Boston, MA – Aaron Laffey pitched seven shutout innings and Colby Rasmus knocked in two runs to lead Toronto to a 6-1 triumph over the Red Sox to open a three-game series.
The Blue Jays posted their second shutout in five games on the same day they made a massive 10-player trade with the Astros. Toronto acquired pitchers J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter from Houston in exchange for pitcher Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, four minor leaguers and a player to be named later.
Laffey (2-1) scattered eight hits and fanned four without walking a batter. Darren Oliver retired the side in order in the eighth and Casey Janssen gave up a run in the ninth.
The Blue Jays were outscored 18-4 this week in a three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium, got to Josh Beckett early and handed the right-hander his first loss since June 11. Beckett (5-8) allowed seven hits and five runs -- four earned -- while fanning seven over six innings.
"He threw a lot of strikes and we hit a lot of balls at their players," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "It was one of those nights, we couldn't find the hole."
Mike Aviles knocked in the only run for Boston, which came into Friday with wins in four of its last five games.
The Blue Jays scored twice in the opening inning, but the first run came in controversial fashion. With one out, Rasmus tripled off the wall in right field. Edwin Encarnacion hit a bouncer to third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Replays showed Rasmus never touched the plate as his left hand hit off the leg of catcher Kelly Shoppach, who then tagged Rasmus when he stood up after the slide. Home plate umpire Sam Holbrook signaled safe. Adam Lind and J.P. Arencibia followed with base hits to account for the 2-0 margin.
Rasmus doubled to center to drive in Yunel Escobar and Anthony Gose in the second, and Lind's line single to center made it 5-0 in the fifth. Lind's hit scored Encarnacion, who reached first on a single and advanced to second on a throwing error from Middlebrooks at third.
Laffey escaped a 1st-and-3rd jam in the third by retiring Dustin Pedroia on a fly ball. The left-hander stranded Shoppach at second in the fifth when Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to end the inning. Ellsbury fouled out to leave runners at the corners in the seventh.
Travis Snider and Yan Gomes hit back-to-back doubles in the ninth off Mark Melancon.
Middlebrooks scored on an Aviles ground ball in the ninth inning.
The Blue Jays recalled Snider from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday and assigned pitcher David Carpenter to Las Vegas. They also transferred pitcher Robert Coello to the 60-day disabled list...Toronto won for just the second time in its last nine road games...Snider's double was his first hit with the Blue Jays this season after appearing in 56 games at Triple-A.