RECAP: David Price Tosses Six Quality Innings as #RedSox Pick up Series Win Against Rays.

Coming off a series opening win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, the Red Sox looked to clinch the series and their fourth straight win with David Price on the mound last night. With Chris Archer getting the start on the other side of the Rays, we were treated to a great pitching matchup between former teammates and close friends.

In his 10th start of the season, fourth against the Rays, David Price was fantastic. Going against his old club, the lefty tossed six innings of one run ball, scattering three hits and three free passes while recording a season high nine strikeouts over that span.

The only costly mistakes the Tennessee native made did not transpire until his last inning of work. After walking leadoff man Denard Span on six pitches, CJ Con took Price deep to center field for what looked like a go-ahead two run home run. Instead, it bounced off the top of the wall and stayed in play. It did allow the speedy Span to score all the way from First, but Price settled down and retired the next three batters he faced in order. That was how the 32-year-old’s night would end. Not a bad way to follow-up a complete game.

Ever since that awful start against the Rangers in Texas, David Price has looked like the David Price of old. He gave up seven earned runs in that outing back on May 3rd, but in three starts since then, the lefty owns a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched. The haters and doubters will say that the teams Price has been pitching against aren’t playoff teams, and that may be true, but opponents are hitting a measly .183 against him over his last three starts. Regardless of the opposition, those numbers are impressive. He’ll look to build on this momentum in his next outing, which should come against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Memorial Day.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen shut the Rays down for the second straight night, as Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss three perfect innings to go along with four strikeouts. For Kimbrel, last night’s save opportunity went much more smoothly than the one on Tuesday. That was reassuring to see, and he picked up his 15th save of the season to lock up his teams 34th win of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup did not have an answer for the way Rays starter Chris Archer was pitching last night. They had a golden opportunity to tack on their first run of the game in the fifth, after Eduardo Nunez tried to score from first on a two out double off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. Unfortunately, Nunez was tagged out at the plate in a somewhat bizarre sequence.

I mean, you have to slide in that situation, right? Christian Vazquez definitely deserves a fair amount of blame here, but there was no real urgency in Nunez either. Whatever the case, that blunder cost the Red Sox a run, but it did not cost them the game.

An inning later, after the 9-1-2 hitters loaded the bases with no outs, the Red Sox scored their first run of the game when Hanley Ramirez grounded into his second double play of the night. That allowed Christian Vazquez from third, and the Red Sox had their first run of the game and a one run lead.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, and things are all knotted up at one run a piece. With closer Alex Colome on the mound for the Rays, JD Martinez led the inning off by reaching base on a throwing error committed by shortstop Willy Adames and making it to second in the process.

Now, with the go-ahead run in scoring position, a fairly cooled off and hitless Xander Bogaerts came to the plate looking to put this game away. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, he did just that.

Bogaerts’ 13th double of the season allowed Martinez to easily score from second to put the Red Sox on top.

After Rafael Devers followed that RBI double up with a five pitch walk, Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice fly to center scored Bogaerts from third to add a little insurance and advanced Devers to third.

Devers would cross the plate on a wild pitch from Colome with Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, and that was the last run the Red Sox scored last night. A nice three run ninth to put this one out of reach for the Rays.

Some notes from this one:

Despite neither of them getting a hit, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi reached base a combined five times on five walks on Wednesday.

Hanley Ramirez is in the middle of a slump right now, as he is slashing .143/.182/.214 in 44 plate appearances over his last 10 games. Like I have been saying, might be time to get Mitch Moreland some more at bats.

Next up for the Red Sox is the series finale with the Rays later tonight. Looking for the sweep and their fifth straight win, Rick Porcello will be matched up against impressive lefty Blake Snell. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

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RECAP: David Price Tosses Complete Game, JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts Both Homer as #RedSox Become First Team to Reach 30 Wins.

After their game back on Patriots Day was postponed due to rain, the Red Sox welcomed the Baltimore Orioles into town for a make-up of that game followed by a previously scheduled three-game weekend series. Entering last night at 13-29, the Orioles have been one of the worst teams in the American League up to this point in the season, and they showed why on Thursday.

Coming off a so-so start last time out in Toronto, David Price made his ninth start of the season in this one, and he had himself quite the night. The lefty ended up going a full nine innings for his third complete game in a Red Sox uniform. Over that stretch, Price held the Orioles to just two runs on five hits while fanning nine, a new season high, and gave up zero walks on the night. What was even more impressive out of this outing for Price, in my mind, was his pitch count. The Tennessee native needed just 95 pitches to get through all nine innings. A good reason behind that is the fact that 73% of those 95 pitches went for strikes, and Price found himself in a grand total of two three-ball counts all night.

He was moving right along on Thursday, and he really only made one costly mistake, which came off the bat of Manny Machado in the ninth. The Orioles shortstop took Price deep to left field with two outs in the inning for his league-leading 14th home run of the season. That ended the shutout and got the Red Sox bullpen going a little bit, but Price ended his night on a positive note two pitches later, as he got Jonathan Schoop to pop out for the third and final out of the game.

Since it came against the lowly Baltimore Orioles, I’m sure Price’s doubters will still be persistent, but it’s hard not to be impressed with what he did last night. Right from the get go, the 32-year-old seemed to be in control of this one, and it probably helped that he had a lead to work with from the second inning on. Without a doubt his best start of the season, Price picked up his fourth win in the process while lowering his ERA from 4.89 to 4.38.

To put what Price did on Thursday night in perspective, think about this: Prior to his start tonight, Price has made two starts this month. In those two starts, he has pitched a TOTAL of nine innings while surrendering nine earned runs. Just last night, Price pitched nine innings and only gave up two earned runs. That’s a sure sign of improvement, and he’ll look to build on this success next time out against the Tampa Bay Rays sometime next week in their upcoming series against them.

On the other side of things, the 4-5 hitters in the Red Sox lineup came through big for the second night in a row. That’s right, JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts went yard AGAIN on Thursday, and they were both pretty impressive home runs.

Facing off against O’s righty Kevin Gausman, Mookie Betts led the bottom half of the first off with a single, his first of three hits on the night. Three batters and two outs later, JD Martinez launched his second home run in as many nights to put his team up by two early.

That 431 foot shot to dead center field marked the 13th of the season for Martinez, as he now pulls even with Mookie Betts for the team lead in long balls.

Fast forward to the fifth, Andrew Benintendi kicked a four-run inning off by driving in Jackie Bradley Jr. from third on a sacrifice fly to right field. Three batters later, with Hanley Ramirez at second and Mookie Betts at third, Xander Bogaerts mashed a three-run homer to left field, very similar to the one he hit on Wednesday.

His sixth home run of the season, which was sent 383 feet over the Green Monster, was good for three and gave the Red Sox their sixth and final run of the night. Before Bogaerts even had the chance to touch home on his blast, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was already making his way to the mound to take Gausman out of the game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that before.

Speaking of things I have never seen before, the Red Sox stole five bases off of Gausman last night, and all of them were uncontested. For some reason, the Orioles starter didn’t seem too interested in holding runners on once they reached first base, and the Red Sox took advantage of that. Mookie Betts even came away with three swiped bags on the night, a season high for him.

Another note from this one:

JD Martinez had to leave this game in the seventh inning because of a stomach illness. Shouldn’t be anything too serious. His replacement, Blake Swihart, grounded out in his only at bat of the game.

So, the Red Sox have technically sweeped the Orioles in that four-game series back in April. Next up is another series against Baltimore, and it will be Alex Cobb v. Drew Pomeranz on Friday. For Pomeranz, his last start against the Blue Jays in Toronto was a rough one and I’m sure he doesn’t want a repeat of that. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: Hanley Ramirez Homers for Third Time in Four Days as #RedSox Even Things up with Blue Jays.

Less than 24 hours after getting walked off by Luke Maile in extra innings, the Red Sox took the field for the middle game of this three-game weekend set in Toronto. Fortunately, this one was less of a nail biter than Friday’s night contest, and did not have to be decided in extras.

David Price made his first start for the Red Sox since the first game of the road trip they are currently on. Due to a bout with mild carpal tunnel syndrome in his left hand, Price was held out of his originally scheduled start this past Wednesday in New York. Three days later, he was back on the mound in Toronto for his eighth start of the season.

Contrary to how he looked before the carpal tunnel announcement, the Red Sox lefty put together a solid effort in his return to the mound on Saturday. In 5.1 innings pitched, Price held the Blue Jays to just two runs on five hits while walking three and tying a season high in strikeouts with six of them on the afternoon. The only real costly mistake the Tennessee native made came in the bottom of the sixth. With Justin Smoak at the plate to lead things off for the Jays, Price could not sneak a 93 MPH fastball by the Blue Jays first baseman, as he sent it 380 feet to left field for his teams second and final run of the day.

After that solo shot, Price would face one more batter in Kevin Pillar, who he got to pop out for the first out of the bottom half of the sixth inning. I don’t know if the fan running on the field had anything to do with it, but it looked like Price was prepared to at least finish the sixth. That did not happen though, as Alex Cora pulled him in favor of Carson Smith. The only inning in which the 32-year-old did not deal with baserunners was the second inning, when he struck out the side on 14 pitches. He ended his day with 93 pitches thrown, 55 of which went for strikes and his next start will more than likely come against the Baltimore Orioles sometime next week back at Fenway Park.

With Price’s day over and 11 outs still to get, Carson Smith would be the first man out of the Red Sox bullpen. Making his second appearance in the series. The righty did not need to do much, as he retired the only two batters he faced on 12 pitches, one of those including a strikeout. Slowly but surely, Smith has been looking better and better for the Red Sox. Since the calendar turned from April to May, the native of Texas has tossed six scoreless innings with no walks and eight strikeouts. His ERA has steadily decreased over the past few weeks, and it now stands at 3.38, the lowest its been since Opening Day.

After the conclusion of the sixth inning, the next three pitchers that came out of the Red Sox bullpen were nearly perfect. In three combined innings of work, Hector Velazquez, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel held the Blue Jays to zero runs on just two hits while striking out five. For Velazquez, today marked his first appearance in a game since the third for May. And for Kimbrel, today’s 1-2-3 ninth marked his 11th save of the season, that’s good for second in the American League.

On the other side of things, it took a little bit for the Red Sox lineup to get going against Jays starter Marco Estrada. For Estrada, he has not had a fun time facing the Red Sox as of late, and that sort of proved true on Saturday. After Christian Vazquez led the top of the third off with a fly out to left, three straight hits from the top of the lineup put three runs on the board.

A Mookie Betts double, followed by another double from Andrew Benintendi, plated the first run of the day for the Red Sox. Then Hanley Ramirez followed that up with a hit of his own, except his hit went out of the park.

That 89 MPH fastball from Estrada was sent 376 feet to left by the Red Sox first baseman for his sixth big fly of the season. Over the past four games, Ramirez has accounted for half of his season total with three homers in just 18 at bats.

Fast forward to the sixth, a one out double off the bat of Xander Bogaerts set up an ideal situation for Rafael Devers. After striking out in his first two at bats, Devers saw something he liked on the first pitch from Estrada and ripped a single to center field, allowing Bogaerts to score easily from second base. For Devers, it was his 24th RBI of the season.

Later on in the ninth, the Betts-Benintendi connection hooked up once again, as Benintendi pretty much put this one away with an RBI single that scored Betts from second after he had doubled in the prior at bat.

Some notes from this game:

In 11 games played this month, Mookie Betts has recorded more than one hit in five of them after his three hit performance on Friday.

Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez may both be heating up at the same time, as Benintendi currently has a five game hitting streak going on, while Ramirez has recorded a hit in six of the last seven games he has appeared in.

Speaking of hitting streaks, JD Martinez’s 12 game streak unfortunately came to end this afternoon, as he was held hitless for the first time since April 28th.

A three-day mental break clearly did Jackie Bradley Jr. no favors, as he was held hitless in four at bats today in his first start in center since May 8th. He is now 2 for his last 27.

On a more positive note, the Red Sox have the chance to end their long road trip with a series win tomorrow afternoon. Drew Pomeranz is on the mound for the visiting side, while it will be righty Joe Biagini getting the start for Toronto. First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM ET, should be a good way to spend Mothers Day.

David Price Has Been Diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Going into this three-game series against the New York Yankees, David Price was scheduled to start the middle game today for the Red Sox. Instead, he was scratched from his start and sent back to Boston because of a tingling sensation in his left hand. If you remember, in the last start Price made against the Yankees on April 11th, he had to depart after just one inning because of the same sort of discomfort in his pitching hand. In four starts since then, the lefty owns a 6.95 ERA in 22 innings pitched.

When Alex Cora announced that Price would not be starting on Wednesday, there was plenty of speculation on the reason why. Many assumed it was because of the Yankees and his shaky numbers against them. Others assumed it was because of another injury, like Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Well now, we know what it is that’s bothering Price.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. That’s right, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. As ridiculous as it sounds, that is what Alex Cora said on WEEI earlier. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Carpal Tunnel can be defined as, “a common condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm. The condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist.”

Now I’m no medical expert, but I’m pretty sure this is the thing people get when they spend too much time on their phones/computers/video game consoles? Regardless of how he got it, the Red Sox need David Price to be healthy. When healthy, Price is a top of the rotation type pitcher, which is something every team could use. People can forget pretty easily, but Price opened up this season by tossing two straight seven inning shutouts.

Alex Cora said he’s optimistic that Price will be able to rejoin the team on the road trip. Which would be ideal, because the Red Sox are down to just four starting pitchers. They do have options with Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez in the bullpen, but I’m sure they would prefer it if Price made his next start in Toronto.

RECAP: David Price Exits in Fourth Inning as #RedSox Drop Stinker to Rangers 11-5.

Not the best way to open up a road trip right there. Not at all. Yup, the Red Sox pretty much got blown out by a last place team in Texas last night. It’s not the best of looks, but there are three more games left in the series, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet.

David Price got the start in this one, and as he has for the majority of his career, struggled against the Rangers at Globe Life Park. Going into last night’s outing, the lefty owned a career 6.53 ERA in eight starts at the Rangers home ballpark. That trend would continue on Thursday, as Price got lit up for seven earned runs in less than four innings pitched. Over that span, the Rangers got to the Tennessee native for six hits, four walks, and a HBP. It started with two runs in the second, which could have been worse if not for JD Martinez chasing down this flyball he had no business catching.

Price allowed another two runs to cross the plate in the third while facing six batters. But both of those innings did not compare to just how ugly the fourth was. After the Red Sox lineup had just pulled themselves within one run a half inning prior, the Rangers went off for six runs of their own.

Leading off the inning by allowing three of the first four batters he faced to reach base and plate a run, Price loaded the bases by surrendering a single to Delino DeShields. Striking out the next batter he faced, Shin-Soo Choo, on five pitches meant that there was only one more out for Price to get. Unfortunately, he walked the last batter he faced to tack on another run, and his day was done.

For whatever reason, David Price has not looked like the same guy since he gave up that eighth inning home run to Khris Davis in Oakland a couple of weekends ago. In two starts since then, the southpaw has pitched just 9.1 total innings and given up 15 runs in that stretch.

Anyway, Hector Velazquez was inserted into this game with two outs in the fourth inning, and after a wild pitch got by Christian Vazquez, the Rangers’ Nomar Mazara launched a three-run shot to right field. That put the Rangers up by seven runs and all but locked up the win.

With one out in the bottom half of the fifth, Marcus Walden came on to replace Velazquez with runners on first and third. The 29-year-old rookie would go on to have the best night of any Red Sox pitcher, as he tossed 3.2 innings of one run ball, that run being unearned, and striking out four. After the game, he was optioned back to Triple A Pawtucket to make room on the roster for reliever Bobby Poyner.

Despite the not-so-great performance from the Red Sox pitching staff last night, the defensive performance from the left side of infield has to shoulder some of that responsibility as well. Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts combined for three errors on Thursday, one fielding and two throwing. Over their past three games, the Red Sox have committed a whopping seven errors. That accounts for over 46% of their season total, which is 15. I suppose this could have been expected though, given the fact Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers play the infield almost everyday. With Dustin Pedroia hopefully making his return to the big league club later in the month, these defensive numbers could stabilize a little bit. They still rank fifth in the AL in Fielding Percentage, so maybe I’m just overreacting to a few bad games.

Offensively, Mookie Betts built from the great day he had on Wednesday by mashing his 12th home run of the season to lead off the third inning.

At that moment, I thought we had another comeback on our hands. It looked that way at first, with Christian Vazquez and Betts driving in a pair of runs in the fifth to make it a one-run game, but things got out of hand after that.

Later in the eighth, not that it had an impact on this game, but Betts drove in his third and fourth RBIs of the night by ripping a two out double to left field.

As we enter today’s action, the 25-year-old outfielder now leads the American League in home runs (12), batting average (.370), slugging percentage (.850), and OPS (1.299). We’re just over a month into the season, but Mookie is definitely looking like a legit MVP candidate right now. He may very well be the best leadoff hitter in all of baseball.

Next up for the Red Sox is an enticing pitching matchup later tonight. It will be the 4-0 Rick Porcello squaring off the ageless wonder, Bartolo Colon. And maybe, just maybe, Blake Swihart will start behind the dish tonight. *crosses fingers*

First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.

RECAP: David Price Struggles as #RedSox Drop Second Straight Game to Rays.

A day after dropping a close game to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, the Red Sox did not look much better on Saturday. Although the game was tied up until the top of the sixth inning, the Rays found a way to run away and hide with this one. And for the second time in less than a week, the Red Sox find themselves in the midst of a losing streak, technically.

David Price made his sixth start of the season this afternoon, and he, like Drew Pomeranz on Friday night, was hurt by the home run ball, but not in the conventional way. In fact, the first two runs the Rays scored in the second inning came on an inside the park home run off the bat of Denard Span.

A bad hop seemed to have fooled Jackie Bradley Jr., and that’s how Span managed to score so easily. It was originally ruled a three-base error, but the scorers changed their mind soon after that.

The Rays tacked on another two runs in the third on a legitimate two run home run. This one coming off Wilson Ramos’ bat to put the Rays up 4-2.

Over the next three innings, Price would be charged with one earned run and one unearned run. The first of those came on a bases loaded walk to Daniel Robertson in the fifth, and the second came after he was already out of the game. After Adeiny Hechavarria led the sixth inning off with a single and David Price was removed after getting the first two outs of the inning, it would be Heath Hembree who got the call to end things in the inning.

Unfortunately, Hembree allowed Hechavarria to score and that closed the book on David Price’s day, The lefty finished with a line of 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R (5 ER), 4 BB, and 5 K’s. That marks two straight sort of uncharacteristic starts for Price, as he gave up nine hits and four runs last Sunday in Oakland. He’ll look to bounce back next week when the Red Sox take on the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

Back to Heath Hembree, after putting together an impressive outing on Friday night, the righty could not do much right on Saturday. The righty allowed four of the five batters he faced to reach base, including a home run off the bat of Carlos Gomez, and could only record one out, that being the final out of the sixth inning. Matt Barnes would take over for him with runners on first and second and no outs in the inning.

Luckily, Barnes had what was the best performance out of a Red Sox pitcher on Saturday, as he retired all three batters he faced to go along with two strikeouts. That made way for Brian Johnson to start things in the eighth inning, and that’s when things really got away from the Red Sox.

In two innings pitched, the lefty surrendered five runs on seven hits, one of those being a three-run home run in the ninth inning. That put the 12th run of the game on the board for the Rays, and that pretty much killed any chances at a comeback. So, all in all, not a great night for the Red Sox pitching staff, as those 12 runs scored against them is a season high.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup could manage just six runs in this one. That may seem like a high enough number to get the win, but I think they could have scored more off Rays starter Yonny Chirinos. It was a back and forth kind of game for the first five innings, but then things fell apart in the sixth.

Xander Bogaerts drove in the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the first. That gave the Red Sox the early lead, but it would be short-lived. Bogaerts would go on to collect another RBI with a single in the third, and Hanley Ramirez would do the same with an RBI single in the fourth. Rafael Devers had the biggest day out of anyone in the Red Sox lineup, as he collected  a team best two RBIs, including a solo home run in the fifth inning, his fourth of the season.

That home run looked like it could be meaningful at the time, but like I said, things fell apart for the Red Sox after they took their at bats in the fifth. Devers would go on to collect another RBI in the ninth. He is now in a tie with JD Martinez for the team lead in RBIs with 20 of them on the season.

So where do the Red Sox go from here, coming off their fifth loss in their last seven games? Well, taking the finale against the Rays today would be great, and then the Kansas City Royals come to town for three games before this homestand ends.

Rick Porcello gets the start later today against Rays righty Matt Andriese. Hopefully Mookie Betts will be alright after he exited yesterday’s game with tightness in his right hamstring. First pitch is at 1:05 PM, if the rain holds up.

 

 

RECAP: Khris Davis Owns the Day as #RedSox Drop Second Straight Game to Athletics.

For the first time this season, the Boston Red Sox have lost two straight games. As unfortunate as that may be, they are still 17-4 and finished the west coast portion of their road trip at 4-2. Regardless of how they got there, 4-2 on the road ain’t too shabby. With three games left on the trip in Toronto, finishing at either 7-2 or 6-3 would be more than exceptional.

Anyway, David Price made his sixth start of the season in this one, and he was great up until the eighth inning. The lefty held the Athletics to one run on six hits and a walk while striking out five. That one run came on a Khris Davis RBI single in the bottom half of the first. Other than that, not too much to complain about from Price over the first seven innings, because not only was he effective, he was efficient with his pitch count as well. By the time he departed with two outs in the eighth, he was only at 96 pitches, 68 of which went for strikes.

How he got to his departure from this game isn’t all that effective. With the game tied at one, Price retired the first batter he saw in the bottom of the eighth, and followed that up by allowing back to back singles. After striking out Jed Lowrie for the second out of the inning, Khris Davis struck once again as he took things into his own hands, taking the very first pitch of his at bat, an 87 MPH slider from Price, and blasting it 388 feet into the steps in right field.

Davis knew it was gone, Price knew it was gone, and just like that the Athletics were up by three runs, which is all they needed to lock up the win.

Carson Smith came in for mop up duty after the homer, and he retired the only batter he faced on two pitches.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup had a better day than they did on Saturday. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much because they only scored one run.

That one run came in the top of the seventh on a Brock Holt RBI double. It looked like it was going to be meaningful at the time since it tied the game with one out, but they had some other chances and could not capitalize on them.

Credit to Athletics starting pitching for the second day in a row. He didn’t toss a no-hitter, but Daniel Mengden was solid. He allowed just that one run in 6.1 innings pitched, scattering six hits, striking out five, and walking no one. The Athletics bullpen was also pretty solid as they held the Red Sox scoreless in just less than three innings pitched.

The last chance the Red Sox had to tie or win this thing came in the ninth with two outs and Brock Holt on first after he reached on a fielding error. With Christian Vazquez at the plate and Mookie Betts, who would be pinch-hitting for Tzu-Wei Lin, on deck, it looked like they had a decent chance to take this thing to the bottom of the ninth. On the eighth pitch of the at bat, Vazquez popped up to shallow right field, and it almost fell through.

Luckily for the Athletics, they avoided a potential disaster with Mookie Betts looming and picked up their 11th win of the season.

That marks the first time the Red Sox have lost a series in seven tries to start the year. Like I said earlier, next up is the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, who just dropped three out of four to the Yankees in New York. After a travel day on Monday, it will be Rick Porcello getting the ball in the opener against Jays lefty J.A. Happ. Rogers Centre is certainly more of a launch pad than the Coliseum in Oakland, so maybe the Red Sox bats will wake up a bit this coming week. First pitch for that game on Tuesday is 7:07 PM, back to normal.