Buchholz, Ellsbury lead Red Sox over Blue Jays

Posted June 10, 2011, at 10:59 p.m.
Last modified June 11, 2011, at 12:16 a.m.

TORONTO — Extra rest for Clay Buchholz and a little sleep for most of his teammates added up to a seventh straight win for the Boston Red Sox.

Despite arriving at their hotel at about the same time the morning rush hour was beginning, the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.

“I think everybody’s tired, I know I was, but I thought it was a workmanlike night,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of his team that played a rain-delayed game in New York until 1:43 a.m. on Friday. “We’ve got to show up tomorrow after a quick turnaround and play good again.”

Francona credited Buchholz (5-3), who was given an extra two days’ rest to help him deal with a sore back.

The righthander allowed three hits over seven innings while striking out six and walking two.

“When you’ve got something nagging, you don’t want to mess it up any more than it already is so you sort of try to favor it a little bit,” Buchholz said. “Tonight I wasn’t favoring it and I was able to get some good extensions on some pitches that I needed to be extended on. It definitely felt a little different than it has the last couple of starts out.”

Buchholz, whose planned early flight to Toronto ended up getting canceled, said fatigue became less of a factor once the game began.

“Once you step between the lines everything usually just stops for you and you can run on some adrenaline, especially at this level,” he said. “So that’s what I went out there doing.”

Jacoby Ellsbury went 3 for 5 with three runs scored and AL RBI leader Adrian Gonzalez drove in two runs to lead the Red Sox.

Gonzalez’s fifth-inning single gave the first baseman seven consecutive games with at least one run driven in. He drove in another run with a ground-rule double off reliever Shawn Camp in the ninth that made it 5-1.

“It’s just guys in front of me are getting on base and giving me opportunities every time,” Gonzalez said. “RBIs are not a personal thing.”

Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia drove in a run each for Boston, which improved its league-best record to 37-26.

Pedroia, who returned to the lineup after missing Thursday’s series finale in New York so doctors could examine his sore right knee, finished 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Toronto starter Jo-Jo Reyes and dropped the Blue Jays to .500 (32-32).

Reyes (2-5) had gone a record-tying 28 starts without a win before beating Cleveland 11-1 on May 30 in the first complete game of his career.

The left-hander gave up eight hits and two walks before Blue Jays manager John Farrell replaced him with Luis Perez with one out and a runner on first in the seventh.

Perez hit a batter but escaped the inning without further damage, leaving the 27-year-old Reyes charged with four runs in 6 1-3 innings.

Both teams went hitless for two innings before Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the top of the third with a bloop single to shallow right field. Ellsbury’s ground-rule double down the left field line put runners at second and third before Pedroia’s infield single scored Saltalamacchia to make it 1-0.

Boston went ahead 2-0 when Ellsbury scored on a double play ball hit by Gonzalez.

Corey Patterson had Toronto’s first hit — a single to left leading off the fourth. He moved to third on a double by Jose Bautista before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Juan Rivera that trimmed Boston’s lead to 2-1.

The Red Sox got two runs in the fifth on RBI singles by Gonzalez and Youkilis.

Reliever Daniel Bard took over from Buchholz to start the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning. Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon finished up what had become a non-save situation with a shutout ninth.

Matsuzaka has surgery

Sox righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka had elbow reconstruction surgery Friday

Dr. Lewis Yocum performed the operation Friday. Francona said the noted surgeon was pleased with the results.

Francona said Matsuzaka has an appointment with Yocum in 10 days then he should be able to “start doing things.”

Matsuzaka is in the fifth year of a six-year deal he signed when Boston brought him over from Japan. With a recovery time of 12 to 14 months, his future with the Red Sox is uncertain.

Lefty reliever Rich Hill on Thursday also had Tommy John surgery. Francona said Hill told him that he was doing well.

NOTES: Bautista, the AL home run leader with 20, failed to go deep for a 12th straight game, the longest drought for the outfielder since a 13-game run last season when Bautista hit a majors-best 54. … Blue Jays SS Yunel Escobar missed his second straight game and is day-to-day because of soreness in his left quadriceps. … Saltalamacchia played his first game since being taken to a New York hospital on Wednesday because of a stomach ailment that required the catcher to receive several doses of intravenous fluids. “He might not be his most energetic self, but sometimes you’ve just got to play,” Francona said. Saltalamacchia’s illness forced 39-year-old Jason Varitek, who on Wednesday teamed with 44-year-old Tim Wakefield to form the oldest battery in Red Sox history, to play in consecutive games. “I told him ‘I owe you a steak dinner,’” Saltalamacchia said. “But he told me ‘I’ve caught two days in a row before, so that’s not the issue.’” … Gonzalez previously had three streaks of six games with at least one RBI.

Yankees 11, Indians 7

NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez hit a colossal home run, Curtis Granderson also connected and the New York Yankees got back on track with an 11-7 victory over the skidding Cleveland Indians in a game that quickly grew testy Friday night.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Cleveland counterpart Manny Acta got into a face-to-face screaming match when both benches and bullpens emptied after Mark Teixeira was hit by a second-inning fastball from struggling Indians starter Fausto Carmona.

No punches were thrown and there appeared to be little pushing and shoving — if any. Plate umpire Dale Scott issued warnings to both teams, and there was no further trouble.

Ivan Nova (5-4) pitched seven sharp innings for New York, and Derek Jeter had one hit to move within nine of 3,000. Jorge Posada, breaking out of a season-long slump, added three hits and an RBI on a night when his figurine was handed out to fans.

One of them sat on a ledge near the Yankees dugout as he singled home a run to cap a three-run first. Posada has four straight multihit games, raising average from .169 to .215.

Bouncing back from a three-game sweep by the rival Red Sox, their second at Yankee Stadium in a month, New York sent a wild Carmona (3-8) to his fifth straight loss and finished with 15 hits. The Yankees had dropped 10 of 14 at home.

Robinson Cano had three hits and an RBI, and Teixeira stroked a three-run double that made it 10-2 in the seventh. Rodriguez followed with an RBI double.

In the fourth, the three-time MVP hit his 625th career homer into the second row of bleacher seats in left-center, where an excited fan caught it on the fly. The ball sailed some 450 feet, beyond a loading-bay ramp that sits between Monument Park and the visitors’ bullpen.

Yankees staff members could not remember a home run ever reaching that area at the new stadium, which opened in 2009.

Carlos Santana homered for the Indians, barely clinging to first place in the AL Central. Coming off a 1-6 homestand, they have lost 12 of 16 overall.

The opener of a four-game series was the first meeting this season between the teams. It didn’t take long for both sides to get heated.

One pitch after Granderson hit his team-high 19th homer into the second deck in right to give New York a 4-0 lead, Carmona threw a pitch that was headed straight for Teixeira’s upper back.

Batting left-handed, Teixeira ducked down and was hit squarely behind the right shoulder as he crumbled to the dirt. The slugger slammed down his helmet and gestured toward Carmona as he got up, appearing to yell “Throw the ball over the plate!”

Carmona, who threw 14 of his first 18 pitches for balls and walked three in a 40-pitch first inning, motioned back.

Girardi was the first Yankee out of the dugout, rushing onto the field to usher Teixeira toward first base and away from a potential fight. The angry manager gestured at Carmona, and soon both benches and bullpens had emptied as players streamed onto the field.

Both sides milled close together between the mound and first base. Acta moved into the fray and was trying to assure Girardi that Carmona did not hit Teixeira intentionally. But the managers quickly got into a heated, nose-to-nose argument as an umpire attempted to keep them apart, and Acta could be seen cursing at Girardi on a television replay.

The game was held up for a few minutes and, after players dispersed, plate umpire Dale Scott warned both dugouts against further trouble.

The banged-up Yankees might be feeling a little sensitive these days about inside pitches.

Teixeira left Tuesday night’s game against Boston writhing in pain after getting hit on the right kneecap by a first-inning pitch from Jon Lester, and Red Sox ace Josh Beckett plunked three New York stars Thursday night: Jeter, Rodriguez and Granderson.

Five walks and four hits allowed by inexperienced relievers in New York’s injury-depleted bullpen prompted Girardi to bring in Mariano Rivera for the final two outs. He gave up a two-run single to Matt LaPorta, then closed it out.

NOTES: Indians 2B Orlando Cabrera went 0 for 4 and remains one hit shy of 2,000. He was ejected by Scott for arguing a called third strike in the eighth. … Indians OF Travis Buck and his wife were shaken up in a taxi crash Friday morning and sent to the hospital for precautionary examinations. Buck was scratched from the starting lineup, but returned to Yankee Stadium before the game and was available off the bench, the team said. … Cord Phelps replaced Buck at DH and singled in the fifth for his first major league hit. Phelps was called up Wednesday from Triple-A Columbus. … Carmona is winless in seven starts since a 4-1 victory May 3 at Oakland. He dropped to 1-5 against the Yankees. … Granderson is 17 for 39 (.436) with three homers against Carmona. … Yankees C Russell Martin sat out for the third straight game because of a stiff back. He said there’s a “good chance” he’ll be ready to play Sunday. … Posada had 10 hits in a stretch of 13 at-bats before striking out in the sixth. In the first month of the season, he went 9 for 72.

 

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