<
>

Little's move pays off for Damon, Sox

7/9/2003

TORONTO (AP) -- Boston's new-look bullpen did the job Tuesday
night.

Four relievers combined for five scoreless innings, and Jason
Varitek hit a go-ahead single in the 12th inning as the Red Sox
beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1.

Newly acquired Todd Jones (1-0) pitched two hitless innings, and
new closer Byung-Hyun Kim got three straight outs for his second
save in two chances.

"Maybe the bullpen that everybody made fun of can help the team
out the last few months of the season," Jones said.

Jones, a former All-Star, signed with Boston on July 2 after
being released by Colorado the week before. He was 1-4 with an 8.24
ERA in 33 appearances with the Rockies.

"I was in Denver pitching in the fourth inning," Jones said.
"Any way you can wipe away what I did for the first two-and-a-half
months of the season, and have a chance to be in a clubhouse where
the guys remember when you were good, is great."

Boston starter Tim Wakefield allowed one run on six hits in
seven innings, striking out seven and walking none. Mike Timlin and
Alan Embree each pitched a scoreless inning before Jones entered.

"The pitching was outstanding throughout the game. Wakefield
gave us everything he had out there for seven innings, and then the
bullpen came in there and pieced together a good outing," Boston
manager Grady Little said. "We're awfully proud to see that. We've
had some tough games in the recent past."

In the 12th, Johnny Damon led off with a double off Jeff Tam
(0-3), and Varitek, who had entered as a pinch-hitter in the 10th,
singled to center.

Little removed the struggling Damon from the leadoff spot before
the game. Damon, who batted eighth, went 3-for-4 with a walk. He
entered the game in a 4-for-37 slump that dropped his average to
.249.

"I relaxed a little bit," Damon said. "I wasn't putting too
much pressure on myself. I knew my swing was almost there."

Toronto, which has lost eight of 10, escaped a bases-loaded jam
in the 11th when Damian Jackson flied out for the third out.

Damon appeared to hit a go-ahead double in the 10th, but a fan
in right field grabbed the ball when it was in fair territory,
keeping Bill Mueller from scoring from first.

Boston, which leads the majors in batting average, runs, hits,
and on-base percentage, managed just one run off Roy Halladay, who
has won 12 straight decisions since April 15. He allowed just four
hits in nine innings.

"I was happy with my start," Halladay said. "It was nice to
go out and pitch against a team we are competing against for a
playoff spot."

Toronto's Shannon Stewart singled in the first, advanced to
second on a grounder and scored on Carlos Delgado's single. Delgado
leads the majors with 93 RBI.

Doug Mirabelli tied it in the sixth with a homer into SkyDome's
third deck in left field.

Game notes
Little said he would use Trot Nixon and Bill Mueller in the
leadoff spot instead of Damon. He didn't say how long it would
last. ... Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca doesn't want Halladay to
pitch in the All-Star game. Halladay will be working on three days'
rest Saturday against the New York Yankees. ... Halladay is 12-0 in
his last 16 starts.