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Benny jets in, drives in three Red Sox runs

9/6/2002

BOSTON (AP) -- Benny Agbayani just wanted a chance to show he
belonged in the big leagues. For one night, he proved his point.

Agbayani drove in three runs in his Boston debut as the Boston Red Sox temporarily halted their late-season slide with a 7-2 win Friday night over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Agbayani, recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday after being claimed off waivers Aug. 26 from Colorado, went 2-for-4 and threw out a runner at the plate in the third.

It's a long way from where he was a little over a week ago.

"I was in the minor leagues and we were in our last week of the season and I thought I was going home,'' Agbayani said. "Then I got claimed and found out it was Boston and had to rejuvenate myself.''

"My clock is kind of winding down. This is my third team.''

Agbayani, traded to Colorado from the New York Mets Jan. 21, was demoted to the minors earlier this year. He hit just .205 in 117 with the Rockies.

"He gave us a big lift,'' Boston manager Grady Little said. "I
think it was evident out there.''

The Red Sox certainly needed something to turn the fans back on their side. They were booed often in a 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays the day before.

Tim Wakefield, a bright spot in Boston's recent struggles, pitched seven strong innings for the win.

"It was the best I've seen Wakefield,'' Toronto manager Carlos
Tosca said.

The Red Sox, who snapped a three-game losing streak, had fallen
behind in the playoff chase this week by losing four of six. They
are just 14-18 since Aug. 1.

Nomar Garciaparra had three hits and scored three times for the
Red Sox, and Wakefield (9-5) outpitched Roy Halladay (15-7).

The Red Sox took the lead with four runs in the fourth. Agbayani tied it at 1 with an RBI single. Brian Daubach delivered a go-ahead single before Doug Mirabelli snapped a 1-for-23 drought with a two-run double.

Agbayani hit a two-run double in the fifth. In the third inning,
he fielded Carlos Delgado's single to left field and threw out Eric
Hinske at the plate.

Wakefield won for the fourth time in five starts. The
knuckleballer gave up one run and five hits, striking out a
season-high eight.

"Benny had two huge hits for us,'' Wakefield said.

Halladay lost on the road for the first time this season after
going 8-0. He allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings.

"Agbayani must have had a good idea of what I was going to do,'' Halladay said. "I couldn't get him out.''

The Blue Jays took a 1-0 lead in the third on Eric Hinske's RBI
double.

Game notes
Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, who will miss his second start Sunday with a hip/groin injury, will throw on the side Saturday. ... Halladay's last road loss was his final start last September
against Tampa Bay. ... Red Sox RF Cliff Floyd was ejected by plate
umpire Angel Hernandez after striking out in the fifth. ... Former
shortstop Rick Burleson will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of
Fame along with Fred Lynn and pitchers Dave "Boo'' Ferriss and Jim
Lonborg in November. ... After the game, the Red Sox announced they
fired four minor league coaches: Larry Pierson, pitching coach at
Sarasota; Richie Bombard, pitching coach at Pawtucket; Billy
Gardner Jr., Sarasota's manager; and Herm Starrette, rehab pitching
coach.