BOSTON (AP) – David Ortiz went hitless in his return to the Boston lineup, and the Red Sox got their offense from the bottom of the order instead Tuesday night to help Tim Wakefield beat the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays 2-1.

No. 8 hitter Jeff Bailey singled in a run and No. 9 hitter George Kottaras drove in the other with a sacrifice fly as Wakefield (5-2) held Toronto to one run on five hits over eight innings. The knuckleballer gave up a solo homer to former teammate Kevin Millar, but no other Blue Jays made it as far as third base.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 11 chances.

Brian Tallet (2-2) allowed two runs on four hits over six innings, walking two and striking out five.

Ortiz, who got a weekend off to try to snap out of a slump, returned to the lineup but went 0 for 3 with a walk and saw his batting average drop to .203. The slugger who hit 54 homers in 2006 has not homered in 147 at-bats dating to last September – the longest slump of his career.

The crowd gave him a tepid cheer for each of his first three plate appearances, but rose with a “Papi!” chant when he came to bat with a runner on first in the eighth.

He struck out.

Wakefield had won four straight starts before allowing a season-high seven runs on 11 hits against the Los Angeles Angels last Wednesday.

Notes: Red Sox are 14-4 at home, second-best in the majors behind the L.A. Dodgers. … Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 14 games. … It was the one-year anniversary of Jon Lester’s no-hitter. … Toronto’s Aaron Hill, who entered the night tied for the major-league lead with 61 hits, singled in the eighth inning and went 1 for 4. … The game took just 2 hours, 13 minutes.

AP-ES-05-19-09 2130EDT


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