Jon Lester tries to match his effort from Opening Day when the Boston Red Sox complete a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Lester was brilliant against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, holding them to a run and six hits in seven innings. Unfortunately, Detroit's Justin Verlander was better, but Lester still escaped without a decision in his team's loss.
"Lester was terrific," manager Bobby Valentine said. "Jonny did just what he needed to do. He went out there and put up innings and he did a great job."
Lester is 10-4 lifetime versus the Blue Jays with a 3.06 ERA in 18 starts.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with its own left-handed ace in Ricky Romero, who will be trying to bounce back after struggling in his debut. Romero only lasted five innings on Thursday against the Cleveland Indians and allowed four runs - all in the second inning - three hits and walked three. His offense, though, bailed him out and he did not get a decision in his team's 16-inning win that day.
Romero has faced the Red Sox 13 times and is 4-6 with a 7.12 ERA.
Toronto evened this series at a game apiece on Tuesday, as Edwin Encarnacion finished 2-for-3 with a solo homer, two RBI and scored twice as the Blue Jays rolled to a 7-3 win. J.P. Arencibia added a two-run single and Brett Lawrie collected two hits and drove in another run for Toronto, which will be trying for its second straight series victory this afternoon.
Kyle Drabek (1-0) worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and a run with three walks and four strikeouts.
"It was good to see [Drabek] continue the progression and the path that he established in spring training," said Toronto manager John Farrell.
Adrian Gonzalez drove in all three runs for the Red Sox, who have lost four of five to open the season.
"For us tomorrow, it's about winning the series and getting our first series win," Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis said. "If we go out there and play good ball offensively and defensively and do little things, if we can get ahead for him and get a lead, that would be a huge thing."
Daniel Bard's first major-league start (0-1) didn't go as planned. He lasted five-plus frames, charged with eight hits and five runs despite fanning six.
Boston was 10-8 against the Jays last season.