Lowrie, Lowell Back Shaky Daisuke for 7-5 Win in Toronto

Despite a less than stellar performance from starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who presumably felt a bit irregular coming into the game with an ERA beginning with the number three, the Red Sox managed to ride a late-inning burst offensively to finally pull ahead for good on a night when it seemed the Blue Jays would just never go away.

After Boston was retired in order to begin the top of the first by Jays’ starter Ricky Romero, Daisuke teased us all by striking out the side in succession to end the inning -- which was made ever more promising considering how well he had pitched in his start prior to this one. However, that’s just about where the quality starting pitching ended and the scoring started; for both teams.

On a night when the Red Sox would go on to record 7 extra-base hits out of their 11 total, fittingly, it was back-to-back doubles by David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre that got the scoring started in the top of the second frame. Up 1-0 with two outs and Beltre still on second, the Red Sox’s Mr. Double, Jed Lowrie (2-3, 2 2B, BB, 2 RBI, R), again recorded a two-bagger -- this one plating Beltre for the team’s second run.

After a Jacoby Ellsbury single drove Lowrie in, it was 3-0 in favor of Boston after one and a half. And with the way Daisuke had looked till that point, three runs almost seemed like a safe cushion.

However, the word ‘safe’ rarely applies to a game in which Matsuzaka starts; that is unless you’re in Vegas with all your money riding on the over.

After surrendering a home run to Adam Lind and a double to Lyle Overbay in inning number two, Red Sox fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when Toronto managed just a single run, cutting the lead to 3-1.

The third inning wasn’t quite as lucky.

Again, Daisuke served up a home run and a double in the frame, only this time he mixed things up a bit with a couple leadoff walks that would come back to haunt him as Toronto tied the game up at four.

Things settled down a bit for the next four frames with the teams just trading a pair of solo home runs; one by J.D. Drew to lead off the fifth and the other the 35th of the year from Toronto slugger Jose Bautista (who apparently discovered Jack LaLanne’s secret to a stronger ‘you’ this past off-season) off of Boston reliever Felix Doubront.

The eighth, which started innocently enough, is when the Red Sox finally put away the Blue Jays.

Following an Ortiz strikeout and Beltre groundout, Mike Lowell launched a 0-1, two-out offering from Jays’ reliever Shawn Camp out of the park to put the Sox ahead for good.

Still with two gone in the eighth, Lowrie added an insurance run with his second RBI-double of the night to put Boston up 7-5, which is where the score would stay thanks to two decent innings of relief to close out the contest from Manny Delcarmen and closer Jonathan Papelbon, who earned his 29th save of 2010 and second in as many nights.

With the Rays' win and the Yankees' loss on Tuesday, Boston is now 5 games off the pace in the division and remains 4.5 back of the Wild Card lead.

Other notables:

Bill Hall went 0-3 with a pair of strikeouts and three men left on base while playing left field and hitting seventh; Ryan Kalish would replace Hall in the eighth, notching a single and coming around to score on the Lowrie double. How long before we simply stop allowing Hall to start, much less enter, games?

Marco Scutaro was hitless in five at-bats out of the leadoff spot and is now just seven of his last forty-four (.159). Ellsbury on the other hand collected his third hit in the past two days and appears to be rounding into form. With Dustin Pedroia set to return within the next week or so, the top of the Red Sox’s lineup should be worth monitoring.

Up next: Today, August 11th @ Toronto 7:07 PM ET (C. Buchholz vs. S. Marcum)

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