Red Sox (2-9) vs. Blue Jays (6-6)
Friday, 7:10 p.m. on NESN
Saturday, 1:10 p.m. on NESN
Sunday, 1:35 p.m. on NESN
Friday: Clay Buchholz (0-2, 7.20) vs. Brett Cecil (0-1, 7.20)
Saturday: Josh Beckett (1-1, 2.08) vs. Jo-Jo Reyes (0-1, 5.23)
Sunday: Jon Lester (0-1, 3.72) vs. Jesse Litsch (1-0, 2.38)
The Red Sox lost both games against the Rays in a rain-shortened series this week. Their last game was Tuesday, a 3-2 defeat in which David Price outpitched Jon Lester in a battle of Cy Young favorites. Jed Lowrie had two hits and an RBI in a losing effort.
The Blue Jays lost their first two games against the Mariners this week before winning Wednesday's series finale, 8-3. Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer and Yunel Escobar and Jose Molina had three hits apiece for Toronto.
The Red Sox went 12-6 against the Blue Jays last season. This is the first meeting between the AL East rivals this year.
Reliever Bobby Jenks has yet to allow a hit or a run in four appearances (spanning four innings) this season. Lowrie is 6-for-9 in his last three games. Dustin Pedroia has scored a run in five straight games, going 10-for-19 during that span.
Obviously the Red Sox are still looking to get their season on track. From their starting pitching to their relievers to their offense, no area of the team is without blame to this point. This will be the first game for Blue Jays manager John Farrell against the team for which he worked as pitching coach the last four seasons.
After a power binge in which five of his seven hits were home runs, Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez has been named American League player of the week.
In six games, Ramirez batted .333 (7-for-21) with five homers, 12 RBI, six runs scored, a slugging percentage of 1.048 and OPS of 1.488. Three of the home runs came in one game, an 11-7 victory Wednesday night over the San Francisco Giants.
For the season, Ramirez is hitting .282 with 13 homers, 60 RBI and an OPS of .821.
Mookie Betts returns to the Red Sox lineup tonight as they open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.
Betts is in his customary lead-off spot and playing right field. He missed the past two games after leaving in the fifth inning on Friday night with soreness and swelling in his right knee.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz makes his second Red Sox start since being acquired in a trade with the San Diego Padres on July 14. Pomeranz lasted only three-plus innings in his first start for Boston, allowing five runs in a game the Red Sox held on to win 11-7 over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.74 ERA) starts for the Tigers.
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 2B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
James McCann C
Andrew Romine CF
Justin Verlander RHP
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt LF
Drew Pomeranz LHP
The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham talks with Toucher & Rich about whether the Red Sox should trade, or even have the pitching prospects in the system, to acquire White Sox ace Chris Sale.