American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, July 30 (All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (58-50) at Boston Red Sox (48-59), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Mark Buehrle (10-7, 3.19) Boston - Brandon Workman (1-3, 4.13)
(SportsNetwork.com) - At 12 games out of first place in the American League East, changes are probably coming to the Boston Red Sox.
One such move appears to be on the horizon as Jon Lester won't pitch Wednesday night's finale of a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
A pending free agent, Lester is 10-7 with a 2.52 earned run average in 21 starts this year and it appears his time with the franchise that selected him in the second round of the 2002 draft is drawing to a conclusion.
If that is the case, Lester will depart a Red Sox franchise that he helped to a pair of World Series victories while going 110-63 in the regular season with a 3.64 ERA over eight-plus seasons.
With trade rumors surrounding Lester, manager John Farrell announced after last night's loss that Brandon Workman would start in the left-hander's place tonight as the Red Sox try to avoid getting swept.
"Yeah, Brandon Workman will start (Wednesday)," Farrell said. "I think in light of all the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester, it's probably in everyone's best interests that he does not make that start, so Brandon will be recalled."
Workman has not pitched in the majors since July 8, when he was dealt a third straight losing start by the Chicago White Sox. He fell to 1-3 with a 4.13 ERA in 11 games this year, eight of those starts.
The 25-year-old righty has faced the Blue Jays only once before and that came in relief on Aug. 14 of last year. He was charged with a run on two hits and a pair of walks in three innings, suffering a loss.
The Blue Jays go for a sixth straight win over the Red Sox tonight behind Mark Buehrle, who was once among the major league leaders in wins before a current six-decision losing streak that has stretched nine starts. He has a 4.83 ERA over that span and has not won since June 1.
The left-hander is coming off a 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday, allowing six runs on nine hits and a walk in three innings of work. He also served up two homers, falling to 0-9 in his past 14 starts versus the Yankees dating back to 2004.
Buehrle is just 1-12 all-time versus the Yankees in 19 starts.
"Why that is, nobody knows. That (just) happens to some players. This team gives him a tough time," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "I didn't see anything different."
The 35-year-old is now 10-7 on the year with a 3.19 ERA and has split a pair of meetings with the Red Sox in 2014. He is 9-10 against them lifetime with a 4.46 ERA in 26 games (25 starts).
Young hurler Marcus Stroman guided the Blue Jays to a 4-2 win last night, striking out eight over seven innings of one-run ball.
Colby Rasmus smacked a solo shot among his pair of hits, while Anthony Gose drilled a two-run double to help Toronto to its fourth straight win and seventh in eight games.
Toronto is 2 1/2 games back of first place Baltimore in the AL East, while Boston fell 11 games under .500 with its seventh setback in its last eight.
Rubby De La Rosa surrendered three runs on nine hits and two walks over six frames for Boston.
"Rubby gave us an opportunity to win. He pitched with some men on base, with the exception of the 3-1 changeup to Gose that doesn't get to the spot for a two-run double on his part, I thought he gave us a solid effort," said Farrell.
"Runs have been a premium. Opportunities have been present, but to complete it and finish it out with a timely base hit, particularly with two outs, has been the key when he haven't been able to drive some runs in."
Toronto has won nine of 12 against the Red Sox this season, sweeping a three- game set in Boston from May 20-22.
07/30 10:30:21 ET