Blue Jays - 100 008 100 - 10 16 1Through four innings, both Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia had scored three runs each. Toronto battled back, battering Dice and Javier Lopez in the sixth, but Boston immediately regained enough of its cushion for relievers Hideki Okajima, Mike Timlin and Jonathan Papelbon. (box)
Red Sox - 302 503 00x - 13 16 1
Mike Lowell reached base in all five of his plate appearances, including a three-run dong in the first (which gave him 100 RBI) and singles in the sixth and seventh. Every hitter in the starting lineup had a hit -- and everyone but Coco Crisp scored a run.
7 GA and a Magic # of 18 (any combination of Boston wins and MFY losses totalling 18 = Red Sox winning the East title). ... Watch out for jumpers on the George Washington Bridge!
This afternoon in the Bronx: Seattle 7, New York 1. Billy: 4-8-5-1-2, 62. Followed by Mussina: 3.2-7-2-0-1, 62. For the Mariners, Felix went 7-5-1-4-5, 114.
Red Sox 6.5 GA.
Jesse Litsch (3.40, 136 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (3.88, 117 ERA+)
In 10 starts since late June, Litsch (whose Gameday photo frightens me) has a 2.48 ERA. Last Tursday, he held Oakland to two runs and four hits in six innings.
Matsuzaka allowed five runs in 6.1 innings aganst the Yankees in his last start. The Red Sox have lost each of his last four starts (5-6, 5-6, 1-2, 3-5). Matsuzaka has walked a lot of guys lately -- 25.1 IP, 20 H, 14 BB, 22 K, 4.97 ERA -- but only three of those 14 walks have scored. Opponents are hitting .222/.330/.367 against Dice.
The Chokers (6 GB and closer to third place than first) begin a series at home this afternoon against the Mariners, who have lost nine in a row after winning seven of eight. It's Felix Hernandez (4.08, 104 ERA+) / Fat Billy (4.15, 104 ERA+). New York is 2 GA of Seattle and 3 GA of Detroit in the wild card standings; Toronto lurks 5.5 GB. The Tigers are off today.