Power up: Jays hit six homers to bash Sox
Lind leads the way with three long balls vs. Boston pitching
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays went more than a year without tasting victory in Boston before Monday. Now, they can't seem to lose at Fenway Park.
Led by a career-best three home runs from Adam Lind, Toronto clocked six long balls on Tuesday in an 8-7 win that marked its season-high fifth consecutive victory.
Jose Bautista, Aaron Hill and Kevin Millar also went deep for the Jays, whose last six-homer effort came on July 8, 1999. Toronto has cracked nine roundtrippers in taking the first two games of its series against Boston, which scored five times in the eighth before staging a ninth-inning rally in its bid to clinch the American League Wild Card berth. The Red Sox did eventually clinch following the Rangers' 5-2 loss to the Angels.
"I know they were one game away from clinching, but we wanted to go out there and battle those guys," said rookie pitcher Ricky Romero, who scattered seven hits over five innings of two-run ball for his 13th victory. "Obviously, you don't want to be the guys that they do it off of. You take a lot of pride in that. It's pretty special for us to be able to take the first two games here."
Much like Monday starter Scott Richmond, the beneficiary of an 11-run, 14-hit Blue Jays attack, Romero received plenty of support in recording his first career win against the Red Sox in five tries.
"Those guys are a tough lineup," Romero said. "They battle you until the end. I think the difference today was that I stayed within myself and didn't try to do too much. I was just trying to let things happen."
Toronto wasted no time teeing off on Clay Buchholz, who entered Tuesday with a 3-0 record and a 1.35 ERA in three starts against the Jays this season. Bautista and Lind both left the yard in a first inning that seemed to be a continuation of Monday's offensive fireworks. Travis Snider's two-out RBI single later in the frame pushed the lead to 4-0.
Facing Buchholz (7-4) for the fourth time since July 17, Toronto finally broke through against Boston's talented right-hander, who was tagged for seven runs on eight hits over five innings.
"Part of [the success] was probably seeing him so many times," Lind said. "He was leaving some pitches up over the plate. We did a good job of being aggressive and hitting his fastball to get to his offspeed pitches."
Victor Martinez singled home Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the first, but Hill answered in the top of the second by crushing a 3-2 changeup well over the Green Monster for his 36th homer of the season.
Romero uncorked a wild pitch in the home half of the second that allowed Jason Bay to score from third. And once again, the Jays responded in their next frame, as Kevin Millar tattooed a 1-2 curveball over the left-field wall for a solo shot.
Lind took over from there, crushing a Buchholz offering over the center-field wall in the fifth before drilling a seventh-inning slider from Takashi Saito off Pesky's Pole in right field.
"I hit three home runs once in high school, so I guess I've been there once before," Lind said. "But to do it here at Fenway Park is pretty special."
The trio of homers, which upped Lind's season total to 35, was the most by a visiting player at the Fens since Frank Thomas launched three taters for the White Sox on Sept. 15, 1996.
"Outstanding," manager Cito Gaston said of Lind's performance. "This kid's just had an outstanding year and pretty much helped carry this club the whole year."
In the ninth, the designated hitter/left fielder was plunked in the right elbow by Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon. X-rays taken after the game came back negative.
"I'm pretty sore," Lind said. "I can't really move my arm too much from my elbow down ... just a lot of throbbing and aching."
The Red Sox brought more pain on the Jays in the eighth, cutting into their 8-2 deficit with a five-spot off relievers Jesse Carlson and Shawn Camp. Closer Jason Frasor then shut the door on Boston by nailing down a well-deserved four-out save.
Though their season won't extend beyond Sunday, the prideful Jays aren't going down without a fight.
"We're just a bunch of guys having fun," Romero said. "We're just playing. We're not worried about anything else. Who knows what's going to happen with us in the future. Some of these guys, you never know if they're going to be your teammates again. You just try to enjoy it as much as possible ... just go out there and have fun."
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.