BOSTON – When Jose Bautista homered in the sixth inning Friday night against Boston, Toronto already led by six and the extra runs seemed to matter only to him.

Even the fan who caught the ball was apparently unaware that the two-run shot was Bautista’s 48th homer of the season, the most in the majors and a Toronto franchise record. throwing it back on the field, he saved the Blue Jays the trouble of negotiating for it.

“That was pretty nice,” Bautista said. “Pretty lucky for me to have that happen.”

But Bautista’s homer also proved to be key when the Red Sox scored two in the eighth and two more in the ninth before the Blue Jays held on for an 11-9 victory.

“You can never have enough runs in this ballpark,” Blue Jays Manager Cito Gaston said. “That’s why you’ve got to keep piling them up.”

Victor Martinez, who already had homered twice, came to the plate as the potential tying run. Kevin Gregg needed two pitches to match a career high with his 32nd save, getting Martinez on a popup to shortstop to end the game.

Bautista’s sixth-inning homer, which gave Toronto a 10-2 lead, surpassed the 47 homers George Bell hit for the Blue Jays in 1987. The ball cleared the Green Monster and landed in the Monster Seats before it was tossed back on the field, then relayed to the Blue Jays’ dugout.

Brett Cecil (13-7) allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings.

John Lackey (12-11) lasted just 41/3 innings, giving up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits, two walks and three hit batters. He struck out three in his fourth consecutive loss, hearing boos as he left.

“Things kind of snowballed in that inning,” Lackey said. “It is what is: I didn’t pitch well and didn’t give us a chance to win.”

Tim Wakefield, at 44 years and 46 days old, became the oldest player to appear for the Red Sox in more than 100 years. Carl Yastrzemski was 44 years, 41 days old for his last game; the only Red Sox player older than Wakefield was Deacon McGuire, who was 44 years, 280 days old when he made his last appearance on Aug. 24, 1908.


THE BOSTON chapter of the BBWAA named Sea Dogs first baseman Anthony Rizzo the winner of the Greg Montalbano Memorial Award as Red Sox minor league player of the year.

Rizzo hit .260 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI in the minors this season. He’ll receive the award at the 72nd annual Boston BBWAA dinner Jan. 20.


TERRY FRANCONA gave a big hug to Don Zimmer when he was enshrined in the team’s Hall of Fame before the game. Zimmer, who managed the Red Sox from 1976-80, was joined by fellow inductees Tommy Harper, Jimmy Piersall and John Valentin.

Inductee Eddie Kasko was physically unable to attend, and was represented by his two sons. Joining them was Tom Brunansky, whose catch to end the 1990 regular season and give the Red Sox the AL East title was recognized as a “Memorable Moment.”