Ricky Romero has kicked that habit of his of getting thrashed by the Red Sox, for one at start at least. The lefty lasted six innings Saturday to beat Boston for the first time this year and for just the second time in nine career starts, giving up three runs in a 4-3 Toronto win.
The Jays got an early boost from a first inning solo shot by Jose Bautista — his third in three games to push his team record to 49 for the season — and scored one in the fourth and a pair in the sixth to grab a 4-1 lead. Adam Lind doubled in both innings, giving him four for the first two games of the series to bump his season total to 29, and Johnny Mac followed both times with infield singles to score runs, with Lind cashing on an Adrian Beltre throwing error on the latter.
Romero, who came in at 1-4 with 7.88 ERA in eight previous starts against the Red Sox, limited Boston to a lone run over the first five innings before two scored in the sixth on three hits and a wild pitch. In all, not the finest line he’s strung together, but one he’ll definitely take against a team that’s eaten him alive over the past two seasons. With the win, he runs his record to 13-9 — identical to his mark as a rookie — and his inning count to 197.
Jason Frasor, David Purcey, Shawn Camp and Kevin Gregg combined to shut the Sox down over the final three innings, with Gregg dancing around another nervous ninth to pick up his 33rd save. After retiring Marco Scutaro to start the inning, Gregg coughed up a single to Ryan Kalish, who was picked off first. Victor Martinez followed with a two-out triple that would’ve tied it, but was stranded on a Beltre grounder that ended it.
So, an improbable two straight wins to start the set at Fenway. Interestingly, after getting beat up by the Red Sox for five-and-a-half months last year (they started an identical 4-11), the Jays went into Boston and won three straight in the second-last series of the year. A little of the same this time around? I’m hoping so. Shaun Marcum (12-7, 3.58) has the ball in Sunday’s finale against Jon Lester (17-8, 3.17).