TORONTO So far, Dustin Pedroias absence from the Red Sox lineup has not presented a problem. The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 7-4 on Saturday afternoon, their second straight win in Toronto.
Nick Punto, who has taken Pedroias place in the starting lineup, went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run, his first of the season, two runs scored and two RBI. Punto, who has struggled offensively for much of the season, raised his average from .132 to .175 with his outing.
It was also the Sox fifth win in six games since Pedroia left Mondays game against the Tigers at Fenway Park with a right thumb injury, later diagnosed as a torn abductor muscle.
Felix Doubront continued his string of strong outings. He went 6 13 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Two of the three runs he allowed on came on solo home runs, one by Jeff Mathis with one out in the third, the other by Jose Bautista leading off the eighth.
Doubront took the team lead in wins, improving his record to 6-2 with a 3.75 ERA. It was his sixth straight start with at least six strikeouts and his sixth overall with at least seven.
In his last six starts he is 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA, while not giving up more than three earned runs in any of those outings.
Daniel Nava, back in the lead-off spot, continued to pace the Sox offense. He went 1-for-3 with two RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. He lined out to open the game, then reached in three of his next four plate appearances with a single, a walk, and getting hit by a pitch. He has reached base safely in 21 of 23 games since he was called up on May 10. The Sox are 6-0 in his career when he leads off.
The Sox scored four runs all with two outs -- in the second inning. David Ortiz led off by striking out against Jays starter Kyle Drabek. Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked before Kevin Youkilis struck out. Consecutive singles to right by Ryan Sweeney and Will Middlebrooks scored Saltalamacchia. Punto doubled to right, scoring Sweeney. Nava singled to center scoring Middlebrooks and Punto, before Mike Aviles struck out to end the inning.
Drabek took the loss, falling to 5-5. He went 6 23 innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
Matt Albers, Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla, and Alfredo Aceves combined to pitch the final 2 13 innings, giving up just one (unearned) run by Albers in the eighth. Aceves earned his 14th