Righty Kyle Drabek will try to redeem himself today as he takes the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays as they host the Boston Red Sox for the second of three games in an American League East showdown at the Rogers Centre.
Toronto saw its three-game winning streak come to an end on Friday night as it fell 7-2 to the Red Sox due to a four-run seventh inning by the visitors in the series opener. Boston's left fielder David Nava extended his hitting streak to five games by going 4-of-5 with three doubles and the same number of runs scored. David Ortiz helped power Boston's offense by hitting his 13th home run of the season to open up scoring and drove in another run later in the contest. Adrian Gonzales was also effective on Friday and finished with two RBI.
Drabek will have the task of turning the series around today. He gave up a career-high nine runs in his last outing to the mighty bats of the Texas Rangers. He struggled with his control and let the game get away with a seven- run second inning.
"Had to show up for the team, and I didn't do that," said Drabek after his last start. "We needed a big win, to go home with a win. We ended up getting some runs, but I just wasn't there for the team."
Drabek also gave up eight hits in what was the shortest start of his career. The former Phillies first-round pick had won two games in a row before being shelled by Texas.
David Cooper made an impression for Toronto with an opposite-field homer, his first of the season, late in last night's game, but the Blue Jays went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base as a team. Leadoff man Kelly Johnson has gone 0-for-9 with seven strikeouts over his last two games.
Boston had to be pleased with Clay Buchholz performance as he went eight strong innings with seven strikeouts and only two surrendered runs.
Felix Doubront will be taking the mound today for Boston with the intention of replicating Buchholz's success. The left-hander has been very consistent for the Red Sox this season and leads the team with 59 strikeouts. Doubront earned a winning decision his last time out by going six innings and only surrendering two runs to the Detroit Tigers. Both of the runs given up to Detroit were off of solo home runs. The 24-year old starter comes in winning three of his last four games.
"Every outing I'm learning more how to approach the hitters, and today I think I was more focused on throwing the ball for strikes and getting the hitters out quickly," Doubront said following his last start.
The Red Sox offense did not miss a beat despite being without Dustin Pedroia for the fourth straight game on Friday. Kevin Youkilis was also out of the lineup with a day off.
Toronto and Boston are currently tied for fourth place in the American League East and both are three games back of the division-leading Rays going into Saturday.
Boston, which has won 15 of its last 21 games, leads the major leagues with 207 extra base hits, including 137 doubles.