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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, September 14th (All times eastern)

Boston Red Sox (64-80) at Toronto Blue Jays (65-77), 7:07 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-5, 7.20) Toronto - Aaron Laffey (3-5, 4.43)

(Sports Network) - Daisuke Matsuzaka attempts to avoid his third straight horrific performance on Friday when the Boston Red Sox begin a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Matsuzaka was hammered by the Blue Jays on Saturday to the tune of five runs and five hits in just 1 1/3 innings, dropping the Japanese right-hander to 1-5 on the year, while ballooning his ERA to 7.20. He had allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings his previous time out.

"I'm real disappointed that I haven't been able to be there for the team the past two games," Matsuzaka said. "I'm real frustrated that I haven't been consistent."

Matsuzaka, though, is 7-2 with a 3.81 ERA in 14 starts against the Blue Jays.

Toronto will counter with lefty Aaron Laffey, who did not get a decision against the Red Sox in last Saturday's contest, as he surrendered two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings. He is 3-5 with a 4.43 ERA on the year.

Laffey is 1-1 with a 4.13 ERA in nine games (4 starts) against the Red Sox.

Toronto swept the Red Sox last weekend as part of a four-game winning streak, but failed to carry that momentum into its series with the Seattle Mariners, who took two of three from the Blue Jays.

Toronto, though, won Thursday's finale, as it pounded Felix Hernandez and Henderson Alvarez tossed seven strong innings, while Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer to lead the Blue Jays to an 8-3 win.

Alvarez (9-12) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks for Toronto, which won for the fifth time in seven games.

Adam Lind added a two-run homer and Brett Lawrie also knocked in a pair in the victory.

Boston, meanwhile, was not quite as fortunate on Thursday, as it fell to the New York Yankees, 2-0.

Felix Doubront (10-9) was pegged with the loss after giving up both runs on four hits and five walks over 6 1/3 innings, as the Red Sox wrapped up a six- game homestand at 1-5.

Boston has now lost 13 of its last 15 games overall.

"We're just not putting together quality at-bats and we're not grinding," said Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross. "When you do that you get quick outs."

Toronto has won its last six versus the Red Sox and is 10-5 against them this season.

09/14 10:37:12 ET