TORONTO (AP) - Jo-Jo Reyes thinks he knows exactly where his bid for a third straight win went off track against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Already trailing 3-1 in the fifth inning, the Toronto Blue Jays left-hander gave up an RBI single to Boston's Kevin Youkilis.
``I had him 0-2 and he got a base hit,' said Reyes (2-5), who snapped a record-tying run of 28 starts without a win on May 30. ``If I had one at-bat to take back that would be it.'
How costly the run proved to be for the left-hander is difficult to say.
That is because of the tough time Toronto's offense had with Boston starter Clay Buchholz.
The right-hander allowed three hits over seven innings to lead his team to a seventh straight win that matched their season high.
Buchholz (5-3) struck out six and walked two as he ended a career-long run of four straight no-decisions.
``He was outstanding tonight,' said Blue Jays manager John Farrell, Boston's former pitching coach. ``He threw more curveballs for strikes than the last time we had seen him in Boston. He had a very good overall mix. There wasn't one pitch you could sit on in any one count.'
He also got support from Boston's lineup as leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury went 3 for 5 with three runs scored and AL RBI leader Adrian Gonzalez drove in two runs.
Gonzalez's fifth-inning single gave the Red Sox first baseman seven consecutive games with at least one run driven in.
He drove in another run with a ground-rule double off reliever Shawn Camp in the ninth that made it 5-1, a welcome result for a team that arrived at its hotel at about the same time the morning rush hour was beginning here.
``I think everybody's tired, I know I was, but I thought it was a workmanlike night,' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of his team's effort following Thursday's rain-delayed win in New York that lasted until 1:43 a.m. on Friday. ``We've got to show up tomorrow after a quick turnaround and play good again.'
Reyes gave up eight hits and two walks before Farrell replaced him with Luis Perez with one out and a runner on first in the seventh.
Perez hit a batter but escaped the inning without further damage, leaving the 27-year-old Reyes charged with four runs in 6 1-3 innings.
The reliever has gone 12 2-3 innings without allowing a run.
``Luis Perez continues to throw the baseball very well regardless of who were are going against or the lineup that he's facing,' said Farrell, whose club dropped to .500 on the season (32-32).
Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia drove in a run each for Boston, which improved its league-best record to 37-26.
Pedroia, who returned to the lineup after missing Thursday's series finale in New York so doctors could examine his sore right knee, finished 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
``I found some holes and that's always good,' said Pedroia, who actually had close to a normal night's sleep after he missed Thursday's game. ``Last night was tough going, we played great, Buch pitched great and it was a big win.'
Both teams went hitless for two innings before Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the top of the third with a bloop single to shallow right field. Ellsbury's ground-rule double down the left field line put runners at second and third before Pedroia's infield single scored Saltalamacchia to make it 1-0.
Boston went ahead 2-0 when Ellsbury scored on a double play ball hit by Gonzalez.
Corey Patterson had Toronto's first hit - a single to left leading off the fourth. He moved to third on a double by Jose Bautista before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Juan Rivera that trimmed Boston's lead to 2-1.
The Red Sox got two runs in the fifth on RBI singles by Gonzalez and Youkilis.
Reliever Daniel Bard took over from Buchholz to start the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning. Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon finished up what had become a non-save situation with a shutout ninth.
Notes: Bautista, the AL home run leader with 20, failed to go deep for a 12th straight game, the longest drought for the outfielder since a 13-game run last season when Bautista hit a majors-best 54. ... Blue Jays SS Yunel Escobar missed his second straight game and is day-to-day because of soreness in his left quadriceps. ... Saltalamacchia played his first game since being taken to a New York hospital on Wednesday because of a stomach ailment that required the catcher to receive several doses of intravenous fluids. ``He might not be his most energetic self, but sometimes you've just got to play,' Francona said. Saltalamacchia's illness forced 39-year-old Jason Varitek, who on Wednesday teamed with 44-year-old Tim Wakefield to form the oldest battery in Red Sox history, to play in consecutive games. ``I told him 'I owe you a steak dinner,'' Saltalamacchia said. ``But he told me `I've caught two days in a row before, so that's not the issue.'' ... Gonzalez previously had three streaks of six games with at least one RBI. ... Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to eight games and is hitting .447 (17 for 38) over that stretch.
The Associated Press News Service
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