May 10, 2011: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6

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May 10, 2011: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

TORONTO -- The .500 mark remains elusive for the Red Sox.

For the third time this season, they had a chance to even their won-loss record. And for the third time they failed, dropping a 7-6 extra-inning decision to the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night in the opener of a five-game road trip.

Twice, the Blue Jays had the lead and three the Red Sox roared back to tie the game.

But in the bottom of the 10th, Rajai Davis singled, stole second and third, and rode home on David Cooper's long sacrifice fly to center off Matt Albers.

The Sox looked headed to defeat earlier when Cooper homered off Daniel Bard in the eighth, giving Toronto a 6-5 lead. But Adrian Gonzalez answered with a solo homer of his own in the top of the ninth. It was Gonzalez's second homer of the night and fifth in his last 10 games.

Jon Lester turned in his worst start since Opening Day, allowing three runs in the first thanks to three walks -- one with the bases loaded.

The Sox used run-scoring singles by Carl Crawford and a solo homer by David Ortiz to get back into the game.

They took the lead for the first time on a two-run, opposite-field homer by Adrian Gonzalez -- his fourth homer in the last eight games -- to go up 4-3, in the fifth.

After the Jays took the lead once more with single runs in the sixth and seventh, the Sox responded with an RBI single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the eighth to forge a 5-5 tie.

Jacoby Ellsbury (three hits) extended his hitting streak to 19 games and David Ortiz had a single, double and homer.

Player of the Game: David Cooper

The Blue Jays' rookie hit a solo homer off Daniel Bard in the eighth to put the Jays ahead. Then, after the Red Sox rallied in the ninth, Cooper came to the plate in the bottom of the 10th and played the hero again.

This time, with Rajai Davis on third and one out, he didn't have to do much. But he did enough, lofting a fly ball to deep center on which David could have crawled home with winning run.

Honorable Mention: Adrian Gonzalez

Gonzalez is on a tear, with two homers Tuesday night and five in his last eight games.

Gonzalez drilled a two-run shot to left in the fifth to put the Red Sox ahead for the first time. Then, down to their last three outs, he hit another -- this one, solo -- to tie the game 6-6 and force extra innings.

Had the Sox figured out a way to pull this one out, Gonzalez's heroics would have been the reason. As it is, it was still an amazing night.

The Goat: Jon Lester

Lester had a string of six straight quality starts going, but that ended with a thud Tuesday. He gave up three runs in the first inning -- thanks in large part to three walks -- and after the Red Sox rallied to take the lead on the first of Gonzalez's two homers, Lester promptly gave it back, allowing the Jays to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.

Lester walked five, hit another and allowed two homers in what was surely his worst start this season.

Turning Point: Sox stranded

The Red Sox, as has been their habit of late, stranded baserunners left and right -- 12 in all.

The worst came in the seventh when the Sox had runners at first and second and no out. Kevin Youkilis hit into a fielder's choice, David Ortiz was forced into an inning-ending double play, and the Sox seemed doomed from that point on.

By the Numbers: 5

After going homerless for a stretch of 23 games, Adrian Gonzalez has now hit five homers in his last eight games.

Quote of Note

"Basically, I ruined a good night by the offense.''

-- Jon Lester

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Mookie Betts' injury likely just a short-term issue

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Mookie Betts' injury likely just a short-term issue

BOSTON -- After leaving Friday night’s game with right knee soreness, structural damage has been ruled out regarding Mookie Betts, but he could still be out for a bit.

Testing was done on Betts’ knee, removing any doubt of a deeper issue, revealing it was just build-up of fluid, causing swelling in his knee.

“Day-to-day is the status. It may take a couple for him before he’s back to us.” John Farrell said. “Everything points to this being a short-term situation.”

Betts explained that his condition had improved from Friday night, but -- much like Farrell -- doesn’t know how quickly he can bounce back. He wouldn’t make a definitive statement on whether or not he’d be available Sunday.

“It feels pretty good now,” Betts said. “We’re going to do some treatment on it, make sure everything is good and hopefully get back out there.”

Betts joins the list of pivotal players unavailable in Saturday’s game, including Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara who are both on the DL.

Farrell couldn’t commit to a timetable for when he expects Uehara should be back, but hopes he’ll be available during the regular season.

“We’re hopeful of that,” Farrell said when asked if he thought Uehara would be back before the postseason. “There’s no number of day’s that says Koji’s going to put a ball back in his hand . . . To give you a time frame, it’s too early to tell.”

Kimbrel, on the other hand, has bounced back well, and is expected to throw his first bullpen Sunday or Monday. The hope is that he’ll throw twice off the mound before the trip to the West, which would set him up for a simulated game.

“We need to get some PFP involved -- just some change in direction, fielding the position,” Farrell said on Kimbrel. “But in terms of amount of time missed, and that fact that he’s able to as get aggressive right now in long toss. I would think it would be on the shorter end of appearances if it’s even more than one. He feels very good. If he wasn’t making the ultimate decision medically [he’d] probably say ‘Give me the ball tonight.’ That’s how good he feels -- that’s encouraging.”

 

Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

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Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

While much of the focus is going to be on the young D-men headed into Bruins training camp, it would be foolhardy to overlook a forward prospect Danton Heinen, who is in position for a real dark horse run at an NHL roster spot. 

The strong odds are that the former University of Denver star is going to be begin the season in the AHL for the Providence Bruins after putting up a couple of points in four games there at the end of last season.

Still, that certainly hasn’t stopped Heinen from setting his sights on an NHL spot out of this fall’s camp, most likely in a third- or fourth-line capacity to start things off, or perhaps at the top-six right wing spots that have given the Bruins some problems filling permanently over the past couple of seasons.

Either way, the 2014 fourth-round pick knows that his clock to fulfilling his dreams as an NHL player has started and that it’s up to him when he can start making that a reality.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to work toward my whole life, so I’m just going to try to keep getting better, have a good rest of the summer and then put my best foot forward to see what happens,” said Heinen, who had an assist and a sweet goal in the Friday scrimmage at development camp when he twisted D-man Cam Clarke around like a pretzel on a nifty rush to the net. “I just need to continue to get stronger this summer, and working on my skating to get a bit quicker.

“[The AHL] was a lot of fun to get in there and see what it was all about. It was a lot different than college hockey, and it was definitely good to get a taste of it. [Bruins officials] told me to have a really big summer getting faster and getting stronger, so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Heinen, 21, continued to show in development camp last week, however, that he has the playmaking skills and hockey IQ to flourish while surrounded by more accomplished players and in tighter situations. It’s exactly what he showed while posting 36 goals and 93 points in his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Pioneers and it was what he showed while finishing last week as one of the best forwards in camp.

“He’s looked really good at [development] camp. He’s a smart player, he’s committed and I think you’ll notice him in training camp. It will be up to him, but I think he’ll definitely be pushing some guys [for an NHL job],” said Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo, who was running the Bruins development camp. “He looked good [in Providence]. He fit in well. He’s the type of player that can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ, and he’s got really good skill.

“Anywhere you put him he’s smart enough to figure it out. You could tell in his first game there was a little bit of an adjustment for him, but the second time game it really looked like he’d been playing [at that level] for a long time. He’s a quick study, and he looked really good last year.”

The Black and Gold management hope he continues to look good at main NHL training camp in a couple of months, where he’ll undoubtedly be featured, and could be a lot closer than many people think as a polished skill forward coming out of a big-time college hockey program. 

Saturday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: Betts out with knee soreness

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Saturday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: Betts out with knee soreness

Mookie Betts is out of the lineup Saturday after leaving the game Friday night with knee soreness and Brock Holt moves into the leadoff spot for the Red Sox in Game 3 of their four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.

Manager John Farrell said Betts is day-to-day after the right fielder left the Red Sox' 2-1 loss in the fifth inning with pain in his right knee. There is swelling, but an MRI showed no structural damage.Michael Martinez will start in right on Saturday night. Betts had started in 93 of Boston's 94 games this season. 

Aaron Hill gets the start at third base for the Red Sox in place of Travis Shaw.  

Left-hander David Price (9-7, 4.36 ERA) makes his second start of the second half for the Red Sox. Price took the loss in a 3-1 defeat against the Yankees on Sunday night, allowing 11 hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innnigs. 

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.02) is on the mound for the Twins.

The lineups:

TWINS
Eduardo Nunez SS
Robbie Grossman DH
Miguel Sano 3B
Brian Dozier 2B
Max Kepler RF
Kennys Vargas 1B
Eddie Rosario LF
Kurt Suzuki C
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Ricky Nolasco RHP

RED SOX
Brock Holt LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Sandy Leon C
Michael Martinez RF
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David Price LHP