American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 20th
(All times eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (45-47) at Boston Red Sox (48-45), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Aaron Laffey (1-1, 3.38)
Boston - Josh Beckett (5-7, 4.44)
(Sports Network) - If the Boston Red Sox are going to make a serious run at
the postseason they are going to need Josh Beckett to get himself right.
He gets the call tonight when the Red Sox open a three-game set with the
Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Beckett won for the first time in seven starts on Sunday, as he defeated the
Tampa Bay Rays, holding them to three runs and eight hits in six innings. He
also struck out seven batters to run his record to 5-7 to go along with a 4.44
The right-hander also battled through some dizziness and "borderline blackout
periods" on the mound that he attributed to the flu medicine he's been taking.
"I think he just had to get his feet on the ground a little," Boston manager
Bobby Valentine said. "He was struggling with it, battled the whole time, but
did one heck of a job putting those goose eggs up."
Beckett is 4-6 in 16 career starts against Toronto.
Boston won for the fifth time in seven games since the All-Star break on
Thursday, as Cody Ross crushed a game-winning three-run shot in the ninth
inning to lift the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox in the
finale of a four-game set.
Carl Crawford sparked the rally with a leadoff single off reliever Matt
Thornton (2-6). After Dustin Pedroia grounded into a fielder's choice, Adrian
Gonzalez singled to right and Addison Reed entered from the bullpen.
Ross then launched a 1-1 fastball from Reed over the Green Monster to send the
Red Sox to their fourth win in five games.
"It's all about what they feel about themselves," said Red Sox manager Bobby
Valentine of his club's recent play. "We don't have any nicks on our armor.
We're a pretty good team."
Alfredo Aceves (1-6) earned the victory for tossing a scoreless ninth in
relief of starter Clay Buchholz, who fired eight innings and allowed just six
hits and one walk while striking out six.
Toronto, meanwhile, enters this series after getting swept by the New York
Yankees. The Blue Jays were outscored 18-4 in the set and lost two more
players in the process.
All-Star outfielder Jose Bautista was placed on the disabled list with left
wrist inflammation, while Brett Lawrie suffered a right calf contusion after a
nasty spill into the camera well. Lawrie is doubtful for tonight's tilt.
"Much like the injuries we've sustained in our rotation, we haven't used it as
an excuse," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of his club's injuries. "We
haven't allowed that to distract us from what our end result is."
Toronto has lost seven of its last eight road games and nine of its last 13.
Getting the call for the Blue Jays tonight will be lefty Aaron Laffey, who is
1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Laffey earned his first win of the season on Saturday
against Cleveland, but was not impressive, in giving up four runs and eight
hits with three walks in five innings.
Laffey has faced the Red Sox seven times (2 starts) and is 0-1 against them
with a 5.94 ERA.
Toronto made a huge 10-player trade earlier on Friday, acquiring righties
Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter and lefty J.A. Happ from Houston for seven
players, including right- handed reliever Francisco Cordero and outfielder Ben
07/20 11:04:58 ET
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