Blue Jays - 100 000 002 - 3 7 1Lester (8-4-1-2-6, 103) outdueled Halladay (7-6-3-0-5, 116) and an eighth-inning triple by David Ortiz and a sac fly from Kevin Youkilis gave Boston enough of a edge to withstand a rally against Jonathan Papelbon.
Red Sox - 110 000 11x - 4 7 0
Lester's only blemish was a solo dong from Jose Bautisia in the first. Over the next seven innings, only three Jays reached second base -- and none of them got to third.
Boston tied the game quickly in the first on Jacoby Ellsbury's single and stolen base, a bunt from Dustin Pedroia and a groundout from Ortiz. Coco Crisp singled in runs in both the second and seventh innings. Halladay was working on three days rest and ended up throwing many more picthes than usual in the early innings (16-26-16).
The Yankees beat the Rays 8-4, so the Red Sox are 1 GB with 13 games remaining -- and the next three against the team they are chasing.
Roy Halladay (2.77, 154 ERA+) / Jon Lester (3.23, 140 ERA+)
Halladay and Lester faced each other on April 29, at Fenway:Ellsbury, RF
IP H R BB K PITKevin Youkilis's single in the bottom of the ninth gave Boston a 1-0 win.
Halladay 8.2 5 1 1 6 112
Lester 8.0 1 0 4 6 97
Last month, Halladay faced the Sox on August 16 (9-7-1-1-4, 111); he also had a start on April 6 (8-8-4-1-6, 107). Lester had a horrible outing against Toronto on August 23 (2.1-8-7-2-2, 78). It's the one truly dark spot on his 2008 resume, but in his three starts since that shelling, Lester has allowed only two runs in 19.1 innings (0.93 ERA).
Kottaras Watch: From the Globe:
Marie Kottaras was walking through the furniture section of a Sears in Toronto yesterday when she caught a glimpse of the Red Sox game on one of the televisions. It was at that moment that she saw her son, George, walking up to the plate. "They were there for an hour and a half watching the game," George said. "They said they were sitting on the recliners."It was a doubleheader, so there was at least a decent chance Kottaras might see some action. Why were his parents wandering around a Sears?
SoSH has an interesting thread about Byrd and Beckett possibly tipping their pitches or the Blue Jays expertly stealing signs; most of the thread is from mid-August, but there is some stuff from yesterday as well.
The Rays split their doubleheader with the Yankees (7-1, 5-6) and the Twins swept the Orioles (12-2, 12-6). The White Sox's two games against the Tigers were washed out.
Rays/Yankees at 1
Twins/Orioles at 1:30
Tigers/White Sox at 2
Tigers/White Sox at 8
Rays 88 58 --- Magic #
Red Sox 87 61 2.0 14
Blue Jays 80 69 9.5 6
Yankees 78 70 11.0 5
Orioles 65 82 23.5 E
Red Sox 87 61 --- Magic #
White Sox 81 65 5.0 11
Twins 82 66 5.0 10
Blue Jays 80 69 7.5 7
Yankees 78 70 9.0 6