The Big Hurt’s fifth inning, 2-out Grand Slam completes the 3-0 sweep of the Red Sox


The Big Hurt’s fifth inning, 2-out Grand Slam completes the 3-0 sweep of the Red Sox

(April 6, 2008) – Frank Thomas’s fifth inning grand slam off right hander Manny Delcarmen and Roy Halladay’s eight innings and six strike outs lifted the Blue Jays to a 7-4 win to sweep the series against the Red Sox.

Going into the bottom of the fifth inning both starting pitchers, Halladay and Josh Beckett, put on a masterful performance for the fans who flocked to the Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon. Beckett, who was making his first start since coming off the disabled list, pitched methodically through the first 4.2 innings, striking out six Jays batters. Until the fifth his only mistake come off a two run homerun to centerfielder Vernon Wells, driving in Alex Rios who was Beckett’s second walk of the day.

Beckett’s day would be over after back-to-back walks to Rios and Wells in fifth inning to load the bases. Delcarmen came in, in relief of Beckett, to face the Big Hurt and that is exactly what he did to Delcarmen. Thomas wasted no time with a first pitch fastball and drove the ball into deep center field, way over the head of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Three of the runs would be charged to Beckett. In 4.2 innings, he allowed five earned runs on three hits while walking four.

After the Blue Jays offense gave Halladay a four run lead in the bottom of the fifth, the work horse continued to pitch another three innings allowing four runs on six hits while striking out six Sox hitters. The heart of the Red Sox order was 3-for-14 against Halladay with four strike outs and the only hit coming from a double to left center off the bat of Manny Ramirez. But the bottom half of the Sox line up was productive against the Jays starter, amounting for all the Sox runs in the game. J.D. Drew, Jason Varitek and Ellsbury hit their second and first homeruns, respectively in the third, fifth and seven innings.

Shortstop Julio Lugo contributed to Toronto’s seventh run of the game with his third error of the game, when third baseman Marco Scutaro hit a ground ball to short that Lugo could not handle. Scutaro would come around to score on second baseman Aaron Hill’s double to right in the bottom of the sixth. In Scutaro’s previous at-bat he reached on Lugo’s second error of the game.

The Red Sox tried valiantly to make a come back in the top of the eighth inning when Kevin Youkilis hit a blooper in between Wells, Hill and shortstop John McDonald. Youkilis was able ended up with a triple on the play when Wells and McDonald collided while trying to make the catch on the pop fly ball. David Ortiz would drive in Youkilis from third with a base hit into center field to break up a personal 0-for-11 slide.

The Red Sox return to action on Tuesday April 8, when they face the disappointing 0-5, Detroit Tigers on Opening Day at Fenway Park. Daisuke Matsuzaka will get the ball on Opening Day and will oppose Tigers lefty Kenny Rogers. Matsuzaka is 1-0 on the season, coming of a win in Oakland where he went 6.2 innings allowing just one run on two hits while striking out nine Athletics. He leads the Sox in strike outs with 15. Rogers is coming off a 4-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals, that saw him pitch six innings allowing two earned runs on five hits while recording four strike outs.

WIN: Roy Halladay (1-1)

LOSS: Josh Beckett (0-1)

SAVE: Jeremy Accardo (3)


Game Notes:

Jacoby Ellsbury hit his first homerun and second RBI of the 2008 season with solo shot to over Rios’s head in right field.

Mike Lowell made his first error of the season in first inning off the bat of lead off hitter Shannon Stewart.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Frank Thomas 1-3 Grand Slam HR, 4 RBIs
  2. Roy Halladay 8IP, 6H, 4ER, 6Ks
  3. J.D. Drew 2-4 HR, RBI

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