Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TORONTO – A trip north of the border appears to be what the Boston Red Sox needed to break out of a funk, and now they can focus on padding their lead in the American League East. The Red Sox will try to clinch a series win when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays for the second of a three-game series on Tuesday.
Boston matched a season high with four straight losses entering the series and were not swinging the bats well until Christian Vazquez sparked a four-run rally with a two-run homer in the seventh inning of Monday’s 6-5 triumph. Red Sox manager John Farrell dropped slumping designated hitter Hanley Ramirez into the No. 7 spot in the order on Monday and watched him deliver two hits and score a pair of runs as the Red Sox pushed their lead over the New York Yankees in the Al East to 3 1/2 games. The Blue Jays made things interesting when Justin Smoak belted a two-run homer off All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning on Monday but still suffered their eighth loss in the last 10 games. Toronto, which sits in last place in the AL East, will try to play spoiler on Tuesday with righty Tom Koehler while the Red Sox send struggling ace Chris Sale to the mound.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), Sportsnet, TVA Sports (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Chris Sale (14-6, 2.88 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH Brett Anderson (2-2, 8.18)
Sale is trying to end a losing streak after dropping his last two starts and was rocked for seven runs – six earned – on seven hits and three walks in three innings at Cleveland on Thursday. The Florida native leads the majors with 253 strikeouts but notched a season-low three on Thursday. Sale did not allow a run in either of his first two starts at Toronto this season, scattering a total of eight hits over 15 innings while totaling 24 strikeouts.
Anderson was signed to a minor league deal by the Blue Jays after being let go by the Chicago Cubs earlier in the season. The 29-year-old went 3-3 with a 3.65 ERA in stops at Double-A and Triple-A this season. Anderson is 5-3 with a 3.50 ERA in nine career starts against Boston.
1. The Blue Jays designated OF Nori Aoki for assignment on Monday and recalled RHP Leonel Campos.
2. Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee) is expected to step up his rehab by running the bases this week.
3. Toronto pitchers allowed at least six runs in seven of the last eight games.