American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, June 29th
(All times eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (39-40) at Boston Red Sox (49-33), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Esmil Rogers (3-3, 3.46)
Boston - Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.33)
(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox aim for a fifth straight victory on
Saturday afternoon as they host the Toronto Blue Jays in an American League
East battle at Fenway Park.
Boston, which is trying to become the first team in the majors to reach 50
wins this season, owns the most home wins of any team in baseball with 27
which has helped the squad remain in first place in the division, now 3 1/2
games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles.
On Friday night Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew each had a pair of hits and
knocked in two runs as they helped lead Boston to a 7-5 victory in the second
game of this four-game set. However, Drew, who registered a double and a
triple for the hosts, exited the meeting early in the fourth inning with
tightness in his right hamstring.
Also playing a key role for the Sox was Jonny Gomes, who stroked a clutch RBI
single with one out in the seventh in order to snap a tie.
While Boston hitters were putting together a 15-hit barrage, Allen Webster was
working his way through six innings on the hill, allowing four runs on six
hits and a couple of walks in just his fourth major league start, but it was
Andrew Miller who posted the win, while Koji Uehara logged his fourth save of
"It felt really good the first four innings. I was locating my fastball, being
able to get quick outs and stay in there," said Webster, who was filling in
for the injured Clay Buchholz.
Josh Johnson made the start for the Jays and was knocked around for eight hits
and five runs in just 3 1/3 innings of work. Neil Wagner, one of five
relievers used by the visitors, was charged with the loss as he permitted two
runs on three hits in just 2/3 innings of action.
"It was one of those frustrating outings where I should have gotten deeper,"
Johnson said. "They battled with me. They made me throw a lot of pitches and
it just ran up my pitch count."
Toronto, which had been one of the hotter teams in the league earlier this
month, has now dropped two straight and four of the last five and is now one
game under .500 as it rests at the bottom of the AL East standings.
Edwin Encarnacion and Rajai Davis both had a couple of hits for the Jays, the
former registering his 23rd home run of the campaign as he knocked in a pair
of runs in the setback.
Taking the hill for the visitors this afternoon will be Esmil Rogers, seeking
to bounce back from his first loss in nearly two months. The right-hander had
won back-to-back efforts versus Texas and Colorado in the middle of June, but
on Monday against Tampa Bay he came back to reality.
Through six innings of work in Florida, the one-time reliever allowed four
runs on seven hits, three of those being home runs, as well as issuing three
walks, in a 4-1 setback.
Rogers has faced off against the Sox four times already this season, but his
most recent appearance on May 12 at Fenway Park lasted just 1/3 innings as he
gave up two runs on a pair of hits and a walk. In five career outings versus
Boston, Rogers has made it through a mere four innings and has an unsightly
As for the home team, Felix Doubront is slated to counter this time around.
The lefty is a game over .500 at the moment but has not put a tally in the win
column in four weeks when he gave up just one runs on six hits over six
innings against the Yankees.
More recently Doubront confronted Detroit on the road last weekend and for the
third straight outing he failed to earn a decision after allowing three runs
-- two earned -- on four hits and four walks over five innings in a 7-5 road
Doubront, who went up against Toronto one time already this season but again
did not earn a decision, has a career mark of 2-2 with one save and a 5.40 ERA
in 10 all-time outings versus the Jays.
With the win last night, Boston is now 7-4 against the Jays on the season, 5-2
06/29 10:24:32 ET
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