BOSTON (AP) -- Corey Koskie is a better hitter when he's not the
Back at third base, Koskie went 4-for-5 with the go-ahead single
and started a key double play Tuesday night to lead the Toronto
Blue Jays to a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.
"It's fun to get back in the field. I feel more relaxed,"
Until his two-out RBI single in the ninth inning, all six runs
scored on homers -- including a long drive by Manny Ramirez over the
Green Monster and out of Fenway Park -- despite strong outings by
starters Roy Halladay for Toronto and Bronson Arroyo for Boston.
Ramirez hit a solo shot in the first and Koskie tied it with his
second homer of the season in the sixth. David Ortiz's two-run
drive made it 3-1 in the seventh and Vernon Wells tied it at 3 with
a two-run homer in the eighth.
Just one day earlier, Koskie went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts
and a double play as the DH in Boston's 12-7 win.
"You get a better feel for the game" in the field, Blue Jays
manager John Gibbons said, "especially when you're struggling.
Less time to think about your at-bats."
In eight games as a third baseman, Koskie is batting .345
(10-for-29) with two homers and seven RBI. In six games as the DH,
he's hitting .130 (3-for-23) with no homers and three RBI.
The Red Sox put runners at first and third with two outs in the
ninth before Ramon Vazquez, playing third base because Bill Mueller
had flu symptoms, flied to center against Miguel Batista, who got
his fourth save.
In the eighth, Jay Payton flied out with runners at first and
third and two outs. He went to left field in the top of the inning
for Ramirez, whose thigh muscle bothered him.
"When he said he needs to ice it, that's the thing to do. We
didn't take him out for defense," Boston manager Terry Francona
With a runner on first and no outs in the fourth, Koskie grabbed
Ramirez's hard shot down the line and started a double play that
Francona called "the big play of the game."
Halladay (3-0) allowed three runs and four hits while throwing
99 pitches and kept his poise after Ramirez's early drive.
"There was a lot of baseball left," Halladay said. "If you
let that bother you, it's going to be a long day."
Keith Foulke (1-2) retired the first batter in the ninth before
Frank Catalanotto was hit by a pitch and Gregg Zaun walked. Shea
Hillenbrand singled, but pinch-runner Reed Johnson was thrown out
at the plate by Payton.
Koskie then singled to right to drive in Zaun, but Francona is
sticking by his closer, who has struggled much of the season.
"The more we run him out there, the better he's going to be,"
Toronto broke a nine-game losing streak at Fenway Park and
snapped Boston's five-game winning streak.
Arroyo gave up one run and eight hits in seven innings and was
relieved by Alan Embree, who allowed Koskie's leadoff single in the
eighth and Wells' third homer of the year.
Ortiz's homer -- his fourth of the season and Boston's third hit
of the game -- was one of just seven balls the Red Sox hit out of
the infield against Halladay.
"He was having such quick innings that I didn't have time to
breathe between innings," Arroyo said.
One of the hits went way out of the infield, Ramirez's fifth
homer, all in the last four games, with two outs in the first.
"Manny hit a curveball into the universe," Boston's Kevin
Millar said, "and Bronson pitched a pretty good game, but we
couldn't find a way to get to Halladay."
Halladay faced just 19 batters through six innings, one more
than the minimum, and allowed only four of them to hit the ball out
of the infield.
The Red Sox are the only team not to allow a first-inning
run this season. The streak reached 14 games Tuesday. ...
Hillenbrand extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single
in the first that was his 11th hit in 15 at-bats. ... Both of
Koskie's homers have come against the Red Sox. He hit his first as
a Blue Jay on April 9 off David Wells. ... Zaun, whose eight-game
hitting streak ended Monday, singled against Arroyo in the seventh.
... The Red Sox were unbeaten in Arroyo's 11 previous starts.