Overbay at first for the rare 6-5-3 double play.

Although they were out-hit 14-11, the Blue Jays won this one partly thanks to their defense, which turned four double plays on the night.

Better luck next time: No flat pitch was spared at Fenway Park on Tuesday night with Buchholz on the hill. The young righty got shelled for seven runs on eight hits including five home runs. The five taters allowed were the most by a Sox starter since Josh Beckett allowed five against the Yankees on Aug. 23. Entering this game, Buchholz has done a good job keeping the ball in the yard, allowing just two homers combined over his last six starts (41 innings) dating back to Aug. 29.

Key moment: Thanks to a four-run first inning, the Blue Jays were able to carve out a large enough lead to hold off the resurgent Red Sox offense, which rallied for five runs in the eighth to bring it within one run.

In the bottom of the ninth, Jays closer Jason Frasor coughed up a one-out single to Jacoby Ellsbury. But after a deep fly-out to center by Dustin Pedroia and a walk to Victor Martinez, Kevin Youkilis struck out with two on and two out to end a nail-biter.

On deck: Tim Wakefield makes another attempt on the hill as he faces off against Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays who are looking for the sweep.

Wake will be making his fourth start since coming off the disabled list and is still searching for his first win since his triumphant return from back and leg injuries. In his last start, Wakefield coughed up five runs (four earned) on five hits in five innings against the Royals in a rainy affair in the Midwest. In the no-decision, he walked a season-high seven batters. The knuckler has just one win since June 27 but still stands at 11-4 with a 4.33 ERA.

Halladay is eyeing his 17th win of the season and his second in a row. The tall righty is 13-14 in 37 career starts against the Sox, but is just 5-9 at Fenway Park. Halladay is coming off a complete game shutout, his third of the season, over the Mariners last Friday night.

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