The Boston Red Sox broke a six-game hex against the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night. This afternoon, Clay Buchholz tries to improve on his impressive mark at the Rogers Centre in the second contest of a three-game series.
The Red Sox right-hander, who has struggled to an 0-3 mark over his last four starts, is 8-4 in 14 games (13 starts) versus the Blue Jays. That includes coming within one out of a complete game on Sept. 9 in a 4-3 loss. Boston has won eight of his last 11 starts against Toronto. He also has a 6-2 mark with a 1.72 ERA in eight games at the Rogers Centre.
If the Red Sox lose today they'll clinch their first non-winning season since 1997.
Carlos Villanueva, who is 1-5 over his last eight starts, counters for the Blue Jays. The righty matched up against Buchholz on Sept. 9 at Fenway Park and pitched six innings in a no-decision. He's 2-1 in eight games (3 starts) against Boston.
Ryan Lavarnway hit a three-run home run and drove in four in Boston's 8-5 triumph last night. The Red Sox scored three times in the final inning.
Mauro Gomez added two hits, two RBI and scored three times for the Red Sox, who won for just the third time in their last nine. Daniel Nava also contributed a pair of hits and drove in two runs.
"That's what we needed tonight, so I'm glad I could provide it," Lavarnway said.
Chris Carpenter (1-0) recorded the final two outs of the eighth for his first major league win, and Andrew Bailey shut the door in the ninth for his third save.
Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie both totaled two hits and an RBI for the Jays, losers in three of their last four since a four-game win streak.
Darren Oliver (3-3) was charged with the go-ahead run in one-plus relief innings.
Blue Jays starter Aaron Laffey allowed four hits and three runs over 3 2/3 innings.
"I lost it there for a little bit," Laffey said. "I was just not getting the job done."
Toronto, which has lost seven of its last nine home games overall, holds a 10-6 lead in the season series.