Red Sox return to form with Blue Jays romp
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Boston Red Sox took out their recent frustrations on Toronto by bashing the Blue Jays 14-0 for a morale-boosting victory on Tuesday.
The Red Sox dominated at the plate and on the mound where pitcher Jon Lester helped halt their slide in the American League East and recover from an 11-inning 1-0 shutout loss to the Blue Jays the previous night.
"(This) was a night we needed," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters. "We scored early and we kept at them. Lester threw a bunch of strikes. We spread it out."
Boston ace Josh Beckett had to exit Monday's loss with an ankle sprain that will force him to miss his next start, but Lester picked up the slack with an 11-strikeout performance in his seven innings of work.
The left-hander allowed just three hits and walked one batter to earn his 15th win of the season.
The Red Sox jumped on the Blue Jays (70-72) as they tallied at least two runs in each of the first five innings to punish the home team and make it an easy night for Lester.
"It definitely helps makes you feel more comfortable out there (when you have a lead)," Lester said.
"The more runs we score, I wouldn't say the easier it is to pitch, but the pressure of having to make perfect pitches is off your shoulders."
Marco Scutaro recorded four hits and four RBIs while David Ortiz also added four of Boston's 20 hits.
AL batting leader Adrian Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs as Boston abused Toronto starter Luis Perez, who allowed eight runs in less than three innings.
The Red Sox (85-56), who had lost four of their previous five contests, maintained their pursuit of the division-leading New York Yankees while strengthening their hold on the AL wildcard berth.
(Editing by John O'Brien)