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Major League Baseball
Preview
Boston at Toronto
When: 12:37 PM ET, Thursday, July 24, 2014
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Boston Red Sox exploded for a season-high 14 runs in the series opener and appeared on their way to a long winning streak. Instead, the Red Sox will try to salvage a split of the four-game series when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays for the finale on Thursday afternoon. The Blue Jays fixed whatever was wrong with the pitching in that first game and have taken two straight to improve their own outlook after a rough stretch.

The Red Sox had a string of 13 straight games against American League East opponents beginning with the series in Toronto and needed a good showing to prove they were still in the race for a playoff spot. That 14-1 drubbing was their fifth consecutive win, but the team does not have much room for error at 47-54 and can't afford to be dropping a series in the back half of July to a divisional opponent. The Blue Jays are in a stronger position, second place behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East, and appear to be putting their struggles of June and early July behind them with wins in four of six since the All-Star break.

TV:
12:37 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), RSN (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP:
Red Sox RH Rubby De La Rosa (3-2, 2.64 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (5-2, 3.58)

De La Rosa returned to the rotation against Kansas City on Saturday and allowed one run and five hits in seven innings to pick up the victory. All three of the 25-year-old’s victories have come at home, where he is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts. De La Rosa surrendered four runs in 5 2/3 innings in each of his first two road starts but put together a better effort at Oakland on June 21, when he did not factor in the decision after allowing one run in seven frames.

Stroman was even better in his first post-break outing on Saturday, tossing seven scoreless innings to earn the win over Texas. The Duke product has not been scored upon in two of his last three outings and is 4-2 with a 2.50 ERA in nine games as a starter. Stroman, who is facing Boston for the first time, is 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA at home.

WALK-OFFS

1. Red Sox DH David Ortiz has belted four home runs in the first three games of the series and 37 in his career at Rogers Centre - the most all-time by an opposing player.

2. Toronto 2B Ryan Goins has recorded a hit, a run scored and an RBI in both games since rejoining the team from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday.

3. Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia is 2-for-24 since the All-Star break.

PREDICTION:
Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Boston 47-54 L2 26-26 21-28 17-24 14-15 10-9 6-6
Toronto 53-49 W2 29-23 24-26 20-18 13-13 11-12 9-6
Last Meeting
Boston Toronto
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/23/14 BOS 4 TOR 6 .250 1 .659 .276 1 .917
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston X. Bogaerts .394 13 1.048
Toronto J. Bautista .361 13 1.105
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston D. Ortiz 5 6 9
Toronto E. Encarnacion 4 5 11
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 5.19 .291 60
Toronto 5.11 .283 65
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston M. Napoli .279 80 .851
Toronto M. Cabrera .307 127 .818
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston D. Ortiz 24 40 72
Toronto E. Encarnacion 26 57 70
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 3.79 .249 812
Toronto 4.15 .260 736