Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Monday, July 15, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox look to make up some ground in the race for an American League playoff berth and improve their disappointing home record when they host the Toronto Blue Jays for the first of four games tonight. The Red Sox, who are 21-24 at home, dropped two of three to the major league-best Los Angeles Dodgers after Sunday’s 7-4 loss in 12 innings, falling 2 1/2 games out of the AL’s second wild card.
Xander Bogaerts homered and singled twice to extend his hitting streak to six contests (9-for-25) and teammate Mookie Betts is 11-for-25 with four doubles during his six-game run for Boston, which won two of three at Toronto earlier this month. Rick Porcello will try to find his top form again when he takes the mound in the opener for the Red Sox and the Blue Jays counter with rookie Trent Thornton, who earned his third major-league victory in his most recent outing with a strong performance against Baltimore.
Toronto suffered a 4-2 loss in the rubber match of its three-game series Sunday at the New York Yankees after going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving seven on base. Randal Grichuk launched a solo homer in the loss for the Blue Jays and has nine RBIs in his last eight contests while teammate Danny Jansen had two hits to improve to 13-for-30 with four homers over his last eight games.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, TVA Sports, Sportsnet (Toronto), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Trent Thornton (3-6, 4.85 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (6-7, 5.33)
Thornton arrives in Boston after one of his best starts of the season on July 7 when he limited the Orioles to three hits over six scoreless innings in a victory. The 25-year-old North Carolina native, who needs three strikeouts to reach 100 in his rookie season, allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings June 21 at Boston before giving up seven tallies across 2 2/3 frames versus the Red Sox on July 2. Rafael Devers is 3-for-3 with a homer against Thornton, who is 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 10 road starts.
Porcello earned the victory on July 6 at Detroit despite allowing six runs over 5 2/3 innings and has given up at least five tallies in three straight starts. The 30-year-old New Jersey native has been slightly better at home (4-4, 5.02 ERA, five homers permitted) than on the road (2-3, 5.74, 10 homers). Justin Smoak is 12-for-43 with five homers, three doubles and 14 RBIs versus Porcello, who is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts this season and 10-12 against the Blue Jays in his career.
- The Blue Jays placed LHP Clayton Richard (lat strain) on the 10-day injured list Saturday and activated RHP Edwin Jackson.
- The Red Sox activated RHP Andrew Cashner, who was acquired from Baltimore on Saturday, and placed RHP Steven Wright (toe) on the IL.
- Devers is 13-for-37 in July and has punished the Blue Jays this year, going 20-for-41 with six homers and 19 RBIs in the season series.