Toronto at Boston
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
There will be plenty still at stake when David Ortiz plays his final regular-season home game as the Boston Red Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. The Blue Jays are tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the American League wild card lead while the Red Sox are still trying to figure out where they will begin Ortiz’s final postseason.
David Ortiz salutes Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr
Toronto watched its struggling bullpen blow another save on Saturday night but came back with a run in the ninth inning and was able to close it out for a 4-3 win, ending a three-game slide and pulling even with the Orioles. The Blue Jays would host the wild card game if the AL East foes remain tied for the top spot by virtue of their 10-9 advantage in the season series. The Red Sox are assured of meeting the AL Central champion Indians in the AL Division Series but home field is yet to be determined, with the Cleveland holding half-game advantage entering the final day. Should the teams finish tied — and in order to have a tie Cleveland would need to play a possible make-up game against Detroit on Monday — then Boston would serve as the home team by virtue of its superior head-to-head record.
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, TBS, Sportsnet and TVA Sports (Toronto), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Aaron Sanchez (14-2, 3.06 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH David Price (17-9, 4.04)
Toronto would have loved to save Sanchez for the wild card game but instead will need to burn their ace in the regular-season finale. The 24-year-old has more than doubled his previous career high for innings in a major-league season and is still going strong with two runs allowed and 15 strikeouts in 12 innings over his last two starts. Sanchez was not as sharp against Boston on Sept. 11, when he was lit up for six runs on five hits and four walks over 3 2/3 innings.
Price is making his final tune-up before a likely Game 2 start against Cleveland in the ALDS and is trying to prove that his last start, when he allowed six runs and 12 hits – three home runs – at New York, was a fluke. The former Cy Young Award winner had gone nine starts without a loss before the dud on Tuesday. Price, who helped the Blue Jays to the postseason last year, is 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts against his former team this season.
1. Ortiz was honored prior to Saturday’s contest for his impact on the city of Boston.
2. A blown save by the Toronto bullpen prevented LHP J.A. Happ from becoming the fourth pitcher in franchise history to reach 21 wins on Saturday.
3. Boston 1B Hanley Ramirez needs one more home run to join Ortiz and Mookie Betts as teammates with 30 or more home runs and 100 or more RBIs.