Fresh off clinching postseason berth, Sox host Jays
According to STATSAccording to STATS
Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
- Chris Sale returns after missing a month with shoulder trouble, but he's expected to be limited to two innings or 40 pitches before giving way to Nathan Eovaldi. This would be the first time in 204 career starts that Sale has pitched fewer than three innings. He enters with a 28-inning scoreless streak, currently the longest in the majors and tied for the longest of his career (also in 2013).
- Despite dropping two of three to Houston over the weekend -- their first series loss at home since June 8-10 vsersus the White Sox - the Red Sox can officially clinch a playoff spot with a win Tuesday. Boston is two victories away from its first 100-win season since 1946 (104-50) and the fourth in franchise history.
- This is the final series of the season between these AL East rivals. The Red Sox lead the season series 12-4 and will set their most wins over Toronto in a single season if they pull off a three-game sweep. Boston's most victories in a season against the Blue Jays came in 2004 with 14.
- Toronto has a .454 slugging percentage since the All-Star break, second in the majors behind Oakland (.472). One reason why is rookie Billy McKinney, who has a .631 slugging percentage in 19 games since being called up from the minors.
- J.D. Martinez's three-run homer Sunday was his first homer in 10 games at Fenway Park and his 40th overall this season. Martinez is the first Red Sox player to reach the 40-homer plateau since David Ortiz in 2006 and the 11th in franchise history.
- Ryan Borucki has a 6.40 ERA on the road compared to 2.65 at home. In his only outing at Fenway Park on July 13, the rookie left-hander was ripped for seven runs -- four earned -- and eight hits in three innings. Mookie Betts is 5-for-5 with four extra-base hits against Borucki.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/11/2018 thru 9/13/2018
BOSTON -- David Price helped the Toronto Blue Jays into the 2015 postseason by going 9-1 after a late-season trade from the Detroit Tigers.
But other than that chapter in his career, Price has tortured those same Blue Jays.
The left-hander, who has been brilliant since the All-Star break, takes a 20-3 lifetime record and a 2.52 ERA to the mound when he faces Toronto's Aaron Sanchez in the second game of a three-game series at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox became the first team in baseball to clinch a postseason bid by coming on late to beat the Jays 7-2 Tuesday night -- Chris Sale coming off the disabled list to pitch one inning -- 26 pitches, two strikeouts -- to extend his personal shutout streak to 29 straight frames.
Price, 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA (48 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings) since the break, has already beaten the Jays twice this season, yielding four earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.
He worked 6 1/3 innings in his last start, yielding just two hits and striking out 10 before the bullpen blew the win, leaving his record at 14-6 with a 3.57 ERA. That was his first start after missing a turn because he took a line drive off his pitching wrist.
Price, in the third year of a seven-year contract with Boston, can opt out of the deal after this season, but Tuesday told masslive.com he wasn't going anywhere.
"Why would I leave here to go to a team that's not as good as this team?" Price said. "I came here to win. I don't worry about all the other stuff. Just come here to win. We're going to have a really good chance to do that."
He added his relationship with the Boston media, strained in his first two years, had improved.
Sanchez will be making his fourth start since coming off the disabled list. His last outing was his best in the first three -- three runs, six hits, two walks and eight strikeouts in a no-decision at Tampa Bay.
He is 0-1 with a 6.19 ERA since his return, but was raked for seven runs on nine hits in five innings in the first one.
The right-hander is 4-3 with a 4.36 ERA in 18 games (10 starts) against the Red Sox, 3-2 with a 4.35 ERA in eight games (five starts) at Fenway.
J.D. Martinez is 5-for-16 (.313) with a home run and Andrew Benintendi 3-for-10 (.300) lifetime against Sanchez, but Ian Kinsler is 1-for-13 (.077), Brock Holt 2-for-13 (.154), Xander Bogaerts 6-for-28 (.214) and Eduardo Nunez 3-for-14 (.214).
The current Blue Jays are hitting a cumulative .238 (43-for-181) against Price. Devon Travis is 7-for-16 (.438) with a home run and Teoscar Hernandez 3-for-10 (.300) with a homer against him. But Kevin Pillar is 3-for-22 (.136) with a homer, Russell Martin 5-for-32 (.156), Yangeris Solarte 3-for-16 (.188) and Justin Smoak 4-for-20 (.200) with a home run.
The plan for Sale is to have him pitch three innings as an "opener" against the New York Mets Sunday, then work again in Cleveland the following weekend and likely one more time before the playoffs.
"Good, really good," Sale said when asked how he felt. "A little erratic, obviously (he hit Kendrys Morales), drove my pitch count up a little bit which is why I didn't to go out for my second or third inning, but got some good work in and move on from there."
The Blue Jays had a 2-0 lead behind rookie left-hander Ryan Borucki until the seventh inning -- the Red Sox scoring four in the seventh and three in in the eighth to notch their 99th win and clinch the playoff spot.
Sale only pitched a one inning, but that gave Borucki a chance to pitch against one of his idols.
"I grew up watching (Sale) with the White Sox and, for me, I was the same kind of pitcher -- I was really tall and skinny like how he was ... and just kind of slung it, didn't really have much mechanical work going," Borucki, an Illinois native, said. "Really just trying to go out there and throw, and that's what I did."
Manager John Gibbons said before the game that Marcus Stroman's dreadful year -- 4-9, 5.54 ERA in 19 starts -- could be over because of a blister.
"You won't see him probably pitch, I wouldn't think," Gibbons said. "But he might. He's getting a little far removed from last time, when he went on the DL with it. He threw a side (session), pitched a game and it's almost a month now. Now he's going to have to build back up, and I don't know how smart that would be. For what?"
The Jays placed Russell Martin on the paternity list prior to the game.
Updated September 12, 2018