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Red Sox's lead down to only 1 1/2 games

September 20, 2007|From the Associated Press

TORONTO -- With their lead atop the AL East getting ever smaller, the Boston Red Sox expect to learn a lot about themselves before the end of the season.

The Red Sox saw their division lead over New York cut to 1 1/2 games -- their smallest edge since late April -- when the Toronto Blue Jays broke through against Clay Buchholz and Jonathan Papelbon for a 6-1 victory Wednesday night.

"We've got to fight through," Manager Terry Francona said. "How good of a team you end up being is how you handle adversity. We'll handle it. It's not a lot of fun to lose, it can get frustrating, but how you handle that frustration goes a long way towards how you end up doing."

The Red Sox have lost four in a row and five of six.

"From now on, you're going to see who is who," shortstop Julio Lugo said.

Russ Adams hit a clinching grand slam in the eighth inning as Toronto swept a three-game series from the Red Sox for the first time since May 2005.

The last time Boston's lead was so slim was April 25, when the Blue Jays were in second place. Boston's biggest lead was 12 games on July 5.

The Red Sox are off today before opening a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Friday.

Making his first start since pitching a no-hitter against Baltimore on Sept. 1, Buchholz held Toronto hitless until Frank Thomas singled with two outs in the fourth inning. Buchholz (3-1) made a throwing error in the fifth that put Toronto ahead, and wound up with his first major league loss.

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