Final
  for this game

Red Sox-Blue Jays Preview

Aug 20, 2009 - 4:19 AM By KATE HEDLIN STATS Writer

Boston (67-51) at Toronto (55-62), 7:07 p.m. EDT

David Ortiz's home run drought to start the season garnered a great deal of attention until he broke out of the slump against Toronto's Brett Cecil in late May.

Ortiz will face Cecil again Thursday night as the Boston slugger looks to homer in a fourth straight game in the finale of the Red Sox's three-game series with the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Boston (68-51) is looking to complete a sweep of Toronto (55-63) after a 6-1 victory Wednesday. Ortiz homered for the third consecutive night and fourth time in five games, helping the Red Sox move one game ahead of Texas for the wild-card lead.

Ortiz, who hit his first home run in 150 at-bats off Thursday's starter Cecil (5-1, 4.35 ERA) on May 20, has 19 homers this season. He went deep in a career-high four straight games Aug. 9-12, 2001, with Minnesota.

"Even in BP he's driving the ball to left field," manager Terry Francona said of Ortiz. "He's making a concerted effort every day to do it, not do it one day and the next day start pulling. He's staying with it and you're seeing some more aggressive swings without trying to muster up all the strength and the bat's getting through the zone a little bit better."

Victor Martinez and Jason Bay also homered Wednesday for the Red Sox, who are among the AL leaders in home runs this month with 30, including 11 in the last five games.

Cecil will try to prevent the Blue Jays from being swept as he returns to the mound for the first time since Aug. 8 after being sidelined with a left knee injury.

Cecil, who is 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his last five starts, was injured when he fell trying to field a bunt during a 3-2, 10-inning win over Baltimore on Aug. 8. He gave up two runs in 4 1-3 innings in that game.

The rookie left-hander struggled against Boston on May 20, allowing eight runs, 11 hits and five home runs over 4 2-3 innings of an 8-3 loss. Besides giving up Ortiz's first home run of the season, he also served up two to Jason Varitek, who has sat out the last two games with neck spasms.

It's uncertain whether the Boston catcher will be available Thursday, although he said Wednesday he would be ready if needed off the bench.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is expected to rejoin the Red Sox on Thursday after he flew to Boston on Tuesday to be with his wife as she gave birth to the couple's first child.

The Blue Jays have allowed 29 runs during a four-game losing streak and are 11-17 since the All-Star break.

Roy Halladay had one of his worst outings of the season Wednesday, giving up five runs and eight hits in five innings. His abbreviated start came after Ricky Romero lasted 3 2-3 innings in Tuesday's loss.

Boston will close out the series sending Jon Lester (9-7, 3.71) to the mound.

Lester has not received a decision in his last four starts, which the Red Sox have split. He yielded three runs and struck out 11 in six innings of an 8-4 victory over Texas on Friday.

The left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA against the Blue Jays this season, giving up three runs in seven innings of a loss at Toronto on July 19 after allowing a combined two runs with 16 strikeouts in 12 1-3 innings in the two previous outings.






  • 10
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 1  FinalAug 21 6:09 AM


  • ** CONFIRMED **
    AL
    BOSTON 8
    TORONTO 1 FINAL

    Aug 20 9:54 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    FORCE OUT BY DUSTIN PEDROIA SCORED BRIAN ANDERSON
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D PEDROIA ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 8
    TORONTO 1 TOP,8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: V MARTINEZ (.291, 1-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 1  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 20 9:25 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VICTOR MARTINEZ (20) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF SHAWN CAMP.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 7, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.307, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 20 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J BAY ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 6
    TORONTO 1 TOP,5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.299, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 20 8:37 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JOHN MCDONALD ALLOWED DUSTIN PEDROIA TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAY ON SECOND, K YOUKILIS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5
    TORONTO 1 TOP,5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.225, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 20 8:34 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY J.D. DREW (15) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF BRETT CECIL SCORED MIKE LOWELL.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: A GONZALEZ (.312, 1-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 20 8:13 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED JASON BAY
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LOWELL ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    TORONTO 1 TOP,4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.254, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 20 8:09 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY J.D. DREW (14) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF BRETT CECIL.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TORONTO 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: A GONZALEZ (.267, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 1  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 20 7:45 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND DP BY ROD BARAJAS SCORED MARCO SCUTARO
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HILL ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM,1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: K MILLAR (.231, 6 HR, 27 RBI)

    Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 20 7:25 PM
  • 5
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. Blue JaysAug 20 6:01 PM