Red Sox-Blue Jays Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 29, 2013
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Geno Smith 'intent' on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker