Fox News - Fair & Balanced

Sports


American League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, April 9th (All times Eastern)

Boston Red Sox (0-3) at Toronto Blue Jays (2-1), 7:07 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Felix Doubront (0-0, 0.00) Toronto - Henderson Alvarez (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox are still searching for win No. 1 in the Bobby Valentine era.

Tonight, they try again as they open a three-game series against Toronto in the Blue Jays' home opener at Rogers Centre.

The Red Sox fell in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday, as they watched a three- run ninth-inning lead evaporate, before blowing a two-run advantage in the 11th when Alex Avila's two-run blast carried the Detroit Tigers to a 13-12 victory and a three-game sweep at Comerica Park.

"We like our bullpen, we have some good arms," infielder Nick Punto said. "We just got beat by a tough offense this series."

After Alfredo Aceves served up the ninth inning homer, Mark Melancon (0-1) gave up Avila's game-winner.

"This is a work in progress," Valentine said. "We're three days in after losing our closer (Andrew Bailey), and we're still trying to figure it out."

David Ortiz, Punto and Mike Aviles all had three hits in the loss, while Adrian Gonzalez launched a two-run homer for Boston, which has dropped the first three games of this season after beginning last year with six consecutive losses.

It's the first time since 1931-33 that the Red Sox have opened consecutive seasons with at least three losses.

For the second straight day Boston got nothing from its starter, as Clay Buchholz left after allowing seven runs in only four innings. Josh Beckett was chased on Saturday after giving up seven runs in 4 2/3 frames.

Hoping for a better effort tonight the Red Sox will turn to 24-year-old lefty Felix Doubront, who will be making only the fourth big league start of his career. Doubront appeared in games out of the bullpen for the Red Sox last season and pitched to a 6.10 ERA without recording a decision.

"I have to be aggressive with every batter in the lineup. I have respect for all the hitters, and my plan is to get ahead."

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, return home after taking two of three over the weekend from the Cleveland Indians. After rallying to win their first two games in extra innings, the Blue Jays were denied the sweep on Sunday, falling 4-3 at Progressive Field.

Joel Carreno (0-1) took the loss in his first major league start as he gave up four runs on six hits over six innings for the Blue Jays. Kelly Johnson had two hits and scored twice, while Adam Lind added two hits, an RBI and a run scored.

After the game Carreno was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Getting the call for the Blue Jays tonight will be righty Henderson Alvarez, who started last season at Single-A Dunedin, but rose quickly through the Jays' ranks and made 10 starts for the Blue Jays down the stretch, going 1-3 with a 3.53 ERA.

One of those starts came against the Red Sox, as he tossed six scoreless innings against them on Sept. 5.

Boston was 10-8 against the Jays last season.

04/09 10:56:15 ET