The Boston Red Sox are hoping that a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday will be the start of something good as they open a three-game home series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, will be trying to shake off a 4-3 loss Thursday to the Atlanta Braves on a walk-off homer by Nick Markakis in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Each team will be trying for its fifth win of the season Friday. The difference is that Boston has lost eight games to the Blue Jays’ six.
Right-hander Tanner Roark (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will start for Toronto against Boston right-hander Ryan Weber (0-2, 11.57).
The Red Sox, who had a day off in the schedule Thursday, used two-run homers by Alex Verdugo and Michael Chavis to complete a 3-4 road trip on Wednesday.
The game was significant for the Red Sox because they got an early lead and extended it.
“I think it’s huge,” Verdugo said. “We’ve had a lot of games having to come back, fighting a little bit, trying to get the adrenaline going and stuff like that. (Wednesday) just to come out there and get the early lead and to hold it the whole game — great job by our pitching staff. They did what they had to do. … We were all firing on the right cylinders.”
The Blue Jays were scheduled to start right-hander Trent Thornton on Saturday against Boston right-hander Zack Godley.
But Thornton was put on the injured list Friday with elbow inflammation.
“He was throwing a bullpen and he felt kind of weird about it,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “And, of course, the moment somebody complains a little bit, we don’t want to rush it and we want to be careful with it.”
Thornton’s issue is not considered serious, but he will miss his next start at least.
The Blue Jays could go with right-hander Chance Anderson in his place, but he is coming back from an oblique strain. The Blue Jays are expected to start right-hander Matt Shoemaker on Sunday while Boston will have a bullpen day.
“We’ll have to figure out those pieces,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said.
Weber is 1-0 with a 5.56 ERA in four career games (two starts) against the Blue Jays.
Roark is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against Boston. He has not pitched since July 28 because the Blue Jays’ series against the Philadelphia Phillies scheduled for last weekend was postponed.
If the Blue Jays need another starter, they could go to left-hander Ryan Borucki. They still consider him a starter in the long term even though both of his appearances this season have been in relief. He had two strikeouts in two-thirds of an inning Wednesday in a 2-1 victory at Atlanta.
He could team up with Anthony Kay and Thomas Hatch on Saturday if necessary.
“I’m more of a finesse kind of pitcher as a starter, just trying to get ground balls and stuff like that,” Borucki said. “Now, it’s coming in with my best stuff and whatever’s working that day, I’m going to go with — if it’s the changeup, if it’s the slider.”
–Field Level Media