The Toronto Blue Jays will try for their third consecutive victory as the host Boston Red Sox aim to snap a four-game losing streak Friday when the teams play a doubleheader starting Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Jays won the opener of the five-game series Thursday night 6-2 with a three-run home run by Teoscar Hernandez breaking the tie in the top of the 10th inning.
The season series between the teams is even at 3-3.
The last time the teams met in a five-game series was July 1-4, 2002, also at Fenway Park, when the Red Sox swept the Blue Jays.
Right-hander Tanner Roark (2-1, 5.33 ERA) will start the first game for the Blue Jays against Red Sox righty Zack Godley (0-3, 7.71).
Right-hander Ross Stripling (3-1, 5.61) will start the second game in his first start for the Blue Jays after being obtained Monday in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Right-hander Chris Mazza (0-1, 7.88) will start the second game for Boston.
The Blue Jays have gone 14-7 in the first 21 games of a stretch where they will play 28 games in 27 days.
“It’s not easy, I can tell you that,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “But we knew it was coming. The moment I saw 28 [games] in 27 [days] I knew it was going to be tough. So that’s why I’m trying to give my players days off, communicate with them. But no excuses.”
Stripling has faced Boston twice in his career, going 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA over 10 innings.
With the Dodgers, he has allowed 12 home runs in 33 2/3 innings and says he has been hurt by his fastball location.
“If I throw a mistake fastball, it’s been a home run every time,” Stripling said. “It’s never just a double in the gap or pulled foul or a single through the six-hole, it’s a homer every time I throw a mistake fastball. So it’s really about buckling down on where I locate those fastballs.”
Roark is 0-2 with a 9.22 ERA in three career games (two starts) against Boston. He allowed four runs in three innings at Boston on Aug. 7.
Godley was 1-0 with a 3.94 ERA in six outings with the Blue Jays last season. In four career games (two starts) against the Blue Jays he is 0-1, 3.09. He pitched four scoreless innings in a start against Toronto on Aug. 8.
Mazza has never faced the Blue Jays.
Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (right calf strain) is eligible to come off the injured list on Saturday, but he will not appear in the series. He will be given a few more days before making his first start since Aug. 20.
“He just threw a bullpen (session) and it went really well again, but he still feels it a little bit, so he’s going to be pushed back again,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said. “The reason we keep pushing him back is because we don’t want him to go out there and pitch when he’s not 100-percent ready, because if he feels this again, it could cost him, especially if it sets him back to where he was a couple weeks ago. It could cost him the rest of the season.”
Eovaldi reportedly will throw another bullpen session, likely on Tuesday.
–Field Level Media