Johnson had a pinch-hit grand slam and six RBI, and Lilly
pitched seven solid innings, helping Toronto improve to 7-2 against
Boston this season with a 15-2 victory Friday night.
Lilly (6-8) is 2-0 against the Red Sox this year with a 1.53
ERA, well below his season mark of 5.89. Johnson is 9-for-21 with
three homers, 12 RBI and seven runs in nine games. He has just six
homers and 33 RBI in all his games.
"It doesn't matter at this point what we throw Reed Johnson.
He's one step ahead of us," Boston manager Terry Francona said.
"He hits everything we throw."
Lilly struggled much of the season but has improved recently
with three wins in his last four starts. Two of his last four
victories have been against the Red Sox.
"I just happened to throw some pretty decent games when my
start came up against the Red Sox," he said. "I don't think that
it has anything in particular to do with that particular lineup
because, obviously, they have a pretty potent lineup."
So do the Blue Jays -- for the last two games anyway. The victory
came one game after the Blue Jays had matched their season high for
runs in a 12-3 win at Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The 15 runs were the
most against the Red Sox this year.
Matt Clement (9-2) allowed eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. He was
charged with the last three after he left the game with the bases
loaded, and Mike Myers gave up Johnson's first career grand slam,
making it 9-1 in the sixth.
"We had Lilly on the ropes a little bit," Clement said. "The
difference is he made big pitches when he had to. I wasn't able to
finish the inning off when I needed to."
Lilly retired Manny Ramirez on an inning-ending flyout with the
bases loaded in the third. In the fifth, after Johnny Damon's
fourth homer of the season cut the lead to 4-1, Lilly gave up two
singles before getting Ramirez on a double-play grounder and Jason
Varitek on a flyout.
"I haven't been getting away with too many mistakes and I think
I did a little bit tonight," Lilly said. "I made a couple of good
pitches when I did get into some jams."
The win moved the Blue Jays into third place in the AL East, one
game ahead of the New York Yankees, who lost to Detroit 10-2.
"We're in a good position now, but everyone knows there's a
long way to go," Johnson said.
Boston still leads the AL East by 2½ games over Baltimore.
Clement had two bad innings, allowing four runs in the third and
another four in Toronto's five-run sixth.
After Myers allowed Johnson's homer, Boston's season-long
bullpen woes worsened in the seventh when Matt Mantei walked the
bases loaded, gave up a two-run double to Eric Hinske and walked
Alex Rios to reload the bases.
Clement struck out four in the first two innings, then gave up
hits to the first four batters in the third -- singles by Rios and
Orlando Hudson, an RBI single by Adams and a two-run double by
Catalanatto. Aaron Hill added a run-scoring single.
"They're a better team than they were before," Francona said,
"and they've played good against us."
Johnson's pinch grand slam was the third in Blue Jays
history. Jesse Barfield hit one against Tom Burgmeier of Boston on
April 24, 1982, and Tony Fernandez did it against Lilly, then with
the Yankees, on Sept. 4, 2001. ... Vernon Wells' eight-game hitting
streak ended. ... Damon extended his hitting streak to 17 games,
one less than his season and career highs. ... Francona said no
decision has been made on whether Curt Schilling's rehabilitation
start Monday at Triple-A Pawtucket will be his last. He went on the
disabled list April 29 with an ankle injury and made his first
rehab start Wednesday.