Two rookies had a big game Thursday night for the Blue Jays as they handily disposed of the Boston Red Sox, 7-3, in front of 17, 189 fans at the Rogers Centre.
J.P. Arencibia crushed his 22nd home run of the year, a three-run shot in the bottom of the second inning off Red Sox starter Andrew Miller. The blast gave the Jays a 4-0 lead, and they never looked back.
September call-up David Cooper went 3-for-4 for Toronto (72-72) with two doubles, driving in two runs, and scoring a run on the Arencibia homer.
Lefty Ricky Romero got his 14th win of the season, collecting seven strike outs over 6 2/3 innings, and gave up five hits, three walks, and three earned runs.
Miller fell to 6-3 on the year, giving up five earned runs through five innings, surrendering eight hits and walking two.
Arencibia’s homer brings him to within two of the Blue Jay rookie record, held by Eric Hinskie who did it in 2002 en route to AL rookie of the year honours. Edwin Encarnacion and Eric Thames also added solo home runs, as did Jason Varitek for the Sox (85-58).
Romero shined through six full frames, but ran into trouble in the top half of the seventh. The lefty walked Varitek, then surrendered a single to Darnell McDonald. The red-hot Jacoby Elsbury stroked his second double of the night to the left-field wall, scoring Varitek and getting the Sox on the board at 5-1.
With runners in scoring position, Farrell opted to go to the bullpen for Casey Janssen. The righty promptly gave up a single to Marco Scutaro that scored both base runners, making it 5-3. But Janssen got Dustin Pedroia to ground out next at bat to end the inning, maintaining a two-run lead.
Scutaro went 3-for-4 against his former team.
Cooper got his first hit as a September call-up in the bottom of the second inning, driving in Kelly Johnson to make it 1-0. The next batter was Arencibia who crushed a 2-2 pitch into the private boxes of the 300 level at Rogers Centre, scoring Cooper and Brett Lawrie.
Encarnacion added his 16th home run on the season in the bottom of the third, taking a low fastball over the fence in right field. He also doubled in the fifth, his team leading 35th two-bagger.