David Eckstein’s three RBIs and Alex Rios’s two doubles lead Blue Jays to a 10-2 win over Red Sox


David Eckstein’s three RBIs and Alex Rios’s two doubles lead Blue Jays to a 10-2 win over Red Sox

(April 5, 2008) – In the first five games of the regular season, the Red Sox had not made an error but in Saturday’s afternoon matinee against the Blue Jays the Sox made two. First baseman Sean Casey’s, who got the start in replace of Kevin Youkilis, first error of the season on a Greg Zaun ground ball to first would prove to break the game open for the Jays.

Toronto would go on to take game two of the series 10-2 behind the pesky David Eckstein and starter Jesse Litsch. The former Angel and Cardinal provided the spark at the top of the Toronto line up. Eckstein went 2-5 with 3 RBIs as well as scoring a run. Litsch got his first win of the season, pitching five complete innings, before turning the game over to the bullpen, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out two Red Sox batters.

Manny Ramirez gave Sox starter Clay Buchholz a 1-0 lead before he even stepped on the mound. In the top half of the first inning, Ramirez he drove in David Ortiz from first base with a double to center field. It was Ramirez’s first RBI since March 26 against the Oakland Athletics.

Buchholz would hold the 1-0 lead until the bottom of the second when he would walk lead off hitter Vernon Wells and give up a base hit to left field, sending Wells to third. With runners at the corners and no outs, Overbay lined a single up the middle to score Wells for, only, his second RBI of the season. The Sox rookie pitcher would settled down to strike out the next to batters, Aaron Hill and Marco Scutaro, and Zaun to pop out to Dustin Pedroia, at second.

The Sox would retake the lead, 2-1, in the top of the fourth inning on a Casey’s single to right to score J.D. Drew, who doubled to lead off the inning. But in the bottom of the inning, the Jays answered the lone Red Sox run with three runs of their own. After designated hitter Frank Thomas flew out to Drew in right, Overbay started the Jays rally with single to right. Hill would lay a bunt-hit down the third base line and Scutaro would walk to load the bases before Zaun hit the infamous ground ball that one-hopped Casey that led to two Blue Jay runs.

The Toronto bats broke out in the sixth inning. In relief of Buchholz, who pitch five innings allowing three earned runs on six hits and seven strike outs, Kyle Snyder gave up lead off walks to Hill and Scutaro and a sacrifice bunt to Zaun before being replaced by the right handed Bryan Corey. Corey did not fair much better, giving up a two run RBI single to Eckstein as well as an RBI double to Alex Rios and an RBI single to Wells before giving up Thomas’s second homerun of the series. At the end of the sixth, the Blue Jays crossed the plate six times on four hits.

The marquis match up of the series takes place tomorrow when Josh Beckett comes off the 15-day D.L to try to salvage a game against Blue Jays starting pitcher, Roy Halladay. Beckett is making his first start after a 20-win season last year with a 3.27 ERA and 194 strikes in 200.2 innings pitched. Halladay is coming off a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees that saw him go seven innings allowing three earned runs while striking out just three Yankee batters.

WIN: Jesse Litsch (1-0)

LOSS: Clay Buchholz (0-1)


Game Notes:

Julio Lugo made Boston’s first error of the season trying to get David Eckstein after he grounded out to shortstop to begin the inning for the Jays.

Lyle Over hit a line drive up the middle to drive in Vernon Wells from third base, Thomas, who hit a bloop single in between Ramirez and Lugo, went to third.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

David Eckstein, TORONTO 2-5 3 RBI

Alex Rios, TORONTO 2-5 2 doubles, RBI

Frank Thomas, TORONTO 2-5 2-run homerun

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