The Blue Jays look to snap a long losing streak against today’s opponent at the Rogers Centre.
Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
Boston continues a seven-day, six-game road trip with the second of three games, after clobbering the Toronto Blue Jays 14-3 at the Rogers Centre. The team now comes in carrying a 6-1 series advantage, after compiling an 11-7 series win in 2009. The Red Sox have now won seven straight games at the venue and broke a four-game losing streak in which the team scored just 12 runs. “We kind of needed that,” said manager Terry Francona. At 50-36, the club is tied for the fourth-best record in baseball, behind only the Yankees, Rays and Braves. The Red Sox hope to improve upon their 7-12 daytime record this year (-870), as the team is 7-3 on artificial turf (+480). The team hasn’t always been successful on the face stuff, going 25-33 the last three years (-880).
Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey is 9-4 with a 4.40 ERA in 17 starts this season, with the team alternating wins and losses over his last four starts. The right-hander is an even 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA in seven road starts, issuing 23 walks and striking out 25 in 45.2 innings. He owns a 5.74 ERA in five day outings this season compared to a 3.86 ERA in 12 night starts. Lackey will make his second start of the season versus Toronto, winning at Fenway Park on May 10 despite allowing six runs over six innings. In 12 career outings versus the Blue Jays, he’s tallied a 4-3 mark and 3.74 ERA. His 3.04 ERA in eight career starts at the Rogers Centre is third-best among starters since 2002 (min. 50 IP).
Toronto slipped under .500 with last night’s defeat, as the club continues a six-day, six-game homestand. “They’ve just been kicking our butts – it’s as simple as that,” manager Cito Gaston said. He’s referencing that the Jays have suffered seven straight defeats on home soil to their division rivals, which is the second-longest losing streak at home versus the Red Sox. In Friday’s loss, Boston’s 14 runs marked the most in one game against Toronto since the Jays lost 15-0 to the Orioles on August, 19, 2006. The club is 4-3 after allowing 10 or more runs this season (+70) and 12-14 over the last three years (-210). The total happens to be 7-19 O/U in this spot over that time.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow is 5-6 with a 4.69 ERA in 17 starts this season, but the club has dropped his last two games by a single run margin. Over that two-game span, he has allowed 10 runs (eight earned) and 16 hits over 12 innings. The right-hander is a rock solid 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA in eight home starts, issuing just 13 free passes and fanning an impressive 49 in 51 innings of work. Morrow stands at 1-1 with a 4.69 ERA in even daytime starts. He will be making his 11th career appearance (third start) against the Red Sox, going 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA, with the loss coming on May 10 at Fenway Park against Lackey. It was the shortest outing of the season for Morrow, allowing six runs and six hits while walking six in just 1.2 frames.
Bettors must respect the home team’s 8-5 mark this season at home with a money line of -100 to -125 (+260) and 39-21 record in this spot the last three years (+1,580). Toronto also holds the daytime advantage in posting a 18-15 mark in 2010 thus far (+440).