Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Dominant Romero Leads Toronto Blue Jays to Victory over Boston Red Sox: Romero Sharp in Leading Jays Past Red Sox[1]

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Dominant Romero Leads Toronto Blue Jays to Victory over Boston Red Sox: Romero Sharp in Leading Jays Past Red Sox[1]

Article excerpt

TORONTO - There's something about facing the Boston Red Sox of late that brings out the best in Ricky Romero.

The Toronto left-hander allowed just one run and three hits over a dominant 8 1-3 innings to lead the Blue Jays to a 3-1 win Wednesday afternoon at Rogers Centre. Romero won his third straight start against Boston dating back to last season and the 8 1-3 innings was his longest outing in 14 career starts against the Red Sox.

"I had a good feel for my sinker, I didn't beat the ball into the ground a lot and when you're able to do that you can't get away from it until they make that adjustment," Romero said. "And when they did make that adjustment I had a good curveball going.

"These guys are so tough to pitch to sometimes and you have to keep them off-balance and make good pitches.''

Toronto (4-2) won the rubber match of the series behind the performance of its ace, who at one point retired 17 straight Boston hitters in a superbly pitched game that required just two hours 13 minutes to complete.

After allowing a run and three hits in the third inning, Romero, who led Toronto last season in starts (32), wins (15), innings pitched (225) and earned-run average (2.92), really settled into a groove before opening the ninth with consecutive walks to Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. They moved to third and second, respectively, on Adrian Gonzalez's sacrifice fly, which spelled the end to Romero's day.

Closer Sergio Santos, who blew two save chances earlier this season, fanned Kevin Youkilis and got David Ortiz to hit into a game-ending groundout to cement the victory.

"Ricky was the story here today," said Toronto manager John Farrell. "I know how much he wanted to finish this game but he more than did his job and Santos came in and somewhat redeemed himself from his first couple of outings and did what we really anticipated when we acquired him (in off-season from Chicago White Sox)."

Santos, who was roundly booed off the field after blowing the save opportunity in the series opener Monday night, was glad to have redeemed himself.

"There was quite a bit on my mind just because of everything that's happened," Santos said. "It was nice to block all that out, get out there and throw some effective pitches.

"Look, I would've booed myself too (Monday night) because it was such a terrible job so it's nice to finally have my first good outing before these fans. I know they're passionate about their sports and that's all you can ask for."

Romero (1-0) outduelled Boston left-hander Jon Lester before 25,285 spectators -- many of them school kids -- at Rogers Centre. It was the lowest attendance of the series after more than 48,000 took in the Red Sox's 4-2 win Monday before 26,251 witnessed Toronto's 7-3 victory Tuesday night.

Romero easily surpassed his performance in Toronto's season opener in Cleveland last Thursday when he allowed three hits (including a homer) and four earned runs over five innings. But J.P. Arencibia's three-run homer in the 16th inning paced the Blue Jays to a 7-4 victory over the Indians.

"I felt way better than I did opening day," Romero said. "Any time you go deep in the game that's what it is all about.

"I think at times against Boston I tried to do too much and walks killed me against them. I looked at video of my last two starts against them last year and it was just strike one, pound the zone and I had a good rhythm going against them."

A fact not lost upon Youkilis. …

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