Series: Game 2 of 4

Boston leads 2-0 (as of 4/19)

Game 1: Friday, April 18
Game 2: Saturday, April 19
Game 3: Sunday, April 20
Game 4: Monday, April 21

Blue Jays 2

(6-12, 4-5 away)

Red Sox 7

(12-5, 6-1 home)

    1:20 PM ET, April 19, 2003

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 000200000 2 9 3
    BOS 00502000 - 7 8 1

    W: D. Lowe (3-1)

    L: T. Sturtze (2-1)

    Lowe struggles, but notches third win

    BOSTON (AP) -- Boston's Derek Lowe felt like he got away with one against Toronto.

    Trot Nixon and Todd Walker each drove in two runs during Boston's five-run third inning as the Red Sox won their sixth straight game, 7-2 over the Blue Jays on Saturday.

    Lowe (3-1), who gave up two unearned runs and seven hits in five innings, escaped a pair of bases-loaded jams in the first four innings.

    Unlike last year when he pitched a no-hitter on Kids' opening day, Lowe battled with his control in this year's Kids' opener.

    "It was a win,'' Lowe said. "That's all you can really say about it. It was a struggle to get through five innings.''

    Boston's beleaguered bullpen has settled down recently. Jason Shiell pitched three scoreless innings in his Red Sox debut and Brandon Lyon finished.

    "When you have the type of game Derek has and he comes away with a win, you have to be happy,'' Red Sox manager Grady Little said. "He wasn't at the top of his game.''

    Boston's offense is performing well now, though, averaging 6.6 runs per game to help improve the team's record to 12-5.

    Toronto has lost three straight games and nine of 10. The Blue Jays, who entered as the AL's worst fielding team, committed three errors that led to three unearned runs.

    The Blue Jays equaled their worst start since also going 6-12 in 1979.

    "We're hitting balls right people that are getting caught,'' Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. "We're putting too many people on base and to magnify the problem we're not catching the ball in certain situations.''

    The benches emptied in the fourth inning after Boston's Manny Ramirez was hit on the left elbow by Tanyon Sturtze's pitch, but no punches were thrown and there were no ejections.

    "I don't know what the big deal was about,'' Sturtze said. "He just started yelling.''

    Kevin Millar went 0-for-4 to snap his 14-game hitting streak. It was the longest by a Red Sox hitter to open a season since Tony Pena hit in 15 consecutive games in 1990.

    Nixon went 2-for-4 with a double and triple, and Walker also had two hits for Boston.

    The Red Sox grabbed a 5-0 lead in the third against Sturtze (2-1). Johnny Damon doubled after Jason Varitek was hit by a pitch to open the inning. Walker followed with a double into the left field corner, making it 2-0.

    Two outs later, Millar walked before Nixon's grounder down the first base line rolled into the corner for a triple to make it 4-0. Bill Mueller walked and Nixon scored when Greg Myers threw the ball into center trying to get Mueller stealing second.

    Toronto cut it to 5-2 in fourth when Josh Phelps doubled and later scored on shortstop Nomar Garciaparra's error. Shannon Stewart added an RBI single.

    Boston capitalized on the Blue Jays' third error of the game to score two runs in the fifth. Jeremy Giambi drew a two-out walk and Varitek singled before Carlos Delgado misplayed Damon's grounder down the line for an error that made it 7-2. Damon ended up on third on the play.

    Game notes

    Toronto's Chris Woodward missed an extra-base hit by inches when his drive hooked foul in right before taking a called third strike with the bases loaded in the second. ... Pedro Martinez said Friday that he's not talking to the media for the rest of the season. ... Walker swung and missed with his bat flying four rows into the stands in the first inning. ... Grammy award winning artist James Taylor performed the national anthem. ... After the game, the Blue Jays optioned RHP Doug Linton to Triple-A Syracuse and purchased the contract of LHP Jason Kershner. They also designated RHP Kevin Frederick for assignment.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press