Blue Jays defeat Red Sox behind Shaun Marcum’s eight strike outs and retiring 11 consecutive Sox hitters


Blue Jays defeat Red Sox behind Shaun Marcum’s eight strike outs and retiring 11 consecutive Sox hitters

(April 4, 2008) – Long time designated hitter, Frank Thomas drove in the go a head runs to give the Blue Jays the 6-3 win against the Red Sox as well as starter Shaun Marcum’s first win of the season. Marcum went seven strong innings allowing just three runs on three hits while accumulating eight strike outs and walking just one.

After a J.D. Drew three run homerun to tie up the game in the top of the seventh inning. Thomas put the Jays back on top with a two run double to left field, in the bottom of the inning, off of reliever Manny Delcarmen. Shortstop David Eckstein, who took a walk from Red Sox reliever David Aardsma, and pinch-hitter, Shannon Stewart, scored on the play.

Early on in the game it looked as if it was going to be a pitcher’s duel. The elder statesman of the Red Sox, Tim Wakefield, was making his 338th career start in a Sox uniform and matched Marcum every inning. It appeared, in the beginning, as if the first team to make a mistake was going to be the costliest.

The Blue Jays first got to Wakefield in the bottom of the sixth inning on solo homerun by left fielder Matt Stairs, to go up 1-0. Wakefield would go on to walk right fielder Alex Rios and Thomas with a strike out to center fielder, Vernon Wells in between. First baseman Lyle Overbay would hit a blooper that would fall between Manny Ramirez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Julio Lugo, to drive in Rios from third and score the second Jays run of the game and move Thomas to second. Thomas and Overbay would advance to third and second, respectively, on Wakefield’s wild pitch to Aaron Hill.

The wild pitch would prove to be costly when Hill hit a deep fly ball to centerfield that popped out of Ellsbury’s glove allowing Thomas to score and giving Hill a long single. Terry Francona came out to argue that his center fielder had possession of the ball before it fell to the Rogers Centre turf but too no avail. The call stood and the Jays led the Red Sox 3-0 at the end of six.

After a 28 minute wait in the dugout while the Blue Jays were on offense, the Red Sox finally were able to get to Marcum. Going into the seventh inning, Marcum was pitching at a good pace, retiring the last 10 Red Sox batters and four of them on strike outs. To start off the top of the inning he struck out Kevin Youkilis to make it 11 consecutive Sox hitters but would walk David Ortiz to end the streak. After getting Ramirez to strike out, he gave up a base hit to third baseman Mike Lowell before allowing Drew to tie up the score with a three run homerun to right field – his first of the year.

Wakefield pitched six innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out four Blue Jays and walking three. In the first inning, Wakefield got off to a rocky start by hitting Jays lead off hitter Eckstein. He went on to get Stairs to ground out into a fielder’s choice, second to first, and Rios to fly out to left before walking clean up hitter Vernon Wells on first straight pitches. Falling Thomas 3-0 was the turning point of Wakefield’s game by throwing three straight strikes for the final out of the inning.

The Red Sox battle the Blue Jays again tomorrow at 1:07pm in Toronto when they send rookie Clay Buchholz to the mound to face the young, 23-year old Toronto pitcher, Jesse Litsch. Buchholz was called up to the big club late in 2007 and in four games he had a 3-1 record, with a 1.59 ERA and 22 strike outs. Litsch started 20 games for Toronto last year and ended up with a recorded of 7-9, a 3.81 ERA and 50 strike outs.

WIN: Shaun Marcum (1-0)

LOSS: David Aardsma (0-1)

SAVE: Jeremy Accardo (2)


Game Notes:

Kevin Cash recorded the first Red Sox hit with a double in the top of the third inning against Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum.

Since Cash’s double in the third, Marcum retired eleven consecutive Red Sox hitters, five on strikeouts. Ortiz’s walk in the top of the seventh broke up the streak.

Coco Crisp pinch hit for Jacoby Ellsbury in the top of the eighth and popped out to Eckstein.

Jason Varitek pinch hit for Kevin Cash in the top of eighth and became Brian Tallet’s first strike out victim.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Frank Thomas, TORONTO 1-3 2-run double
  2. Shaun Marcum, TORONTO 7.0 IP, 3H 3ER, 8K, 1BB
  3. J.D. Drew, BOSTON 1-3 HR, 3RBIs

No comments: