Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
When: 7:07 PM ET, Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Special to Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
TORONTO – Left-hander David Price could be the perfect cure for the pitching ills of the Boston Red Sox when he takes the ball in the opener of the three-game series against the host Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night. Boston has allowed 37 runs while losing the last three games, including the past two across the pond in London, but Price is 22-3 with a 2.37 ERA in 31 appearances (30 starts) in his career against the Blue Jays.
Price would like to get the same offensive support the Red Sox provided in the three losses as Jackie Bradley Jr. (8-for-12, three runs, three games), Rafael Devers (11-for-22, seven doubles, five games) and JD Martinez (9-for-17, two homers, five games) contributed to 28 runs during the losing streak. “We have the talent to win the World Series but we have to play better,” Boston manager Alex Cora told reporters. “I’ve been saying it since Day One. It better happen sooner rather than later.” The Blue Jays are 21 games under .500, but won’t be a pushover after taking two of three at Fenway Park June 21-23 and winning three of four against Kansas City, capped by Monday’s 11-4 triumph on Canada Day. Toronto’s Eric Sogard was 7-for-16 in the series against the Royals to push his batting average to .311 and teammate Lourdes Gurriel Jr. began a nine-game hitting streak (19-for-39, five homers, eight RBIs, 11 runs) with five hits in the last two contests versus the Red Sox.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), Sportsnet, TVA (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH David Price (5-2, 3.36 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Trent Thornton (2-5, 4.60)
Price is unbeaten in his last nine trips to the mound and earned the victory Tuesday when he allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits across six innings against the Chicago White Sox. The 33-year-old Vanderbilt product has five quality starts in that stretch and boasts 82 strikeouts to go along with 15 walks in 72 1/3 innings overall this year. Gurriel is 2-for-6 with a double versus Price, who gave up two unearned runs on three hits in five innings of a 12-2 victory against Toronto on May 20.
Thornton strung two quality starts together for the second time this season, including a matchup with the Red Sox on June 21, before giving up five runs over 3 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees on Wednesday. The 25-year-old North Carolina native limited Boston to two runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts across 6 1/3 innings for a no-decision in his first-ever game versus the Red Sox. Michael Chavis and Martinez went 2-for-3 against Thornton, who is 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA in seven home starts.
- Toronto 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will participate in the Home Run Derby and RHP Marcus Stroman was named the team’s representative for next week’s All-Star Game.
- Boston LF Andrew Benintendi (seven homers, 36 RBIs) left Saturday’s game with a quad injury and is questionable.
- Blue Jays OF Randal Grichuk is 10-for-24 with a homer and seven RBIs over his last six contests.