Game 37: Blue Jays at Red Sox - Buch 'em

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

Boy, was Jon Lester masterful Friday night or what? Now, Clay Buchholz needs to duplicate his performance (with or without sunscreen). The Boston Red Sox (22-14) go for their third series win against the Toronto Blue Jays (13-24) this season. Buchholz (6-0, 1.40 ERA) will be facing the Blue Jays for the first time since last week’s accusations arose by Jays’ broadcasters Dirk Hayhurst and Jack Morris, claiming Buchholz was using a foreign substance on his left forearm to doctor the baseball.

Here’s Boston’s lineup for Game 2 of this weekend set (first pitch – 1:35 pm EDT):

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Gomes, LF
7. Middlebrooks, 3B
8. Drew, SS
9. Ross, C

Buchholz, P

Mark Buehrle, who was roughed up in his previous start against the Red Sox, will be on the mound this afternoon for the Blue Jays. Buehrle is 1-2 with a 7.02 ERA in seven starts. In his start against Boston last week, Buehrle gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 6.2 innings. He only struck out one batter in that game.

Bring ‘em home
The struggles of the previous seven games prior to last night have been well documented. But one stat continued into last night’s game had Red Sox Nation on edge despite Lester’s dominance. It wasn’t until the seventh inning when Dustin Pedroia singled home Jacoby Ellsbury that the Red Sox broke a string of 11 at-bats in the game without a hit with a runner in scoring position (RISP). In fact, until that hit, the Sox were 10 of their previous 54 ABs (.185 average) with RISP. Pedroia, Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia knocked in four runs that blew open the game, all base hits with RISP.

Thanks a lot, Dan
Since Dan Shaughnessy had his Q&A with David Ortiz, the big lefty has gone 1-for-17. The lone hit came in his first at-bat in Tuesday’s game against the Twins, the same day as the badgering session. He’s 0-for-16 since. Big Papi has left 17 runners on base and only three balls have reached the outfield during the drought. Wonder what Shaughnessy thinks of Papi’s three-game hitless streak.

Let us know what you think about tonight’s game by commenting below.

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