Jays complete Red Sox sweep

Red Sox base runner Carl Crawford gets tagged out by Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar while trying...

Red Sox base runner Carl Crawford gets tagged out by Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar while trying to steal second base during Wednesday night's game. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:40 PM ET

TORONTO - And the last shall be first.

So it was that Rajai Davis and John McDonald rose up Wednesday night to deliver the knockout blow to the Boston Red Sox.

Davis and McDonald anchored the bottom of the Blue Jays lineup; both batting below .200 coming into the game. But in their case, the numbers do lie.

"We've seen it time and again," said manager John Farrell after they contributed to Toronto's 9-3 win.

McDonald punched his second homer of the season, a game-breaking two-run double and turned a brilliant double play with Yunel Escobar in the ninth. Davis had four hits, two RBIs and now has 10 steals in his last 11 games.

Meantime, Casey Janssen and J.P. Arencibia combined on the key defensive play and while starter Jesse Litsch didn't stay around long, he was steady. Litsch has come from being demoted to winning his club-high fourth game.

"I think this is the way we expect ourselves to play. Nobody was happy with the way we played against Detroit (three lopsided losses)," McDonald said. "Our execution wasn't where it needs to be ... we came back today."

The turning point was the seventh when Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a ball off the facing of the upper deck with reliever Janssen leaning towards foul territory as he watched it just miss being a two-run homer. That would've put Boston up 5-4. Instead, Janssen struck him out one pitch later with Arencibia gunning down Carl Crawford trying to steal second.

"It was a huge ... momentum swing for us in a one-run game," McDonald said. "I was so fired up for Casey. He controls the running game so well. Various looks. Quick to the plate. He holds the ball ... not allowing the baserunner to get a good jump."

In the bottom of the inning Toronto blew it open with five runs, the first run coming in on David Cooper's bases-loaded walk, followed by McDonald's two-run double. Davis two-run single made it 9-3.

"A solid game all around; the hits by McDonald and Davis, the strikeout and throw out for the key double play in a one run game. Jesse ... kept the game in check," Farrell said.

Litsch went 52/3 innings, allowing six hits, turning over a 4-3 lead to Janssen. He had a wobbly first inning, surrendering an RBI single to Kevin Youkilis but settled in nicely, carrying a 4-1 lead into the sixth when Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz touched him for solo homers.

Until then, he'd been pretty much a master of his own destiny while Davis and McDonald were making life a misery for loser John Lackey. McDonald spanked a leadoff homer to put Toronto up 3-1 in the fourth. Davis singled, which in his case might as well be a triple. He stole second and third -- the second time in two games he'd done that -- and the 19,153 fans loved every step and dust-filled dive. "It rubs off, the energy," Davis said. "It gets rowdy, the fans get into it and it makes it fun."

He scored on Escobar's fly. "He took over the inning. He creates havoc on the basepaths," Farrell said.

One for the mantle

"Moose (one of the Blue Jays' clubhouse attendants) got it for me," said Cooper Wednesday, pulling the game ball out of his locker that he'd hammered over the right-field fence the night before for his first major-league home run. Cooper hadn't been certain immediately following the game whether anyone had been able to retrieve the souvenir. "I'm sending it home. It'll look good next to the one I got for my first hit." ... Wednesday was the 10th anniversary of Carlos Delgado's 204th home run as a Blue Jay, surpassing Joe Carter for the franchise lead. Meantime, Jose Bautista, is making quick inroads in that direction. Since Sept. 1, 2009, he leads the majors with 75 homers in 219 games -- 20 more than the next best player, Albert Pujols with 55 ... Adam Lind figures he knows why he hurt his back. The shift to first base had something to do with it, and the different demands it places on the body. "Weak stomach. If I'd done a few more abs," he said, the problem might not have come up.

Over & out

The Blue Jays' Scott Podsednik era is over. The 35-year-old outfielder asked for, and was given his release, from a minor-league contract. The major-league leader in 2004 with 70 stolen bases missed spring training with plantar fasciitis. While he had begun to turn his game around, he batted just .220 through his first 51 plate appearances for triple-A Las Vegas.

"We had some people ahead of him on the depth chart. We didn't want to stand in his way (of possibly finding a spot with another major-league team). We had a handshake agreement," said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Travis Snider, tearing up PCL pitching (.395), ranks ahead of Podsednik. Prospect Eric Thames (.349, 6 HR) and veteran DeWayne Wise (.327) made it evident the eight-year major-league veteran wouldn't be the first callup by Toronto.


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