Papi thinks big, small


TORONTO (AP) – Big Papi can bunt, too.

David Ortiz homered and had a rare bunt single to help the Boston Red Sox end a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

Ortiz hit a two-run shot off Josh Towers (0-4) in the first for his eighth home run. He has 10 homers in his last 13 games against Toronto.

When Toronto’s defense shaded toward right field in a defensive shift in the sixth, Ortiz executed a perfect bunt between the mound and third base. Third baseman Troy Glaus, playing short, didn’t even get a throw off.

Ortiz called the defensive shift “bull.”

“You got to do what you got to do,” Ortiz said. “They’ve been taking a lot of hits away from me between first and second, so I just got to keep doing it.”

Toronto first baseman Lyle Overbay told Ortiz he should have done it earlier.

It was Ortiz’s second career bunt, his previous was August 21, 2005 versus Anaheim.

“He did that on his own. I would never tell the big boy to go out and bunt, but I understand it,” Boston manager Terry Francona said.

“He’s a pretty good bunter. He came up with the Minnesota Twins. He was taught how to do it. He sort of has the green light to do that.”

Boston starter Matt Clement (2-1) allowed three runs and seven hits, while striking out four and walking two in 5 1-3 innings.

Keith Foulke and Mike Timlin followed with 2 2-3 scoreless innings before Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.

Boston’s new closer has pitched 11 1-3 scoreless innings.

“From Foulke to Timlin to Papelbon, they did a great job against a tough lineup,” Francona said.

Gregg Zaun hit a three-run homer for the Blue Jays, who had won their previous five games against Boston.

Towers struggled again, allowing four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. He’s allowed at least four runs in each of his four starts this season.

“Hopefully, I can concentrate on what went well,” Towers said. “I felt like I located the ball well with a couple of exceptions.”

Towers hit the first batter of the game, Kevin Youkilis, before Ortiz homered to left.

Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon followed with singles before Mike Lowell hit an RBI single to make it 3-0.

After Towers hit Willie Harris with a pitch in the fourth, Harris stole second and later scored on Youkilis’ RBI single.

Third baseman Lowell’s throwing error in the fourth allowed Vernon Wells to reach before Lyle Overbay walked and Zaun homered to cut Boston’s lead to 4-3.

Toronto loaded the bases in the fifth before Zaun hit a fly ball to right, but Trot Nixon made a running catch at the wall to end the threat.

“He came up with a great play that will probably get overlooked. It was huge,” Clement said.

Mark Loretta’s RBI single off Vinnie Chulk in the eighth, and Lowell’s RBI double in the ninth made it 6-3.

Notes: Ortiz is 5-for-11 with three home runs and eight RBI in his career against Towers. … Charlie Villanueva of the NBA Toronto Raptors threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Toronto ace Roy Halladay will receive an extra days rest before he makes his start on Thursday. Halladay won in his return to the rotation on Saturday. He missed a scheduled start because of a stiff arm.

AP-ES-04-23-06 1735EDT