TORONTO (AP) – Not even another homer by Big Papi could make up for Boston’s awful outfield defense.

The Toronto Blue Jays overcame David Ortiz’s league-leading 53rd homer and took advantage of poor outfield defense to beat the Red Sox 13-4 Sunday and close within a half-game of second-place Boston in the AL East.

Ortiz hit his 32nd road homer of the season, tying Babe Ruth’s AL history record.

“It feels good. You’re talking about a guy that did everything in the game,” Ortiz said. “When your name is up there with those guys, it tells you you’re doing your thing.”

Boston’s Wily Mo Pena misplayed three balls in right and Kevin Youkilis misplayed two in left.

“It wasn’t real pretty,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Asked if he was doubting Pena’s outfield ability, Francona said it wasn’t a good idea to answer that right after a game.

“I think you have to sit back and digest it and look at the whole year then make that decision,” Francona said.

Youkilis acknowledged he’s a better infielder than outfielder.

“Somebody has got to play left field,” he said. “I’m here to play ball. If it means I have to play left field, I’ll play left field. I wouldn’t say I’m a left fielder, by any means. I take pride in my infield work, but I also try to do the best I can out there. It just wasn’t a good day in the outfield today.”

Lyle Overbay homered to back Gustavo Chacin (9-3), who allowed three runs and six hits in five-plus innings. He won his third straight decision and improved to 4-0 against Boston this year.

Overbay, Alex Rios and Vernon Wells had three RBIs each for Toronto (82-73), which moved just behind Boston (83-73) heading into the season’s final week. The Red Sox have finished second in the division in eight straight years.

“Taking second place would be great for us,” Chacin said.

Kyle Snyder (4-5) gave up four runs and seven hits in three innings.

Youkilis lost a ball in the lights in the third, allowing Reed Johnson to reach on an RBI double that tied the score 2-2. Johnson scored on Well’s RBI double, and Bengie Molina’s run-scoring single made it 4-2.

Pena allowed Molina’s fly ball to glance off his glove for a two-base error in the fifth. He said he lost it in the lights.

“Soon as I tried to get it in my glove, the lights came straight into my eyes,” Pena said.

After Boston closed within a run in the sixth on Mike Lowell’s sacrifice fly, Rios hit a two-run triple against Manny Delcarmen in the bottom half, a drive that glanced off Pena’s glove at the wall. Pena stumbled before it hit off his glove.

Wells’ RBI single made it 7-3, and Overbay followed with looked to be a single to left, but Youkilis allowed to get by him for an RBI double.

Pena played a single into the double in the seventh by allowing Aaron Hill’s hit to get under his glove. Troy Glaus followed with a two-run single.

Notes: Chacin threw 30 pitches in the first. … Wells has 500 career RBIs.

AP-ES-09-24-06 1716EDT


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