The Boston Red Sox aim to return to .500 in the first game of a two-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre
Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
Boston hits the road for eight games against three of its division opponents after an exciting 11-inning, 2-1 win over Minnesota on Monday night. The Red Sox went 6-5 over their longest stay at Fenway Park this season and enter on a three-game winning streak. “Whether you’re playing in the division or not, it’s wins that matter,” said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. “You want to win every game that you’re out there. From our perspective, we just try to go out there and win.” The club went 6-3 on its last road trip to Oakland (1-1), Los Angeles (4-0) and Baltimore. Boston is 12-11 versus right-handed starters this season.
Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester is 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA in seven starts this season, as the team has won four straight games with him on the mound. The left-hander won his fourth start in a row last time out at home against the Angels, surrendering just a single run and six hits over seven strong innings that was highlighted by his first double-digit strikeout performance of the season. Lester has compiled a perfect 2-0 record and 2.39 ERA on the road, as opposing hitters are managing to bat just .183 against him. In 14 career starts versus the Blue Jays, he is 8-4 with a 3.30 ERA, including a 4-3 record and 3.60 ERA in eight appearances at the Rogers Centre.
Toronto lost for the seventh time in nine games and dropped a season-high five games below .500 with a 10-5 defeat to Detroit on Monday. The Blue Jays will likely have a tough time bouncing back against the Red Sox, considering they dropped three of four against them earlier in the season, getting outscored 21-3 in the process. Toronto now stands in fourth-place in the American League East and is 5-10 against such opponents this year. It’s a far drop off from its 39-33 record against division foes during the 2010 campaign. The team is 12-7 in night games this year.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Kyle Drabek is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in seven starts during the 2011 campaign, but comes into Tuesday night’s outing on a two-game losing streak. The second-year starter will be making his first home start since April 19, posting a 1-0 record and 3.65 ERA in two starts at the Rogers Centre. Drabek will be facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career.
Bettors will likely back the Red Sox due to their 8-3 record in Lester’s last 11 road starts, while the Blue Jays are 1-5 in their last six home games.