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Surging Red Sox go for sweep of Jays
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Latest Line: Boston -165 O/U: 9
 
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TORONTO -- The Boston Red Sox will be going for another series sweep Thursday night when they play the Toronto Blue Jays in the finale of a three-game series.

The Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 10-5 Wednesday night after winning the opener 10-7 at the Rogers Centre. They have won six in a row overall after sweeping the New York Yankees in a four-game series and have taken 10 of their past 11.

It was the second time this season that the American League East leaders have scored in double digits in back-to-back games on their way to recording a major league-best 81 wins.

The Red Sox (81-34) lead the majors with 620 runs scored. They are 12-3 against the Blue Jays (51-62) and 39-14 against the AL East.

Boston has 11 series sweeps so far this season, five on the road. One of those sweeps was a three-game set against the Blue Jays from May 28-30 at Fenway Park.

The Blue Jays have dropped 11 games below .500 to match their season worst, also reached on Aug. 1. They have lost five straight home games, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Twins on July 23-25.

The Red Sox will start right-hander Rick Porcello (14-4, 3.84 ERA) against Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki (1-2, 2.30).

The Blue Jays got the better of Porcello when they met July 13 at Fenway Park. He allowed eight runs, seven hits and four walks in two innings as the Blue Jays went on to win 13-7.

However, Porcello beat the Blue Jays on May 29, allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings in a game Boston won 8-3. He did not get a decision in an April 24 start against Toronto, when he allowed three runs and three hits in six innings. The Blue Jays eventually won that game 4-3.

In his most recent start, on Friday, Porcello pitched a complete-game win over the New York Yankees, allowing one run, one hit and no walks while striking out nine.

He is 10-10 with a 5.26 ERA over 24 career outings (23 starts) against the Blue Jays.

Borucki pitched a career-best eight innings against the Seattle Mariners on Friday to earn his first major league victory.

He will be making his eighth career major league start since being called up from Triple-A Buffalo on June 26.

Borucki allowed one unearned run against the Mariners on a career-low four hits and did not allow a walk for the third time this season. He had two strikeouts. He has yet to allow a home run over 43 innings.

"He did what he's been doing all year," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He doesn't give in a lot of times. He's got a few pop-ups, a few fly balls. He's just a pitcher. He moves the ball around. He's gone up against some good teams. He's facing the good ones and he's been shutting them down. It's always tough to get that first win."

This will be his second start against the Red Sox. He did not factor in the decision July 13 when the Blue Jays beat Porcello at Fenway Park. He had his shortest major league start at three innings, allowing seven runs (four earned), eight hits and four walks, which equaled his season high.

Left-hander Brian Johnson picked up the win for the Red Sox on Wednesday. The Blue Jays dropped to 14-28 when they have faced a left-handed starter.

They did not have to face either of the Red Sox's dominant left-handers in the series, Chris Sale and David Price.

Sale has been on the disabled list since July 27 with inflammation in his left shoulder. He is expected to be activated to start against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

"Everything seems fine," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "It looks like that's going to happen."

Sale is 11-4 with a 2.04 earned run average in 22 starts.

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers returned from the disabled for Wednesday's game, with infielder Tony Renda optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Devers was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer against the Blue Jays. He had been on the DL since July 29 with a strained left hamstring.

It was the 16th homer of the season for the 21-year-old, who has 54 RBIs and a .248 batting average. He also has made 20 errors.

"He's had his ups and downs," Cora said. "Obviously, everybody focuses on the errors. He's a guy who is very rangy at third base. He's made some mistakes, but at the same time, he's been learning. Offensively, he's been up and down. I do feel that before he went on the DL this time, he was getting there, as far as getting on top of the ball and driving the ball.

"It's not easy to play at this level. Imagine playing at 21 years old for a championship-caliber team. We trust the guy, we let him play and he's been good for us."

 


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