Posted April 29, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
While the major league-leading Boston Red Sox find themselves on the verge of a historic April, it's been a forgettable opening month for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Red Sox go for a franchise-record 19th win in April and sixth straight victory overall as they open a three-game set against the slumping Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.
Enjoying its best start since 2002, Boston (18-7) has won 13 of 16 while averaging 5.1 runs and hitting .329 with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox, who went 18-8 in April 1998 and 2003, also lead the AL with a .221 opponent batting average.
"The fact is, we have three areas of the game where we're operating pretty well right now," manager John Farrell told MLB's official website. "We've had a very good offensive approach. ... We've done a very good job of chasing a starting pitcher to get into the middle of the bullpen. Our starting pitching has been very consistent. I think we've played very good defensively."
Boston hits the road after completing a four-game sweep of Houston with Sunday's 6-1 victory. John Lackey threw six strong innings and David Ortiz continued his surge with two hits and two RBIs.
Ortiz has gone 16 for 31 with two homers, five doubles and 11 RBIs in eight games since coming off the disabled list. He'll look to stay hot against the Blue Jays, whose 4.46 ERA ranks among the worst in baseball.
Toronto (9-17) returns home following a 1-6 trip. The Blue Jays dropped all four games at Yankee Stadium, falling 3-2 on Sunday.
"Obviously it's been incredibly disappointing for everybody," losing pitcher R.A. Dickey said. "The beauty of baseball is that it's only one month, so there's still time. But at the same time, we just can't keep going out there and saying, 'Oh, things will turn.' We know what needs to be done. It's just a matter of doing it."
While many expected the Blue Jays to compete for the AL East crown, they'll conclude April at the bottom of the division. Batting .229 on the season, Toronto has hit .179 with runners in scoring position during a 1-6 stretch.
"We just need to be more consistent and obviously I've looked at the team overall offensive stats, we're much better than that," said Jose Bautista, hitting .192 with seven homers. "It will even out, it will go back up, we just need to get hot sooner rather than later and just play consistent overall. That's it."
Bautista hasn't faced anyone more than scheduled starter Jon Lester, going 10 for 45 with four homers and 11 strikeouts.
Lester (4-0, 2.27 ERA) wasn't at his best but beat Oakland 6-5 on Wednesday after allowing season highs of three runs, six hits and six walks over 5 2-3 innings.
Lester was superb in a 13-0 win at Toronto on April 7, striking out six over seven innings of five-hit ball. The left-hander is 6-2 with a 2.13 ERA over his last nine road starts against the Blue Jays.
Toronto counters with Brandon Morrow (0-2, 5.27), who allowed four runs over 6 1-3 innings in Wednesday's 6-5, 11-inning win at Baltimore.
The right-hander has gone 1-3 over 16 games - eight starts - versus Boston while compiling an 8.28 ERA, by far his highest mark against any team he's faced more than twice. Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Ortiz are a combined 24 for 52 with seven homers against Morrow.
The Red Sox are expected to activate reliever Joel Hanrahan from the disabled list Tuesday. He's been out since April 13 with a hamstring injury.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Boston Red Sox have been playing far beyond expectations to start the 2013 season. The Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 6-1 on Sunday to improve to 18-7 on the year. The 18 wins ties a club record for the most victories in the month of April. Sunday’s result was doubly as impressive because it marked John Lackey’s first win since August 23, 2011. Lackey missed all of 2012...
Probably every Red Sox fan remembers Daniel Nava’s stunning entrance onto the team in 2010. I mean, it’s not everyday that someone hits a grand slam off of the first pitch in their first at bat in the majors.
But after that, his performance was a bit lackluster. Offensively, he was fairly average, and let’s just say defensively he was not the first choice to put on the field...
No player on the Red Sox has had as tumultuous a time with the team than John Lackey. He posted a 14-11 record in his first year in Boston in 2010, with a 4.40 ERA -- although his 3.85 FIP suggests he was the victim of bad luck. That bad luck was no excuse for his terrible 2011; his 6.41 ERA was by far the worst for a Red Sox starter with at least 150 innings. It now appears that...
When shortstop Jose Reyes initially suffered his ankle injury earlier this month, the Toronto Blue Jays estimated that he'd miss one to three months of action. While Reyes believes he'll be able to return in June, general manager Alex Anthopoulos told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet that he expects the earliest the shortstop will be back is early July.
“He will tell you...
Shane Victorino: Victorino, who has missed the last three games, had an MRI on his sore back which revealed only inflammation. Boston.com reports he could be placed on the DL if he does not show improvement over the next few days. It's no coincidence Jackie Bradley Jr has been getting some playing time in RF at Pawtucket.
Joel Hanrahan: Hanrahan seems to be recovered from his...
The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned right handed pitcher Brad Lincoln to Triple-A Buffalo after deciding to keep Justin Germano on the active roster. Lincoln has a shot at making it back later on in the year.
The post Toronto Blue Jays Option Pitcher Brad Lincoln appeared first on FFLockerRoom | NFL - MLB News | Fantasy Sports Advice | Sports Talk.
After taking two of three from a strong Athletics team, the Red Sox were faced with much less of a challenge as the Houston Astros rolled into Boston for a four-game set to close out the homestand. Just as a good team should, the Sox swept the series, improving to 18-7 on the season, and head to Toronto with a 2.5 game lead over the Yankees in the AL East and the best record in...
It’s been two years since the St. Louis Cardinals suddenly dealt former uber-prospect Colby Rasmus to the Toronto Blue Jays mid-season for a host of pieces in return. And in the two years since that deal, the value of what’s come of the trade is still very much undetermined. There are some that say the deal was what sealed the 2011 World Series win, while others feel it was a...
As the end of April nears most baseball fans are dusting off their baseball equipmentreadying for another season of beer league baseball. Just do yourself a favour and save yourself the agony and refrain from browsing the American League East standings, if you’re a Toronto Blue Jays fan.
The Jays have had an April from hell imploding in every aspect of the game to commence the...
After his Blue Jays finished off a disappointing April with a much-needed win, manager John Gibbons summed up his sentiments with a single word.
''Phew,'' Gibbons said as he took the podium for his postgame news conference.
Edwin Encarnacion hit an upper-deck homer in the fifth inning, then connected for a go-ahead home run in the seventh that sent Toronto over...
The brooms were out in Fenway Park as the Red Sox completed the sweep of the Houston Astros to improve their record to 18-7. The 4 game sweep brought their win streak to 5 games and the team has won 6 of the 8 series that they have played so far. Lackey pitched will in his return from the disabled list and the offense provided enough runs for the team to win comfortably. Here are...
photo courtesy Matt Stone, Boston Herald
Much like Horace’s oft-quoted Latin axiom, Mike Carp has been seizing the day of late and commanding the spotlight in his role as a utility player off the Red Sox bench.
In his latest stint as sparkplug, Carp went two-for-three with a walk in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the visiting Houston Astros...
It's been over a year since I was back at Fenway park. I usually try to catch a Red Sox game 1-3 times a year. Last year I was able to make it twice, and I do have to say, it was not the same.
The main reason why it was not the same in my opinion was because of the team. I felt that just because of everything going on with the team and their transition that they were going...
Red Sox pitchers have the highest K% and BB% in the American League. Neither statistic is particularly surprising, but the duality of the records is rare. Since 1990, it has happened twice, both by the Cubs:In their doomed 2003 season, the Cubs lead the NL with a 22.6% strikeout rate and 9.9% walk rate. They also lead both leagues with a 19.6% K% and 10.8% BB% in 2006.The year, the...