Game 82: Blue Jays at Red Sox - Start of a new (half) season

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

A seven-run second inning propelled the Boston Red Sox (48-33) past the Toronto Blue Jays (39-39) Thursday night, putting the Sox in first place and 3.5 games ahead in the AL East at the halfway mark of the season.

Tonight, the Red Sox look to extend a three-game winning streak and their lead in the East. They turn to young Allen Webster, who is 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in a few spot starts this season. He’s taking the place of Clay Buchholz who remains out with an injury to his neck. The MRI done a couple of days ago showed inflammation in his bursa sac, but no structural damage. Webster aims for his first Major League win against a Jays’ team that is still playing very well despite last night’s hiccup.

Here is the lineup for the Red Sox (first pitch – 7:10 pm EDT):

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

Webster, P

Josh Johnson, who is 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA this season in eight starts, starts for the Blue Jays. He allowed four runs in six innings against the Orioles his last start, the final win during Toronto’s 11-game winning streak.

Good starters, but can they finish?
The Red Sox 48-33 record at the halfway point marks the 16th straight season Boston has had a winning record through 81 games. Their 3.5-game lead is the biggest they’ve had since 2007, when that team was 10.5 games up. The key is now to finish the season the way they’ve started, make a good playoff run and who knows what could happen.

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

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