BOSTON (AP) -
's little dribbler gave the
a happy ending to a very long day.
fell flat on his stomach while chasing the ball that went about 30 feet down the first-base line. The short single scored
the go-ahead run in a three-run eighth inning as Boston rallied for a 7-5 win Saturday night after dropping the afternoon
Toronto has won 12 of its past 15 games, but lost a chance to close within 5 1/2 games of Boston in the wild-card race and
remained 7 1/2 behind. The
open a three-game series Monday night on the road against AL East leader Tampa Bay, which leads Boston by two games.
''Obviously, we know what's going on,'' Ellsbury said. ''I don't think there was any more urgency. We try to win every game.''
started the eighth with a double - his third straight hit after an 0-for-13 slump - and scored the tying run on
's single. Lowrie took second on
' sacrifice and third on
's ground out.
The speedy Ellsbury then tapped the ball down the line. Downs tumbled after taking five steps as Lowrie crossed the plate.
then doubled home Ellsbury.
''It would have been a real tough play for him, a left-hander coming down the line'' even if Downs hadn't fallen, Ellsbury
said. ''I saw him slip. At that point, I was hoping it would stay fair.''
The ball stopped on the dirt inside the first base line, as Boston took its first lead since Toronto went ahead 5-2 with five
runs in the second. The
had chipped away with runs in the sixth and seventh.
''When you're ahead and lose a ballgame it always hurts more than anything,'' Toronto manager
said. ''Normally, with that bullpen out there, we usually can hang on.''
Downs (0-3) was one of three Toronto relievers who entered the second game with ERAs below 2.00. On Ellsbury's hit, he reinjured
the right ankle he sprained about a month ago. Gaston said he hoped Downs could pitch Tuesday.
(6-4) got the win and
pitched the ninth for his 37th save in 42 opportunities.
to the mound Sunday, hoping to split the four-game series.
''I think we had to win three out of four to get us back in it,''
went 3-for-5 with two doubles, giving him 200 hits and 50 doubles this season. The only other
players to do that were
in 1912 and
''Toronto was on a good streak and creeping up on us,'' Bay said. 'It was a huge win.''
Boston took a 2-0 lead in the first when Ellsbury and Pedroia both scored on a wild pitch by
. Toronto scored five in the second off
on a bases-loaded walk to
, a two-run double by
, a sacrifice fly by
and an RBI single by
Lowrie's sacrifice fly in the sixth and a forceout at second base in the seventh drove in the runs that cut Toronto's lead
In the opener, late-season call up Snider homered, doubled and drove in five runs.
Burnett and Litsch pitched on three days' rest. They each started Tuesday in Toronto's sweep of the
Chicago White Sox
Burnett (18-10) held Boston to one unearned run on three singles in six-plus innings. He struck out six and left with an 8-0
said of the teams' thoughts in the race. ''I don't think there's anyone in this clubhouse that knows the odds aren't against
us. We want to make a run at this thing.''
Toronto, which swept Tampa Bay last weekend, has four games left against the
, three at home.
Burnett, 5-0 in his career against Boston, left with runners on first and second after second baseman Inglett dropped a throw
for an error on a play that would have been a forceout.
Leading 2-0 in the fifth, Snider, who started the year at Class A Dunedin and was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Aug.
29, homered into the
(11-12). Snider hit his second homer after
It could have been worse for Byrd. The
had two runners thrown out at third in the fourth - Wells on Overbay's single, and
trying to advance on his own RBI double.
''He has such an easy (looking) velocity, 95, 96, and then he's got that breaking ball,'' Boston manager
said of Burnett. ''It's almost like when you get runners in scoring position you have to pick one or another.''
Snider's two-run double off reliever
made it 7-0 in the sixth. Snider scored on Inglett's RBI single.
Notes:Colon made his first start since July 16. He went on the disabled list the next day with a lower back strain and was
recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. ... The
announced that reliever
has made enough appearances to trigger his club option for next season. ... Ellsbury stole his 46th and 47th bases of the
season, third-most in
had 52 in 1912 and
owns the single-season record with 54, set in 1973. ... Overbay has 23 RBIs in his past 27 games. ... The first game was a
makeup of an Aug. 15 rainout. ... Byrd went for a walk outside the park between games.