American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 9th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (63-75) at Boston Red Sox (63-77), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Carlos Villanueva (7-5, 3.42)
Boston - Clay Buchholz (11-5, 4.47)
(Sports Network) - Right-hander Clay Buchholz can avoid both a three-game
sweep for Boston and a three-game losing streak for himself when the Red Sox
host the Toronto Blue Jays in the finale of a weekend series at Fenway Park.
A 17-game winner two seasons ago before he was limited to just 14 starts in
2011, Buchholz got win No. 11 this year with eight innings of three-run ball
against Baltimore on Aug. 16 at Camden Yards.
He's dropped two decisions in three subsequent tries at win No. 12, allowing
24 hits and 15 runs in 19 1/3 innings in two starts against the Los Angeles
Angels of Anaheim and another at Seattle.
The Red Sox had won five of his previous six starts dating back to mid-July,
while he trimmed his earned run average from 5.19 to 4.19.
Buchholz last faced the Blue Jays on June 1 in Toronto and was a 7-2 winner
after allowing six hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in eight innings.
He's 8-3 in 13 career meetings with them, with a 2.55 ERA.
The Blue Jays go with righty Carlos Villanueva, who can get back above .500
for his big-league career in his 298th appearance.
The 28-year-old Dominican has won 33 decisions and lost 33 decisions dating
back to his 2006 debut with the Milwaukee Brewers. He won 20 games with the
Brewers through 2010 and has won 13 times with Toronto in the subsequent two
seasons since a December 2010 trade.
Villanueva was 6-0 this season before a prolonged skid in August saw him lose
four consecutive decisions over five starts before he finally downed Tampa
2-0, with six innings of five-hit ball on Aug. 30.
In one September start, he was beaten, 12-0, by Baltimore after allowing six
runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Villanueva, who beat Boston on July 21 for his fifth win of 2012, is 2-1
lifetime against the Red Sox with a 4.50 ERA in 18 innings.
On Saturday, Anthony Gose drove in five runs and hit his first career home run
as Toronto trampled the Red Sox, 9-2.
"His contact point has gotten to a much better place on the front edge of the
plate," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "He turns on a good fastball and he
shows you the power that's in there."
Yunel Escobar also hit a home run, his ninth of the season. His leadoff homer
started a five-run inning for the Blue Jays.
Brad Lincoln (1-0) came in to pitch when play resumed after rain delayed the
game in the fifth inning. Starter Aaron Laffey pitched effectively through 4
2/3 innings, allowing just four hits and two runs.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-5) was charged with the loss, lasting just 1 1/3 innings,
getting rocked for five runs on five hits before being relieved.
"It's tiring," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "Guys are tired of
playing from behind, I'll guarantee you that. The bullpen is tired of just
eating up innings. It's tough."
Pedro Ciriaco and Scott Podsednik drove in runs in the Red Sox third
Toronto is 9-5 versus the Red Sox in 2012.
09/09 10:37:01 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.