Blue Jays shut out Red Sox 5-0 to avoid sweep
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during seventh inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Sunday, September 16, 2012 4:21PM EDT
TORONTO -- A run-scoring single by Omar Vizquel and a two-run homer by Adeiny Hechavarria broke open a scoreless game in the seventh inning as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-0 on Sunday.
Boston left-hander Jon Lester (9-12) took a one-hitter into the seventh in which he allowed three runs on three successive two-out hits. He finished with four hits and three runs allowed while striking out seven.
Toronto righty Brandon Morrow did not factor in the decision after pitching six scoreless innings in which he held Boston (66-81) to four hits and a walk.
He had made 102 pitches when he was removed for reliever Brett Cecil to start the seventh, and right-handed reliever Brandon Lyon (3-0) picked up the win.
The Red Sox had two runners on base twice in the first four innings but Morrow stranded them.
Vizquel was the only base runner for Toronto (66-79) after a leadoff double in the third until Moises Sierra led off the fifth with a walk.
Sierra reached second on a throwing error by Lester after a bunt by Yan Gomes. The pitcher had an easy force out at second on when the bunt was too firm but his throw went into centre field.
Lester worked out of it by striking out Vizquel and Hechavarria and getting a fielder's choice grounder to shortstop from Anthony Gose.
Toronto's second hit of the game was a two-out single in the seventh by Gomes. Rajai Davis ran for him and stole second before scoring on a single by Vizquel and Hechavarria followed with his second major-league homer.
Vizquel's pair of hits in the game tied him with Jesse Burkett at 2,872 for 42nd on the all-time list, one behind Babe Ruth.
Jays' left-hander Darren Oliver took over in the eighth and, despite allowing two hits, ended the inning when Cody Ross hit into a double play.
Daniel Bard took over for Boston in the eighth and allowed a leadoff double to Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., and a run-scoring single to Colby Rasmus who took second on an error by left-fielder Ryan Kalish who had just entered the game.
The Blue Jays picked up another run in the inning on a single by Sierra against Scott Atchison.
Notes: Toronto has Monday off before they visit New York for a three-game series against the Yankees. ... The Blue Jays salvaged one victory in the three-game series and finished a six-game home stand at 2-4. ... Blue Jays designated hitter-first baseman Edwin Encarnacion was not in the Blue Jays starting lineup because of a sore toe. Blue Jays catcher Jeff Mathis was a late scratch from the lineup because of flu-like symptoms and Gomes replaced him in the lineup as DH. J.P. Arencibia was scheduled to be DH but moved to catcher. ... Sierra continued to have trouble in right field losing fly balls in the sun, letting a fly hit by Ryan Lavarnway drop in for a double in the second. ... Hechavarria made his seventh major-league start at shortstop with Yunel Escobar out with flu-like symptoms. ... Attendance at Rogers Centre was 21,698.