TORONTO, AUG. 25 -- Before today's game, the Toronto Blue Jays sat in the SkyDome outfield, posing for fans on camera day. With Roger Clemens pitching for Boston, the Blue Jays might as well have posed all afternoon.

Clemens overcame three errors by his teammates to record a five-hit shutout and a 1-0 victory, inducing the last two outs with the bases loaded.

The only run was the 378th career home run by Dwight Evans, top homer hitter among active players. Evans sat out the last five games with a sore back, but he was sharp today, collecting three of the Red Sox' six hits.

The triumph boosted Boston's American League East lead to three games over Toronto, which became a shutout victim for the second straight game, a fate last experienced in 1986. The four-game series concludes Sunday and the best the Blue Jays can do is escape with a split.

Evans's homer led of the seventh inning and came on a 1-1 pitch from left-hander David Wells. The line drive barely cleared the fence behind left fielder Glenallen Hill.

"It was a good pitch, a breaking ball down," Evans said. "I went down and got it. I've been out of the lineup five or six games and I was just trying to make contact.

"I knew I hit it well, but I didn't know if it would get out. I heard {first-base coach} Al Bumbry say, 'Hurry up,' so I know it was close."

The Blue Jays ignored the percentage play in the ninth and paid the price. Leadoff man Kelly Gruber reached when first baseman Carlos Quintana was unable to scoop up third baseman Wade Boggs's low throw. Rance Mulliniks batted for Hill, and with a bunt dictated by every baseball instinct, Mulliniks lined the first pitch at left fielder Kevin Romine.

Fred McGriff followed with a double to the right field corner, and Gruber stopped at third.

After John Olerud was purposely passed, Greg Myers sent a fly to right field; the ball was not deep enough to score Gruber, who chose not to test the arm of defensive replacement Tom Brunansky. Clemens then struck out Manny Lee with his 117th pitch to end it.

"I thrive on situations like this," said Clemens, who won his seventh straight to raise his record to 19-5. "I was a little sluggish and it was the kind of day when you throw hard even when you don't really like it. I had to rely on emotions and adrenaline."

Anyone wondering how badly Clemens wants to win found out in the sixth inning, after Junior Felix beat out an infield hit and was sacrificed up by Mookie Wilson.

Tony Fernandez drilled a ball toward right field but Quintana dove to his right and stopped it. Clemens, slow to break for first, took the throw as he threw his body to block the bag, instead of reaching for it with his foot. There was a big collision, but the all-district high school defensive end from Houston recovered quickly enough to throw from his knees and keep Felix at third.

"I'm never concerned if they get right up, but it was a scary collision," Boston Manager Joe Morgan said. "Roger hesitated for a fraction of a second and then turned it on. There was no way, in my mind, he would beat Fernandez to first."

"I looked over and thought the ball was by Carlos," Clemens said. "I didn't want to get beat, so I took a direct line to the bag instead of rounding it off. I just wasn't going to let him {Fernandez} get to the bag."

"That play at first base was a great play," Evans said. "He gave himself up to make the play, just like a nose guard. He'll do anything to win."

Evans, his back tightly wrapped, is of the same breed. "I felt good today, not much pain and I was able to do the things I want to do," he said. "Whatever it takes to win."

The Blue Jays, zero for 11 with men in scoring position during Friday's 2-0 loss, were zero for 10 in that situation today. It was doubly frustrating, because the Red Sox played with stone hands afield.

In the fifth inning Quintana closed his glove too soon on a routine throw by second baseman Jody Reed and was searching for the bag when the ball popped into the air. In the eighth shortstop Luis Rivera made a wild throw that wound up in the glove of a fan, putting Felix on second with one out. No matter the crisis, though, Clemens rose to the occasion.

Clemens, who has an 0.75 earned-run average in nine starts since the all-star break, struck out six and walked two, one intentionally.

Clemens's first strikeout victim was George Bell, who was on the bench when the out was recorded in the second inning. Bell had a 1-2 count when Hill was inserted as a pinch hitter; if the substitute strikes out in that circumstance, the strikeout is charged to the original batter.

Bell, zero for 14 in the previous four games, complained that he was having trouble focusing his right eye. He later went to Mount Sinai Hospital for a full examination.

Aside from Wells's superb performance -- five hits and one walk in eight innings -- the Blue Jays could take consolation from the crowd of 49,890, the 42nd straight sellout.

The Blue Jays have had 3,037,163 customers and already have sold enough tickets to break the Los Angeles Dodgers' mark of 3,608,881, set in 1982.