Postgame, Red Sox 7-6: The one bit of postgame news to pass on involves Josh Beckett, who already had his Wednesday start pushed to Friday and now has suffered a tweaked back that could set him back some more.
Manager Terry Francona revealed after Monday's game that Beckett felt something in his back a few days ago (he didn't specify exactly what day, or if Beckett felt it during his start against the Yankees on Friday) and then aggravated it swinging in the cage before the game Monday.
The pitchers are beginning to take some cuts in preparation for the team's visit to Philadelphia next weekend.
Beckett will be re-examined when he gets to the park Tuesday. Francona could make no determination as to whether the righty will make his next start or not.
J.D Drew, who was scratched due to vertigo minutes before the game, tried to rally in the middle of the game in case he was needed to pinch hit, but could not make a go of it as he remained dizzy.
We will update you on Beckett, Drew and everything else when we get to the park Tuesday afternoon.
Final, Red Sox 7-6: The streakiest team in the majors may be starting a little run again. Boston wins its second straight following two ugly losses to the Yankees and improves to 6-2 on the current 10-game homestand.
This one wasn't pretty, however. The Blue Jays walked seven and committed two costly errors. And John Lackey was not at his best, giving up six runs in six innings.
Still, the Sox can clinch a win for the fifth time in their last seven series when they throw Daisuke Matsuzaka against Toronto on Tuesday night. Dana Eveland goes for the Jays.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-6: Jonathan Papelbon is 8-for-8 in save opportunities this year, and 21-for-21 with a 0.88 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays. He's on to try to give the Sox a 6-2 record on this homestand.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 7-6: Jonathan Van Every took one for the team by throwing an inning in that debacle against the Yankees on Saturday. He gives up his body in the eighth of this one by making a catch down the line as he tumbles into the front row of the stands.
Here is your update on Mike Cameron. He batted leadoff against Gwinnett in McCoy Stadium tonight, going 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.
End 7th, Red Sox 7-6: The hits have been hard to come by of late for Darnell McDonald, who started so hot upon his call-up last month. He tried to bunt his way on in the seventh, but was an easy out and fell to 3-for-24 (.125) over his last six games.
The out is part of a 1-2-3 inning for Rommie Lewis. He and Josh Roenicke have teamed to give up just one unearned run in 5 1/3 innings in relief of starter Brandon Morrow.
Daniel Bard is on to pitch the eighth for Boston. Jonathan Papelbon is milling in the pen.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 7-6: Hideki Okajima has been getting plenty of rest of late, and it may be starting to pay off. He needs just six pitches to get three outs in the seventh. All three outs came on ground balls.
Through April 26, Okajima had already appeared in 11 games and had an ERA of 7.04. He has retired all eight men he has faced in four appearances since.
End 6th, Red Sox 7-6: David Ortiz is steamed after being rung up on a pitch on the inside corner. There have been a few Red Sox hitters upset at home plate umpire Mark Wegner, but that was a nice pitch Rommie Lewis blew by Ortiz.
Lewis then made a nice stab of a comebacker hit by Adrian Beltre to finish the inning.
Toronto's bullpen has not allowed an earned run in 4 1/3 innings.
Hideki Okajima replaces John Lackey, who was not at his best. Lackey gave up six runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out six.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 7-6: It has not been pretty, but you have to give John Lackey some credit for at least lasting through six. The Sox were not in position to dig into the bullpen early on after committing Tim Wakefield to start Wednesday.
Lackey may even get another one after finishing the sixth with his 95th pitch, strike three to Aaron Hill.
End 5th, Red Sox 7-6: John Lackey is back out there to start the sixth and doesn't appear to be limping or anything. But he has thrown 88 pitches and has not been entirely effective. Hideki Okajima is warming in the Red Sox bullpen.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 7-6: John Lackey landed funny on a delivery to Alex Gonzalez with two outs in the fifth. He appeared to flex his left knee after the pitch and then promptly served up a single to Gonzalez on the next pitch and then a home run to Jose Bautista. We'll keep you posted if we see/hear anything on Lackey, but he may have been bothered by something.
In any event, Bautista's blast, his seventh, amazingly has the Jays within a run on a night when their starter walked six in 1 2/3 innings. Hard to do.
Rommie Lewis, a lefty, is on for Toronto, its third pitcher of the night.
End 4th, Red Sox 7-4: Although he performed a miracle by walking Adrian Beltre on his first four pitches, Blue Jays reliever Josh Roenicke is giving his team a nice boost. He has allowed only an unearned run in 2 1/3 innings after striking out Darnell McDonald to end the fourth.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 7-4: The Sox are doing their best to play Blue Jays baseball here. John Lackey has another walk (the 10th of the game between the teams) and Marco Scutaro has a throwing error that causes Kevin Youkilis to come down awkwardly at first base.
Youk appears to be OK, but the chances of this game ending by midnight are not.
John Lackey works around the mess to prevent the Jays from scoring.
End 3rd, Red Sox 7-4: It's hard to imagine that the Blue Jays had won nine of 11 coming into this series. Pardon my expression, but they look like crap.
An error by shortstop Alex Gonzalez leads to an unearned run in the third. The Red Sox now have scored seven runs on five hits, seven walks and two errors.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 6-4: As ugly as the second inning was for John Lackey, the third was a breeze. He has four strikeouts through three.
End 2nd, Red Sox 6-4: The second inning as a whole saw the following totals: eight runs, five hits and eight walks. Oh, there was also a video review. Hope you didn't have any plans later on.
Brandon Morrow had nothing in this one, but he was done in by a huge throwing error in the second. After walking four of the first five men of the inning to give the Sox their third run, Morrow got Victor Martinez to ground into what should've been an inning-ending double play.
Second baseman Aaron Hill's throw sailed into the Boston dugout to allow another two runs to come in. David Ortiz later singled in a run to make it 6-4.
Although it didn't end up leading to any more scoring, Blue Jays reliever Josh Roenicke came on and walked Adrian Beltre on four pitches. Do you know how hard that is to do?
8:15 p.m.: Brandon Morrow completely lost the plate in the second. He left with two outs after walking six. Josh Roenicke is in. We will recap what happened to Morrow after the inning.
Mid 2nd, Blue Jays 4-2: The Sox have committed Tim Wakefield to start Wednesday. Problem is, they may need a long man if John Lackey continues to look like this.
Lackey allowed the first six to reach in the second on two walks, two singles and two doubles, not in that order. He was fortunate that a line drive with one out was hit right at shortstop Marco Scutaro or the damage would be worse.
Lackey has been behind several hitters.
7:39 p.m.: The umpires have ruled Gonzalez's hit to be a double. We resume with runners on second and third, no outs and Jose Bautista up.
7:35 p.m.: Alex Gonzalez may have ANOTHER home run. The umpires are reviewing a shot he hit off the very top of the Green Monster. Gonzalez, who hit eight home runs all of last season, entered with 10 already, tied for second in the AL.
End 1st, Red Sox 2-0: Dustin Pedroia is rocking the high socks for the second straight night. It worked Sunday with a 9-3 win over the Yankees, and he helps the Sox get off to a good start in this one.
Following a Marco Scutaro walk, Pedroia roped a double off the Green Monster that missed leaving the yard by a foot or two. Victor Martinez then grounded one up the middle for a two-run single.
Brandon Morrow did not record his first out until the 14th pitch when he struck out Kevin Youkilis.
Moments later the Blue Jays righty struck out David Ortiz. Seconds after that he fanned Adrian Beltre.
Morrow now has 37 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings over his last four-plus starts.
Mid 1st, 0-0: For those of you wondering, I never saw J.D. Drew in the Red Sox clubhouse, but did see his streetclothes hanging in his locker, so it appeared as if he had changed into uniform.
And for those of you itching to pounce on Drew for his perceived fragility, remember that he has played 31 of the team's 32 games to this date.
John Lackey walked Aaron Hill with one out in the first. A groundout and a strikeout, Lackey's second of the inning, got the righty out of the inning.
7:07 p.m.: As I took the first bite of my dinner the announcement came that J.D. Drew is out with a case of vertigo. Jonathan Van Every will replace him in right field and bat ninth. All others move up a spot in the order.
6:50 p.m.: Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell reiterated many of the items raised by manager Terry Francona when discussing the decision to give Tim Wakefield a start Wednesday and move Josh Beckett's start to Friday. But he added in some of the finer points only a pitching coach can.
During his extra side session Tuesday, Beckett will pay particular attention to working from the stretch. When he pitches with runners on, Farrell said, Beckett has a tendency to lose his balance, which can often cause his curveball to become more hittable.
"There's multiple reasons for the adjustment in the rotation," Farrell said. "An additional side for Josh just to reinforce, particularly out of the stretch, him getting back to a proper balance…When he gets into a proper position his curveball is less readable by an opposing hitter. Part of this, at times, is a constant use of the slide step that can cause some of the habits that we're trying to recorrect here."
Farrell said Beckett is not tipping his curveball, but both the coach and the hurler have determined through video, hitters' reactions and some performance data that the curve is being seen earlier than his other pitches. Farrell added that this is nothing new, but a somewhat normal obstacle for Beckett.
As was the case with Francona, Farrell did not admit that the move had anything to do with Beckett's struggles against Toronto, against whom he owns a 7.34 ERA in 13 career starts. Beckett was originally slated to face the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
"We feel very good about any team that Josh goes up against," Farrell said. "We felt like with the off-day following it gives us a chance for not only Josh to get an extra day of work in, it gives our other starters that we've kinda pressed hard of late another day or two of rest."
6:21 p.m.: We were downstairs waiting to hear from pitching coach John Farrell on the Josh Beckett-Tim Wakefield situation. In case you missed it, here is the complete story on the rotation shuffle involving those two.
More from Farrell in a second after we comb through his quotes.
Also, here is a more thorough look at the lineups for Monday's opener.
5:26 p.m.: We received word that Tim Wakefield will start Wednesday for the Red Sox and Josh Beckett will go Friday in Detroit. Look for a larger piece on this to be posted within minutes. Also, here is the Blue Jays lineup for Monday's opener:
Fred Lewis LF
Aaron Hill 2B
Adam Lind DH
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Alex Gonzalez SS
Jose Bautista 3B
John Buck C
Travis Snider RF
3:22 p.m.: The Red Sox will have the same lineup that pounded out nine runs on 10 hits in Sunday night's win over New York. In case you need a refresher, here it is, top to bottom:
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
J.D Drew RF
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jeremy Hermida LF
Darnell McDonald CF
Look for a more complete analysis of the lineup in a bit on NESN.com.
11:11 a.m.: Jon Lester righted the ship. It's up to John Lackey to keep it moving in the right direction.
After Lester threw seven exceptional innings in a much-needed 9-3 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday night, Lackey will get the ball in the opener of a three-game series with Toronto at Fenway Park.
Five of Lackey's six starts in his first season with the Red Sox have been very good. So, too, have many of his outings against the Blue Jays over the years.
The righty is 3-3 with a 3.31 ERA against Toronto, holding the Jays to a .234 average.
Brandon Morrow gets the nod for the Toronto, a winner of nine out of 11 since a three-game sweep at the hands of the Sox in late April.
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