American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 22nd (All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (47-47) at Boston Red Sox (48-47), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Henderson Alvarez (5-7, 4.29) Boston - Jon Lester (5-7, 4.80)
(Sports Network) - American League East rivals will finish off a weekend series at Fenway Park Sunday afternoon when the Boston Red Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays in the last of a three-game set.
The Blue Jays will send 22-year-old right-hander Henderson Alvarez to the mound this afternoon and he carries a 5-7 record on the season with a 4.29 ERA.
Alvarez started off the season great and had a 2.62 ERA in mid-May, but since then he's allowed four earned runs or more in six of his last 10 starts.
He was effective in his last outing against the Yankees on July 16, going six innings, allowing two earned runs while tying a career high with six strikeouts, but he earned a no decision in a 6-3 loss.
The Red Sox will counter with Jon Lester, who is in the midst of what could be the worst season of his great young career, sporting a 5-7 record with a disappointing 4.80 ERA.
The left-hander has lost back-to-back starts, including on July 17 to the White Sox after he surrendered seven hits, three walks and six earned runs in just four innings of work.
"It was a frustrating night for Jon," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Lester's last start. "After he gave up the two in the first and we came back, he thought he'd be able to settle down and get us the victory. His control just wasn't there."
Lester has been great against the Blue Jays in his career, going 11-5 in 20 starts against them with a 3.20 ERA.
The Blue Jays will try for the sweep on Sunday after defeating the Red Sox on Saturday night, 7-3.
Boston lit up the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning behind a three-run homer from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, his 18th of the season, but that would be the only runs of the night for the Red Sox.
Brett Lawrie finished with three RBI and Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arcencibia each went deep for the Blue Jays. The longball for Encarnacion was his 26th of the season, which ties a career high he set in Cincinnati in 2008.
"It was a combination of us coming to life and (Aaron Cook's) sinker staying up a little," said Toronto manager John Farrell, whose team had just two hits heading into the sixth inning. "Cook was that good in the first five innings."
Carlos Villanueva (5-0) earned the win by pitching 6 1/3 strong innings, allowing four hits, two walks and three earned runs while striking out five. The Jays bullpen closed out the game with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.
Cook (2-3) was saddled with the loss for Boston. He allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings of work, though just three of those runs were earned.
The Blue Jays lead the season series with the Red Sox 6-5.
07/22 10:36:50 ET