BOSTON (AP) - The way Toronto manager John Farrell saw it, Tuesday night's game at Fenway Park never really ended.
``We should still be playing,' Farrell said after Edwin Encarnacion was called out at the plate by umpire Brian Knight as the Blue Jays attempted to score the tying run on a single by John McDonald with two outs in the ninth inning, the Red Sox hanging on for a 3-2 win.
Boston catcher Jason Varitek blocked the plate with his left leg, but Farrell said the replay showed clearly that his player was safe, that there was no tag after the throw by left fielder Darnell McDonald.
``That play is right in front of (umpire) Brian Knight,' Farrell said. ``It was clear that Edwin did a good job sliding around the plant leg of Tek. His swipe tag missed him by no less than a foot. So right now, we should be out on that field playing.'
Neither Farrell nor Encarnacion argued. Farrell said the runner blocked his dugout view of the play, which ended a ninth-inning rally from a 3-0 deficit against Jonathan Papelbon.
``He made the call as it was,' Farrell said of Knight. ``Unfortunately, we should still be playing. We don't have the benefit of replay but the wide margin (with) which he missed the tag (I'm) a little bit surprised that the call went that way.'
Encarnacion, who singled one out after Jose Bautista hit his 28th home run of the year, a two-run shot off Papelbon, declined comment.
Toronto trailed 3-0 with only two singles - the first with two outs in the sixth - against four Red Sox pitchers through eight innings, Corey Patterson opened the ninth with a single and scored on Bautista's fourth homer in the last five games, his fifth in the last eight.
Papelbon then struck out Adam Lind before Encarnacion singled, Travis Snider had his long fly caught in front of the left field wall by McDonald and J.P. Arencibia walked. John McDonald singled on an 0-2 pitch and the game ended on the play at the plate.
Asked about calls that have gone against his team this season, Farrell, a first-year manager, said, ``We have to continue to handle the things we can control and that is put on a finish like we did tonight. Again, we should still be playing.'
John McDonald, who couldn't see the play from the basepaths, was asked if he saw the replay.
``Does it make a difference?' he said. ``We're sitting in here right now getting ready for tomorrow already.'
The ending overshadowed a solid start by Toronto lefty Brett Cecil, who is still trying to find the 15-win form of last season. Cecil (1-4) gave up two runs in the second inning and a solo homer to Dustin Pedroia in the third but settled down and went the rest of the way, pitching a seven-hitter.
``He pitched a very good ballgame,' Farrell said. ``He did his job. It was very encouraging to see him continue to make progress. He threw the ball very well on a night where we didn't really mount anything until the end. He continued to make pitches right through to the end.'
And it was almost a winning ending for the Jays, who saw the series tied heading into Wednesday night's rubber game.
``I feel the way we've been playing,' John McDonald said, ``the way we battled against Doc (Roy Halladay) the other day, the way we battled against Cliff Lee, a big win carrying over (Monday) - to not give up today, get a few runs, get a few more guys on base against an excellent closer says a lot about our club.'
The 5-foot-8 Pedroia hit fourth for only the second time this season and homered in each game. He first did it last Thursday when he went 1 for 5 in a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In his six career games batting cleanup, he is 13 for 26 with four homers.
``I see the Red Sox have been signing a whole bunch of little guys because they think they might find another Pedroia,' Boston DH David Ortiz joked. ``I doubt it. You don't see that every day, man. He's special.'
Red Sox starter Jon Lester allowed no hits in four innings before leaving the game with a left back strain. Boston manager Terry Francona said he would be examined further on Wednesday. Matt Albers (3-3) pitched the next two innings and Papelbon got his 18th save in 19 opportunities.
NOTES: Daniel Bard pitched the eighth, extending his streak to 16 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings. ... Bautista has reached base in 74 of his 79 games. ... Boston sent OF Mike Cameron and cash to the Florida Marlins for a player to be named or cash. ... Toronto's season-high streak of homers reached 13 straight games. ... Boston LF Carl Crawford could return before the All-Star break that begins Monday but probably wouldn't play just Sunday, according Francona. ... Boston RHP Clay Buchholz planned to fly Wednesday to North Carolina for a second opinion on a lower back strain that put him on the disabled list.
The Associated Press News Service
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