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.
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.