Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Brian Johnson of Red Sox at Toronto
The Boston Red Sox were a few outs away from following a 10-game winning streak with back-to-back losses, but the major’s best team decided that was unacceptable. The Red Sox will try to go into the All-Star break with their 12th win in 13 games and a series victory when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the finale of a four-game set on Sunday.
The Blue Jays scored two runs in the seventh inning on Saturday to take the lead, but Boston scratched out the tying run in the ninth on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s RBI double before Xander Bogaerts belted a walk-off grand slam in the 10th. “Just continue to grind,” Bradley told reporters. “We might have been down a run, but we’ve been a team that’s been very relentless. We felt like we could push across at least one run, and we were able to get that in the ninth and kind of continue playing and got even more.” Toronto squandered a chance to earn its first series win since sweeping the Washington Nationals from June 15-17 and fell to 4-8 in July. The Blue Jays will try to earn the split behind right-hander Marcus Stroman while the Red Sox turn to left-hander Brian Johnson in the first-half finale.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), TVA Sports (Toronto), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (2-6, 5.90 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Brian Johnson (1-2, 4.23)
Stroman bounced back from a loss to the New York Mets on July 4 by dominating the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday with seven solid innings. The Duke product allowed one run and six hits while inducing 17 groundballs and striking out five. Stroman, who is seeing Boston for the first time this season, went 0-1 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox last season.
Johnson was strong in two starts as a rotation fill-in on June 28 and July 3 and will come off the disabled list to try and make it three in a row. The Florida native, who was out with a hip injury, limited the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals to a total of three runs in 8 2/3 innings in those two outings. Two of Johnson’s worst appearances this season came in relief against Toronto and, in both instances, he was charged with two runs without recording an out.
1. Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez left his start in the sixth inning on Saturday after suffering a sprained right ankle in a collision.
2. Toronto CF Kevin Pillar suffered a sternoclavicular (SC) joint injury while making a diving catch on Saturday and his status is unknown.
3. Boston RF Mookie Betts is 24-for-50 during a 12-game hitting streak and leads the majors with a .362 batting average.