Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/27)

Game 1: Monday, September 26
Game 1: Tuesday, September 27
Game 2: Tuesday, September 27
Game 3: Wednesday, September 28
Game 4: Thursday, September 29

Blue Jays 7

(77-80, 36-43 away)

Red Sox 5

(92-65, 51-25 home)

7:05 PM ET, September 27, 2005

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

123456789 R H E
TOR 000220111 7 13 0
BOS 003200000 5 12 0

W: J. Frasor (3-5)

L: C. Bradford (2-1)

S: M. Batista (31)

Jays earn DH split, halt BoSox march

BOSTON (AP) -- Neither a stranger to drama nor afraid of its glare, Curt Schilling saw the opportunity set out in front of him and he welcomed it.

AL wild-card standings
Team W L Pct. GB
Indians 92 65 .586 --
Red Sox 92 65 .586 --
Yankees 92 65 .586 --

"We're in first place, with five days left in the season. We have a winnable game sitting there; with the chance to be in first place all alone; with me on the mound," he said. "In my mind, that's a lock. And it hasn't been, and I haven't made it. That is probably the most frustrating thing."

After a victory over Toronto in the first game of the doubleheader put Boston in a tie atop the AL East, Schilling twice blew a three-run lead and Russ Adams hit a sacrifice fly to break an eighth-inning tie and help the Blue Jays to a 7-5 victory in the nightcap.

When the Yankees lost 17-9 to the Baltimore Orioles, New York and Boston were left tied with five games remaining.

The Red Sox and Yankees are 92-65, also tied with Cleveland atop the wild-card standings. Tuesday's results guaranteed that the AL East title will be up for grabs when New York comes to Fenway Park for a three-game series this weekend to close the season.

"We'd be kidding ourselves if this weekend wasn't going to determine the outcome of this season," Boston outfielder Johnny Damon said. "It's going to come down to this weekend. It's the master plan. God's way. Yankees-Red Sox. We just need to win some games before that series starts."

Tim Wakefield pitched seven strong innings to give Boston a 3-1 victory in the day game. But with the Fenway fans paying as much attention to the Yankees' game in Baltimore as the one in front of them, the Red Sox ended their four-game winning streak.

"It's fun to make it interesting for the Red Sox-Yankees pennant race," said Toronto's Aaron Hill, who had two hits, two runs and sacrificed himself twice in the late innings. "We're a big team this week."

Frank Catalanotto had four hits, and Adams had a pair of hits. Jason Frasor (3-5) struck out two in 1 1/3 innings as five relievers combined for 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Miguel Batista got two outs for his 31st save in 39 chances, getting David Ortiz on a broken-bat grounder to first for the final out.

Boston led 3-0 and 5-2 before the Blue Jays tied it in the seventh. Chad Bradford (2-1) came in with the bases loaded and struck out Shea Hillenbrand -- his sixth strikeout in a row -- and got Eric Hinske to ground out to end the inning.

But Gregg Zaun led off the eighth with a walk and Reed Johnson singled, then Hill moved them up with a sacrifice bunt. Red Sox rookie Craig Hansen relieved Bradford and Adams hit a medium fly ball to right that was deep enough to make it 6-5.

Toronto loaded the bases but Damon was able to get to Corey Koskie's long fly ball to center field to end it. The Blue Jays loaded the bases again in the ninth before Hill lofted a fly to right to make it 7-5.

Edgar Renteria had five hits on the day, and Ortiz had three RBI to bring his major league-leading total to 143.

Schilling allowed five runs on 10 hits and a walk, striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings for his third consecutive no-decision. He is scheduled to start the season finale against the Yankees -- a game that could decide the division title.

"If it comes down to my final start of the season, that's going to probably be whether we go to the postseason or not, so it doesn't matter how I feel about where I am," Schilling said. "I have to be there."

Wakefield (16-11) helped Boston pull into a tie for the AL East lead in the afternoon before leaving after seven so he will be rested for his next start -- on three days' rest -- against the Yankees.

"I probably could have finished the game, but I don't think that's a smart move," he said after holding the Blue Jays to one unearned run on three hits. "It's a pennant race. Every game is pretty much a must-win."

Wakefield was scheduled to pitch the regular-season finale on Sunday, but Monday's rainout pushed Schilling back until Tuesday's nightcap against Gustavo Chacin. The Red Sox decided that the knuckleballer was better equipped to come back on short rest than Schilling, who has struggled all season as he recovers from ankle surgery.

So out came Wakefield.

"You never want to look past anything," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "But it's a little bit of an extraordinary circumstance."

Wakefield walked one and hit a batter while striking out six to win for the eighth time in 10 decisions. Jonathan Papelbon followed him in the eighth, using a mid-90s fastball and the late afternoon shadows to escape a first-and-third, one-out jam.

"That's tough," Catalanotto said. "The toughest part was the shadows. We all came back saying we couldn't see the ball. It was tough picking it up. When you go from a slow knuckleball to a guy throwing 95 and you add in the shadow, it's tough."

Mike Timlin pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 19 chances and his 79th appearance of the season -- one short of the franchise record.

Dave Bush (5-11) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, striking out five and walking two. He ran into trouble in the first when Damon led off with a single and Renteria doubled him to third.

Game notes

The Red Sox face three consecutive left-handed starters, starting with Chacin on Tuesday. Lefty starters entered the day 5-10 with a 6.59 ERA at Fenway this year. ... Because of Monday's rainout, Schilling will start the regular-season finale against Mike Mussina. Wakefield will face Randy Johnson on Saturday. David Wells and Chien-Ming Wang will pitch Friday's series opener. ... Wakefield's previous two starts were no-decisions. He is 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA in September. His 220 1/3 innings is a career high. ... Former Red Sox infielder Johnny Pesky celebrated his 86th birthday. ... Bush has allowed 17 first-inning runs in 23 starts. He has a 6.65 ERA in the first inning and a 3.99 ERA after that. ... Frank Menechino is 6-for-16 (.375) in his career against Wakefield. ... The Red Sox went six consecutive home games without scoring more than three runs, the first time they've done that since 1976. ... Hillenbrand struck out swinging seven times in the two games, including six straight.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press