Encarnacion drives in five runs in Blue Jays comeback win over Red Sox, 11-10
TORONTO - One timely throw from Toronto catcher Jose Molina ended any comeback plans for the Boston Red Sox.
Molina gunned down Mike Aviles at second base for the game's final out to support Edwin Encarnacion's five-RBI night as the Blue Jays hung on for a wild 11-10 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday.
Molina, who just entered the game, caught closer Frank Francisco's high fastball on an 0-2 pitch to Josh Reddick, leapt to his feet and threw out pinch-runner Aviles, who was trying to steal second.
"Somewhat uncharacteristic of the Red Sox," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Reddick was down 0-2, they’ve got the hole open and a dead pull hitter ... somewhat of a fitting ending to a otherwise crazy game."
The rare plays didn't end there. In the third, Canadian third baseman Brett Lawrie and Jose Bautista executed a double steal with Lawrie taking second and Bautista stealing home to give Toronto a 5-3 lead. It was first time a player with 40 or more home runs has stolen home since Adam Dunn did it in 2004.
The Blue Jays had two Canadian-born position players in the same starting lineup, with Adam Loewen of Surrey, B.C., a pitcher turned right-fielder, joining Lawrie, a native of Langley, B.C.
Both figured in the Blue Jays five-run eighth inning that was capped by a bases-clearing double by Encarnacion, who mathced his career high with five RBIs.
Loewen started in right field for the Blue Jays with Bautista being used as designated hitter.
"It’s been very overwhelming," Loewen said. "It didn’t really sink in until the first inning when I was standing in the outfield. I grew up watching the Blue Jays and wanting to play for the Blue Jays. I think any Canadian kid back at home dreams the same thing. For it to actually finally come true it’s an unbelievable feeling."
Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield stood to win the 200th game of his career but Boston's bullpen disappointed the veteran. Reliever Daniel Bard (2-6) coughed up two runs with bases-loaded walks in the eighth inning and Matt Albers surrendered Encarnacion's tie-breaking double.
It was Wakefield's seventh attempt to reach 200 after winning No. 199 on July 24 against Seattle.
“When I got in the clubhouse (Wakefield) was the first guy to come up, shake my hand, and pat me on the back,” Bard said. “He knows how hard I’m trying. To be that close to getting out of it with the lead intact makes it even tougher. We’re trying for him.”
Jacoby Ellsbury had four hits including a three-run homer to extend his hit streak to 12 games and David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez also homered for the Red Sox.
Gonzalez hit his 24th of the season in the ninth against Francisco who picked up his 13th save despite giving up two runs. Shawn Camp (4-3) got the win.
Wakefield allowed three hits including J.P. Arencibia's two-run homer in the second inning. The knuckleballer allowed three walks and five runs — four earned — in five innings. He also hit two batters and made two wild pitches.
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow lasted 4 1-3 innings and allowed eight runs and eight hits that included the homers by Ellsbury and Ortiz. Morrow also hit two batters but the Blue Jays' comeback took him off the hook for his fourth consecutive loss.
Loewen, 27, is one of the Blue Jays' September call-ups from triple-A Las Vegas. He last played in the majors as a pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles from 2006 to 2008.
"I was a lot less nervous than I’d thought I’d be," Loewen said. "I felt comfortable out there and once I got into the flow of the game I just relaxed and played the way I was capable of playing."
Loewen figured into the big eighth inning with his first major-league hit coming off Bard. The single moved Lawrie, a native of Langley, B.C., to third with none out.
"I was glad I could contribute something to help us win," Loewen said. "Brett made it happen by getting to first base and kind of opened up a hole that let me swing it in there. Everybody played their part tonight."
Bard hit Lawrie with a pitch to open the inning with the Red Sox leading 8-6. He walked Arencibia to load the bases with none out. Chris Woodward ran for Arencibia.
After striking out Dewayne Wise and Yunel Escobar, Bard walked Thames to force in a run after getting ahead in the count 0-2.
Bautista walked to tie the game and deprive Wakefield of his 200th win. Albers took over and gave up Encarnacion's double to put Toronto ahead 11-8.
The Red Sox (85-56) scored three in the first inning on three singles and two hit batsmen. After Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia singled to open the game, Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch with one out to score one run and former Blue Jay Marco Scutaro hit a two-out single to score two runs. Scutaro had four hits and four RBIs in Boston's 14-0 win on Tuesday.
The Blue Jays (71-72) scored an unearned run in the first on two walks, a passed ball and Encarnacion's sacrifice fly.
Lawrie's single and Arencibia's 21st homer tied the game 3-3 in the second. Arencibia set a club record for homers by a catcher. John Buck hit 20 in 2010 for the previous mark.
But the Red Sox came back with four in the fourth, three on Ellsbury's homer. It came after Carl Crawford doubled, Scutaro walked and Josh Reddick doubled.
Ortiz hit a long homer deep into the second deck to extend Boston's lead to 8-5. Carlos Villanueva replaced Morrow after a single by Youkilis.
The Blue Jays cut a run off the lead on Escobar's leadoff double and Encarnacion's two-out single.
Notes: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 16,154 . ....Outfielder Rajai Davis was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday. He suffered a torn left hamstring on Aug. 14 in a game against the Los Angeles Angels. ...Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind was rested last night with a sore wrist and will probably be given Thursday off as well. ...Before the game manager John Farrell did not rule out the possibility of Dustin McGowan making a start Sunday instead of Luis Perez. McGowan pitched four good innings in relief in Tuesday's 14-0 loss to Boston in his first major-league appearance since 2008. ....Ricky Romero (13-10, 2.97 ERA) will start Thursday's series finale for Toronto against Andrew Miller (6-2, 5.27 ERA).