Red Sox Vs. Blue Jays: Boston Dominates Toronto, 14-1, Completes Third Straight Sweep

The Red Sox sit atop the American League riding a six-game winning streak. Can Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays cool Boston off?

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Red Sox 14, Blue Jays 1: Boston Sweeps Blue Jays With Dominant Win

The Red Sox scored 14 more runs against Kyle Drabek and the Blue Jays Sunday, picking up their ninth straight win and their third straight sweep with a 14-1 victory.

It took the Red Sox' offense a little while to really hit its stride, but there were signs of things to come in the first, when Adrian Gonzalez avoided a 1-2-3 inning in the loudest possible fashion: with a solo shot off Toronto starter Kyle Drabek to right field.

They struck again in the third, taking advantage of two walks to start the frame and scoring Marco Scutaro and Jacoby Ellsbury on an Adrian Gonzalez ground out and a Kevin Youkilis single, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Jon Lester had been running through the Blue Jays' lineup like a hot knife through butter. While it was Toronto who started Lester on the slump that has plagued him for the past month, they may well have ended it tonight. Toronto went down on seven pitches in the first, eight pitches in the second, and 13 pitches in the third without picking up a single baserunner. 

Jose Bautista would end their run of futility in the fourth inning, picking up his 21st homer of the year and breaking up Jon Lester's no-hitter in the same breath. This brought the Jays within two runs despite how dominant the first four frames may have seemed, but before the next three outs were recorded the Red Sox would put this one away. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the fifth inning with a single, and then came around to score on Dustin Pedroia's two-run jack to left field. Two batters later and David Ortiz came to the plate with two men on and still nobody out. Drabek's last pitch of the game wasn't a perfect meatball, coming in a little low for that, but it left the park all the same, making it an 8-1 game and ending Drabek's night.

Drabek's replacements would fare little better, however. With Jon Lester continuing to mow down the Jays, allowing just two more baserunners in his eight innings of work, the Red Sox just kept pouring it on. They utilized three singles to push across a ninth run before the fifth inning was over, and then plated three more in the sixth on doubles from Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Jays finally put up some zeroes until the ninth, when it was Kevin Youkilis capping off the offensive explosion with a two-run bomb that put the Sox at the fourteen run mark. Michael Bowden completed another mop-up appearance, and the Red Sox finished off their third straight sweep.

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Red Sox Vs. Blue Jays: Jon Lester, Boston Go For Sweep In Toronto

You'd be hard pressed to find a hotter team in professional sports than the Boston Red Sox. Winners of their last eight games, the Red Sox have been on an absolute tear since their dismal 2-11 start at the beginning of the season.

Jon Lester and the Red Sox will look to win their ninth in a row and go for a clean sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays in the third and final game of a three-game weekend set at 1:07 p.m. EDT on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre (TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI).

Boston, which possesses the best record in the American League at 38-26, won the first two games of the series in convincing fashion. Adrian Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with three RBI in Boston's 5-1 win in the series opener and Jason Varitek (four RBI) led a huge offensive explosion on Saturday as the Red Sox scored a season-high 16 runs in a 16-4 win.

Here are the lineups for Sunday's series finale.

Boston Red Sox (38-26)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Carl Crawford, LF
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. J.D. Drew, RF
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS
Starting Pitcher: Jon Lester, LHP (8-2, 3.98)

Toronto Blue Jays (32-33)

  1. Yunel Escobar, SS
  2. Corey Patterson, LF
  3. Jose Bautista, RF
  4. Adam Lind, 1B
  5. JP Arencibia, C
  6. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
  7. Aaron Hill, 2B
  8. Rajai Davis, CF
  9. Jayson Nix, 3B
Starting Pitcher: Kyle Drabek, RHP (4-4, 4.98 ERA)

For more Boston Red Sox coverage, visit our team page and blog, Over The Monster.
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Red Sox 16, Blue Jays 4: Red Sox Score Sixteen, Cruise Past Blue Jays

The Red Sox scored a season-high 16 runs against the Blue Jays, rolling to their eighth straight win and into a tie for the best record in all of baseball with a 16-4 victory in Toronto on Saturday.

Unlike many of their other double-digit blowouts this year, this was still a game just before the halfway point. There were no seven-run first innings. Instead, the Sox broke through against Brandon Morrow in the third.

After Jason Varitek flew out to start the frame, the Sox picked up three straight hits from Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez—the last being an RBI double—to go up 1-0, and then scored again when Morrow intentionally loaded the bases before hitting Jed Lowrie with a pitch. Carl Crawford hit a sacrifice fly with one out, and Marco Scutaro capped it all off with a bloop single to score David Ortiz and make it 4-0.

The Sox would add another run in the fourth, but John Lackey found himself in some trouble in the bottom of the inning, walking Jose Molina and giving up doubles to Adam Lind and Rajai Davis to bring the Jays back within three runs at 5-2.

Any hopes the Jays had built of a comeback were quickly dashed, however, as the Sox opened the floodgates in the fifth. After getting Jed Lowrie to fly out, Morrow completely lost the ability to get anyone out. Carl Crawford, Marco Scutaro, and J.D. Drew each singled to score another run, and then Jason Varitek delivered the knockout blow by lifting a fly ball to right field that just would not land until it had cleared the wall in right-center.

The score was already 9-2 at this point, but the Sox weren’t finished. With Jason Frasor now on the mound Jacoby Ellsbury singled, Adrian Gonzalez walked, and up came David Ortiz. With the count full, Frasor delivered a flat fastball, and Ortiz hit a rocket up and over the right field wall for the second three-run shot of the inning to put the game away at 12-2.

John Lackey had been working a nice night to that point, giving up a few hard hit balls but striking out plenty as well. He would allow two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on an Edwin Encarnacion homer, but on the whole he had a decent outing, and by that point it was hardly enough to effect the outcome. The Red Sox tacked on four more runs as the game ran through its final innings, and the Red Sox clinched a series win with one dominant game.

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Red Sox Vs. Blue Jays: Jed Lowrie Replaces Youkilis At Third For Boston

Jed Lowrie will replace Kevin Youkilis on Saturday afternoon, playing third base as the Boston Red Sox take on the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:07 p.m. EDT on Saturday in the second game of a three-game weekend set at Rogers Centre in Toronto (TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI).

Lowrie, who is batting .283 with three home runs and 24 RBI this season, started the year on a tear but has cooled off lately. Youkilis is batting .255 with eight home runs and 38 RBI in 59 games for the Red Sox.

Here's a look at the lineups for both sides.

Boston Red Sox (37-26)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Jed Lowrie, SS
  6. Carl Crawford, LF
  7. Marco Scutaro, SS
  8. J.D. Drew, RF
  9. Jason Varitek,C
Starting Pitcher: John Lackey, RHP (3-5, 7.60 ERA)

Toronto Blue Jays (32-31)
  1. Yunel Escobar, SS
  2. Corey Patterson, LF
  3. Jose Bautista, RF
  4. Adam Lind, 1B
  5. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
  6. Jose Molina, C
  7. Rajai Davis, CF
  8. Jayson Nix, 3B
  9. Mike McCoy, SS
Starting Pitcher: Brandon Morrow, RHP (2-3, 4.50 ERA)

For more Boston Red Sox coverage, visit our team blog, Over The Monster.
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Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1: Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Coast Past Toronto

Adrian Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with three RBI as the Boston Red Sox coasted past the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-1, in the first game of a three-game weekend set on Friday night at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Boston improved its record to 37-26 and leads the New York Yankees by 2.5 games, and has now won seven games in a row and eight of its last 11 games.

Clay Buchholz earned his fifth victory of the season, giving up one earned run on three hits while walking two and striking out six in seven innings for Boston. Buchholz threw 100 pitches, 62 of which were thrown for strikes.

Daniel Bard pitched a clean eighth inning, giving up one hit while striking out two to earn his 13th hold. Jonathan Papelbon also pitched a spotless ninth inning, recording one strikeout in a non-save situation.

Jo-Jo Reyes was denied the bid for his third straight victory, surrendering four earned runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out three en route to his fifth loss of the season for Toronto.

Dustin Pedroia (3-for-4), who made his return to the lineup on Friday night, drove in the game's first run in the third inning with an infield single to shortstop, allowing Jarrod Saltalamacchia to score and Jacoby Ellsbury to advance to third base. Gonzalez proceeded to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, which played Ellsbury and gave Boston a 2-0 lead in the third.

Juan Rivera cut the Blue Jays' lead in half on his sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, which plated Corey Patterson.

Gonzalez got the run back in the the fifth inning, as his single to center brought Jacoby Ellsbury around to score and allowed Pedroia to advance to third. Kevin Youkilis then singled to left, scoring Pedroia and giving Boston a 4-1 edge.

In the ninth inning, Gonzalez put the icing on the cake, lacing a ground rule double to left, bringing Ellsbury home for the Red Sox' fifth and final run of the game.

Toronto hosts Boston in the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon.

For more Boston Red Sox coverage, visit our team blog, Over The Monster.

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Red Sox At Blue Jays Lineups: Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz Return To Action In Toronto

The Red Sox will open their series against Toronto tonight with Clay Buchholz back on the mound and Dustin Pedroia back in the lineup after injury concerns had made each miss some action during the series in New Yankee Stadium.

For Dustin Pedroia, it will be a return to his usual spot batting second as the Red Sox return to their typical lineup vs. left-handed pitchers. Also returning will be Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who missed Wednesday's game with a bad stomach bug that actually led to a short hospital stay:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B

5. David Ortiz, DH

6. Jed Lowrie, SS

7. Carl Crawford, LF

8. Mike Cameron, RF

9. Jarrod Satlalamacchia, C

For the Blue Jays, the lineup really boils down to two men. The first is obvious: Jose Bautista. While the slugger has been going through something of a slump lately with regards to power, it's only because of the Barry Bonds-like approach that opposing pitchers have been taking. While Bautista's OPS in June is a paltry .690, his OBP for the month remains at .459, as he has been walked in nearly a third of his plate appearances.

The other man is the one who can threaten to make opposing pitchers pay for their walks: Adam Lind. While Lind did not immediately rebound from his disappointing 2010, he's been on fire since his return from the disabled list on May 31, and is now hitting .329/.367/.584 on the year.

1. Mike McCoy, SS

2. Corey Patterson. LF

3. Jose Bautista, RF

4. Adam Lind, DH

5. Juan Rivera, 1B

6. J.P. Arencibia, C

7. Aaron Hill, 2B

8. Rajai Davis, CF

9. Jayson Nix, 3B

Clay Buchholz, meanwhile, will be making his first start in a week after some back issues prompted the Sox to give their young hurler some extra rest. Clay's last start against Toronto came way back on April 15, when he allowed three runs in five innings en-route to the loss that brought the Sox to their season-low record of 2-10. Buchholz gave up five free passes in that game--something he'll have to fix if he wants to see better results this time.

For Blue Jays' starter Jo-Jo Reyes, Friday will be an opportunity to prove he can face the best offenses in the AL East. Reyes, who underwent a historical winless streak that only ended on May 30, has been chased after just three innings by both the Yankees and Red Sox this year. While the lefties of the world are supposed to be tough on the Red Sox, Reyes lacks any semblance of splits and, quite frankly, that hasn't proven to be true of late anyways. Just ask CC Sabathia, who few will argue is a rather more impressive southpaw than Reyes.

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Red Sox At Blue Jays: Streaking Red Sox Look To Stay Hot In Toronto

The Red Sox are headed to Toronto riding high off a three-game sweep of the Yankees. With six straight wins at their backs, Boston is not only the hottest team in the American League, but also the best with their record sitting at 36-26.

It didn't start like this, however. After all, it was not two months ago that the Sox sat at 2-10, below every other team in the league. It was the Blue Jays who handed them their tenth loss of the season, and then the Blue Jays who, in the next three games, turned everything around. The Sox won all three remaining games by a combined score of 21-3.

Since that series against the Blue Jays, the Sox have gone 31-16.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have spent all season just treading water. Only once falling significantly below .500 at 15-20, the Jays rattled off six straight wins to bounce back, and haven't strayed from the mark by more than two games since.

The last time the two teams faced eachother,the Jays picked up a short two-game sweep of the Red Sox courtesy of a couple of poor starts from Jon Lester and John Lackey. Now, along with Clay Buchholz, they'll get their chance  for redemption.

Boston Red Sox (36-26) at Toronto Blue Jays (32-31)

Friday, June 10, 7:07 p.m.
NESN/MLBN
Clay Buchholz (4-3, 3.82) vs. Jo-Jo Reyes (2-4, 4.16 ERA)

Saturday, June 11, 1:07 p.m.
NESN
John Lackey (3-5, 7.60 ERA) vs. Brandon Morrow (2-3, 4.50 ERA)

Sunday June 12, 1:07 p.m.
NESN
Jon Lester (8-2, 3.98 ERA) vs. Kyle Drabek (4-4, 4.98 ERA)

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